Dead star makes a lens for its companion
The intense gravity associated with a white dwarf distorts the light of the star it orbits
By Christopher Crockett, 09:13 AM April 22, 2014
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Astronomers have discovered a unique pair of stars. One is sunlike in size. Around it orbits the tiny, but extremely dense core of a dead star. Yet what’s left of this dead star is so hot that the compact material glows white. As this white dwarf passes in front of its companion (as seen from Earth) every 88 days, its gravity magnifies light from the other star.
This represents the first clear sign of a gravitational lens in a binary star system. Astronomers report its discovery ...
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