Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Whew! I Thought I Was Seeing Double

Here's another example of how so often we overlook things that are right in front of us...give or take 2 billion miles.

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have photographed a dwarf star two billion miles away from the North Star.

The star had eluded direct detection until now because it's so close to the North Star, formally known as Polaris.

It's also relatively faint.

The North Star is more than 2,000 times brighter than the sun.

Astronomers have known about another stellar companion to the North Star for quite awhile. Polaris B was spotted in 1780 and can easily be seen with a smaller telescope.

The newly discovered star is called Polaris Ab.