Number 255 (Story #3), January 19, 1996 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
THE FIRST DIRECT IMAGE OF THE SURFACE OF A STAR other than our sun was reported by Andrea Dupree of Harvard- Smithsonian. The surface of the star, Betelgeuse, had been indirectly imaged earlier using speckle interferometry, in which many brief exposures are added up to make a composite image. Dupree's pictures, made with the Hubble Space Telescope, confirm previous suspicions that Betelgeuse's surface exhibits a giant bright spot. According to Dupree, the spot is 2000 K warmer than its surroundings and this might be indicative of a new physical phenomenon at work in some stellar atmospheres.