Double Star

Double star – when you observe a star through a telescope or binoculars, it appears to be two stars as opposed to one when seen with the naked eye.

Sometimes this is a line of sight effect where the two stars are in reality totally unconnected with each other. In other cases the two stars are a genuine pair, orbiting one another, in which case they are referred to as a binary star.

Stars that are only connected by line of site are referred to as optical doubles or visual doubles.

Double Star Programme is also the designation of the fist ever collaboration between the Chinese and the European space agencies. It ran from early 2004 to late 2007. Two Chinese satellites were launched into orbits at 90 degrees to one another in order to study ‘global physical processes in Earth’s magnetic environment and its response to solar disturbances’ (esa). Working in conjunction with the existing Cluster satellites, Double Star Programme has msde several new discoveries, notably ‘Space is fizzy’ (density holes in the Solar wind in the region of the bow shock), Chorus emissions found at a greater distance (areas where high energy particles that can damage electronic equipment) and something called neutral sheet oscillations in the magnetotail.

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site