Research NewsAstronomy

Boom and Bust at R Leonis

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Science  06 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5356, pp. 1450
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5356.1450

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In a dramatic demonstration of the power of optical interferometry, a technique for linking separate telescopes into the equivalent of a much larger one (see main text), astronomers have made the first-ever observation of regular changes in a star's size. The star in question, a variable star called R Leonis, changes diameter by up to 35% over the course of nearly a year, an amount that the astronomers call "outrageous."