Imaging the surface of Altair

John 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 journalArticlepeer-review

268 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
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2007

Keywords

  • RAPIDLY ROTATING STAR
  • CHARA ARRAY
  • A-TYPE
  • ACHERNAR
  • INTERFEROMETRY
  • OBLATENESS
  • CONSISTENT
  • VELOCITIES
  • ASTRONOMY
  • MODELS

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