Imaging the Surface of Altair

J. D. Monnier, M. Zhao, E. Pedretti, N. Thureau, M. Ireland, P. Muirhead, J.-P. Berger, R. Millan-Gabet, G. Van Belle, T. ten Brummelaar, H. McAlister, S. Ridgway, N. Turner, L. Sturmann, J. Sturmann, D. Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

210 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-345
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume317
Issue number5836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2007

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    Monnier, J. D., Zhao, M., Pedretti, E., Thureau, N., Ireland, M., Muirhead, P., Berger, J-P., Millan-Gabet, R., Van Belle, G., ten Brummelaar, T., McAlister, H., Ridgway, S., Turner, N., Sturmann, L., Sturmann, J., & Berger, D. (2007). Imaging the Surface of Altair. Science, 317(5836), 342-345. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1143205