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Artwork showing light levels during binary eclipse

Artwork showing light levels during binary eclipse

R620/0195

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Credit

DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Eclipsing binary star. Artwork of a photometer reading of the light levels of an eclipsing binary star during its two eclipses. A photometer records (lower frame) the amount of light received from a star. In an eclipsing binary system, a large, faint component (orange) is in mutual orbit with a small, brighter one (a hot, white star here). The stars are too close to be resolved from Earth. Usually, the star as seen from Earth has the sum of their brightnesses. When the brighter star passes behind the fainter (left), there is a large drop in the light received. As their orbits progress, the brighter star eclipses the fainter one, with a much smaller reduction in brightness.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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