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Epsilon Aurigae, Spitzer telescope image

Epsilon Aurigae, Spitzer telescope image

C010/6249

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Credit

NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Epsilon Aurigae. Image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of the two stars of the Epsilon Aurigae eclipsing binary system. Epsilon Aurigae (right) is a spectral class F supergiant star. Its brightness varies with a period of about 27 years. This is best explained by it having a small, massive binary companion (centre left) which is surrounded by a disk of dust and gas (dark). The light from Epsilon Aurigae is partly eclipsed by the disk as it passes between the main star and observers on Earth. Epsilon Aurigae is about 2000 light years away in the constellation Auriga.

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