Einstein’s theory offers new technique to size up stars

Einstein's theory offers new technique to size up stars

Astronomers have discovered a novel function for 100 year-old theory of relativity of Albert Einstein’s employing it straightly to calculate the dimensions of a star past the sun.

In a study published this week, researchers claimed that they utilized the Hubble Space Telescope to locate tiny changes in the pathway of light emerging from a far-away star in the background as it passed by a comparatively close target star, named as Stein 2051B.

Einstein's theory offers new technique to size up stars

Scientists used Einstein’s discovery to calculate how gravity of Stein 2051B warped the light of the background star, a fact the physicist forecasted over 100 years back and a direct way to evaluate its mass. The methods can be applied to different other stars as well.

“It was like calculating the movement of a small firefly in frontage of a light bulb from 1,500 Miles away,” Kailash Sahu, astronomer of the Space Telescope Science Institute said at a media meeting in Baltimore.

The study was showcased in Austin, Texas, at a conference of the American Astronomical Society this week and was also rolled out in this week’s version of the journal Science.

The calculations showed that the weight of Stein 2051B is about 2/3rd of the sun in solar system of the Earth. It is a kind of star referred as a white dwarf. All stars tiny than 8 times the dimension of the sun will turn out as a white dwarf when they finish their nuclear fuel and fall down, leaving behind a burning core.

“The single most essential factor for the star is its weight,” Sahu claimed. “If we know this detail, we known how bright it will be, what will happen after it dies, what its radius will be, and how long it will live. Everything relies on the star’s mass.”

Scientists earlier came out with the mass of 3 other stars that were white dwarf in nature by utilizing an indirect method that needed the star to have a partner orbiting with it for calculating pull of the gravitational force.

For now, we can just wait and look forward for something interesting to come up.

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