Amateur astronomers have long kept an eye on AR Sco, thinking they were watching the flickering of a single variable star. But when they took more detailed observations last year, they saw entirely unexpected behavior and began a fruitful collaboration with professional astronomers to find out the answer.
The lone star's behavior has similarities to FU Orionis, a young outbursting star that had an initial three-month outburst in 1936-7. But CX330 is more compact, hotter and likely more massive than the FU Orionis-like objects known. The more isolated star launches faster "jets," or outflows of material that slam into the gas and dust around it.