Astronomers have spotted a group of stars that are shaped like pumpkins

Astronomers have spotted a group of stars that are shaped like pumpkins.

According to a NASA press release about the discovery, their somewhat flattened form is caused by an extremely fast rotation.

Steve Howell, one of the researchers, said, "These 18 stars rotate in just a few days on average, while the sun takes nearly a month. The rapid rotation amplifies the same kind of activity we see on the sun, such as sunspots and solar flares, and essentially sends it into overdrive."

As a result, they are said to "...produce X-rays at more than 100 times the peak levels ever seen from the sun."

The release also states that "the most extreme member of the group, a K-type orange giant dubbed KSw 71, is more than 10 times larger than the sun, rotates in just 5.5 days, and produces X-ray emission 4,000 times greater than the sun does at solar maximum."

These stars were identified with the help of the Kepler mission's field of view survey and the Swift spacecraft's onboard instruments.

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