Innovative instrument probes close binary stars, may soon image exoplanets

December 17, 2013 5:31 AM

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Innovative instrument probes close binary stars, may soon image exoplanets

A new instrument that combines two high-resolution telescope techniques – adaptive optics and interferometry – has for the first time distinguished and studied the individual stars in a nearby binary star system, demonstrating promise for eventually picking out planets around other stars.

In the December issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, astronomers and an international team of colleagues report that they were able to resolve in visible light the two stars in the binary star system Capella, which orbit one another at about the distance...

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