Sirius binary star system

Sirius binary star system

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Caption: Sirius binary star system, Hubble Space Telescope image. Sirius A (centre, Alpha Canis Majoris), in the constellation Canis Major, is the brightest star in the night sky and only 8.6 light years from Earth. It has a very small, faint companion, Sirius B (small dot at lower left). Sirius B, only 12,000 kilometres in diameter, is a white dwarf star, the collapsed core of a star. Normally, the companion star would be obscured by the brightness of its companion, but Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 instrument was used to locate the star, and other instruments were then used to measure the gravitational redshift of its light, and hence its mass. Sirius B has a mass 98% of that of our Sun. The results were published in December 2005.

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Keywords: 21st century, airy's disc, alpha canis majoris, astronomical, astronomy, binary star, canis major, circle, circular, collapsed, dense, dog star, double, hst, hubble space telescope, interfernece pattern, milky way, optical, patterns, planetary camera 2, round, sirius, sirius a, sirius b, space, star, stellar, wfpc2, white dwarf, wide field

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