The vampire double star SS Leporis

Super-sharp images of the unusual vampire double star system SS Leporis made from observations made with the VLT Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory were used to create this video. The remarkable image sharpness — 50 times sharper than images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope — not only allowed the stars to be clearly separated and their orbital motion followed, but also also allowed the size of the red giant to be measured more accurately than ever before. The system consists of a red giant star orbiting a hotter companion.

Note that the stars have been artificially coloured to match their known temperatures.


ESO/PIONIER/IPAG. Music: John Dyson (from the album Moonwind)

About the Video

Release date:7 December 2011, 12:00
Related releases:eso1148
Duration:20 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:SS Lep



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