Research NewsAstronomy

Intimate Views of the Stars

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5356, pp. 1449-1451
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5356.1449

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Optical interferometers, ground-based arrays of small telescopes costing as little as $1 million, are allowing astronomers to capture details of nearby stars that elude even the Hubble Space Telescope. By combining light from telescopes tens or hundreds of meters apart, an interferometer mimics a single telescope that has a gargantuan mirror and is unaffected by atmospheric turbulence. Already, optical interferometers are resolving such intimate details of stars as their girth and binary companions.