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News Release 07-062 - Video

Altair: model versus reality

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Astronomers have modeled many of the properties of Altair. While the newly captured image confirms some of them, corrections still need to be made to bridge remaining differences between theories and the star's actual characteristics, including the location of the hottest (brightest) regions near the poles.

Credit: Ming Zhao, University of Michigan

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Video Transcript:

The video depicts a model of a spinning star with properties like Altair. As the star spins more quickly, it bulges around the middle. A comparison between the model and the image of Altair captured recently by astronomers shows that some differences remain between theory and the star's actual properties.