Binary star Capella as seen by COAST telescope

Binary star Capella as seen by COAST telescope

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Credit: MULLARD RADIO ASTRONOMY LABORATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Capella. Second of two images showing the motions of the double star system called Capella. The two stars are each about three times the mass of the Sun, and have a mutual orbital period of 104 days. Just 45 light years from Earth, the stars are so close together that conventional telescopes cannot resolve the two elements. To most observers, the system appears to be a single star (also called alpha Aurigae), the seventh brightest in the sky. This image was made at a wavelength of 830 nanometres on 28 September 1995 using the COAST optical interferometer telescope at Cambridge, UK. Compare with image ref R620/170.

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Keywords: alpha aurigae, astronomy, binary, binary star, capella, coast imagery, cosmology, double star, science, star, stellar

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