New way to weigh a white dwarf: Use Hubble Space Telescope


06/15/2017 02:30 PM EDT

drawing showing the observed versus actual positions of a distant star

For the first time, astronomers have used a novel method to determine the mass of a type of star known as a “white dwarf”–the shrunken corpse of a dead star that used to be like our sun. The achievement, made with the Hubble Space Telescope, is described as a wonderful confirmation of theoretical predictions, and a beautiful reprise of the Einstein solar eclipse observations of a century ago.

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The Pennsylvania State University

This is an NSF News From the Field item.