Amazing telescopes produce hot space images

Ground-based telescopes continue to produce some of world's important space discoveries

Using the 10-meter Keck Telescope, located on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, astrophysicists at UC Santa Barbara identified two white dwarf stars, allowing for the first direct radius measurement of a rare white dwarf composed of pure helium. Scientists were able to measure the changing Doppler shift of the star NLTT 11748 as it orbited its faint, but more massive, white dwarf companion. NLTT 11748 is one of the few very low-mass, helium-core white dwarfs that are under careful study for their brightness variations. Rapid snapshots of the star -- about one exposure every minute -- found a few consecutive images where the star was slightly fainter.

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