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By yet more happenstance, a third paper, currently in preprint, produced by astronomers Kareem El-Badry and Eliot Quataert of UC Berkeley also found 0.47 and 6.7 solar masses for the B3 III and Be stars respectively, providing yet more evidence of an unusual binary star pair instead of a black hole in our cosmic backyard.
Astronomers have been puzzled by the HR 6819 system for the past three decades. If all of the new findings are confirmed by future observations, it may present a more unique opportunity for scientists as it might indicate a star at a rare point in its evolution which is seldom witnessed first-hand.
Scientists may be able to study a companion star which has recently completed mass transfer but has yet to reach the ‘white dwarf’ cooling stage of its evolution, contributing to the further understanding of star formation in the wider universe.
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