Researchers in the VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) Collaboration have distributed a paper in Nature Astronomy journal enumerating the consequences of their work with the VERITAS cluster—situated at the Center for Astrophysics’ Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Amado, Arizona—to quantify the tiniest clear size of stars in the night sky known to date.
Estimations taken utilizing the VERITAS telescopes uncovered the measurement of a goliath star found 2,674 light a very long time from Earth. Taken on February 22, 2018, at the Whipple Observatory, information uncovered the star to be 11 times the diameter of Earth’s Sun. Utilizing the four 12-m gamma-beam telescopes of VERITAS, the group gathered 300 pictures for every second to identify the diffraction design in the shadow clearing past the telescopes as the star TYC 5517-227-1 was occulted by the 60-km space rock Imprinetta. “From these information, the splendor profile of the diffraction pattern of the star was reproduced with high exactness,” said Dr. Michael Daniel, Operations Manager, VERITAS. “This enabled us to decide the real measurement of the star, and decide it to be a red giant, in spite of the fact that it could already be named questionable.”
A quarter of a year later, on May 22, 2018, the group rehashed the test when space rock Penelope—diameter 88-km—occulted star TYC 278-748-1 found 700 light a long time from Earth. “Utilizing a similar recipe for information gathering and computations, we decided this star to be 2.17 times the diameter Earth’s Sun,” said Daniel. “This immediate estimation enabled us to address a prior estimation that set the star’s diameter at 1.415 times that of our sun.”
Benbow, et al., “Direct measurement of stellar angular diameters by the VERITAS Cherenkov telescopes,” Nature Astronomy (2019)