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Science. 2007 Jul 20;317(5836):342-5. Epub 2007 May 31.

Imaging the surface of Altair.

Author information

1
Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. monnier@umich.edu

Abstract

Spatially resolving the surfaces of nearby stars promises to advance our knowledge of stellar physics. Using optical long-baseline interferometry, we constructed a near-infrared image of the rapidly rotating hot star Altair with a resolution of <1 milliarcsecond. The image clearly reveals the strong effect of gravity darkening on the highly distorted stellar photosphere. Standard models for a uniformly rotating star cannot explain our findings, which appear to result from differential rotation, alternative gravity-darkening laws, or both.

PMID:
17540860
DOI:
10.1126/science.1143205
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