A Dead Spacecraft Sees Dead Star Warping Light

The now non-operational Kepler space telescope data combined with Cornell-led measurements of stars’ ultraviolet activity have seen the effects of a dead star bending the light of its companion red star.

These are some of the first detections this result predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The dead star is a white dwarf that is orbiting a small “red dwarf” star.  The white dwarf is smaller than the red dwarf, but has a much greater mass.  So when it passes in front of the red dwarf its gravity causes the light to bend and brighten. However, it is interesting to note that the red dwarf actually orbits the white dwarf.  Also, the white dwarf is quickly eating its companion star.

So, the now dead Kepler spacecraft has collected enough data to make these types of discoveries.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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