Home > slashdot > Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System

December 11th, 2009 12:48 admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many “firsts” in the history of astronomy: “Benedetto Castelli, Galileo’s protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks… Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system.”

Source: Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System

Related Articles:

  1. Riecoin Breaks World Record For Largest Prime Sextuplet, Twice
  2. Space Telescope Reveals Weird Star Cluster Conundrum
  3. Monster Hypergiant Star Discovered
  4. Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered
  5. Newly Spotted Frozen World Orbits In a Binary Star System
blog comments powered by Disqus