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19 December 2013 12:36 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
After 20 years of trying, researchers have finally convicted massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia as the culprit in...
Five federally funded optical and radio telescopes in the United States could be forced to shut down over the next 3...
A 2-year budget agreement pushes back the threat of sequestration but leaves scientists still wondering how much money...
After a decade away from physics, Robert Laughlin, a Nobel laureate at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California,...
Computer scientists and others have teamed up to persuade the 117 state parties to the Convention on Certain...
The swine flu pandemic of late 2009 had a peculiar aftereffect in parts of Europe: a spike in children being diagnosed...
- 19 December 2013 12:36 pm , Vol. 342 , #6165
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ScienceShot: Scrutinizing the Galaxy's Oldest Stars
6 September 2012 4:30 pm
The Milky Way's oldest stars reside in its halo, which surrounds the spiral-sculpted disk harboring the sun. Because halo stars formed when the galaxy did, they hold clues to its origin and early evolution. Now, astronomers report in Astronomy & Astrophysics that they have used an interferometer—an array of telescopes that yields crisp views of the heavens—to measure precise diameters of two halo stars so bright you can see them through binoculars. Groombridge 1830 (left inset), a main-sequence star like the sun, lies just 30 light-years from Earth; the new observations reveal that it has a diameter two-thirds that of the sun and a surface temperature of 4820 K, nearly a thousand degrees cooler. The other halo star (right inset), a giant named HD 122563, is 24 times as wide as the sun with a surface temperature of 4600 K. The measurements should help astronomers infer properties of much farther, fainter halo objects and thus gain insight into the ancient Milky Way.
See more ScienceShots.