“Upside-down planet” reveals new method for studying binary star systems

April 22, 2014 12:27 PM

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“Upside-down planet” reveals new method for studying binary star systems

What looked at first like an upside-down planet has instead revealed a new method for studying binary star systems, discovered by a Univ. of Washington (UW) student astronomer.

Working with UW astronomer Eric Agol, doctoral student Ethan Kruse has confirmed the first “self-lensing” binary star system—one in which the mass of the closer star can be measured by how powerfully it magnifies light from its more distant companion star. Though our sun stands alone, about 40% of s...

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