Sirius binary star system, artwork

Sirius binary star system, artwork

R620/0303 Rights Managed

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Credit: G. BACON/NASA/ESA/STScI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sirius binary star system, artwork. Sirius A (lower left, 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 centre right). 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 the Hubble Space Telescope was used to locate the star (see R620/302), and to measure the gravitational redshift of its light, and hence its mass. Sirius B has a mass 98% of that of our Sun. These results were published in December 2005.

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Keywords: 21st century, alpha canis majoris, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, binary star, canis major, circular, collapsed, dense, dog star, double, hst, hubble space telescope, illustration, milky way, round, sirius, sirius a, sirius b, space, star, stellar, white dwarf

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