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Science Bulletins: Another Star Found in Big Dipper

A long-hidden star in the Big Dipper's handle has come to light thanks to a precision imaging technique by members of Project 1640, a collaboration between astronomers from the American Museum of Natural History, the University of Cambridge, the California Institute of Technology, and NASA. The team used a coronagraph to block out the blinding light from the star Alcor to resolve a faint companion in orbit around it, now named Alcor B. The team then imaged the same system 103 days later, mapping its motion relative to distant background stars. The astronomers observed that the two stars were moving in concert, proof that the pair were indeed companions. The same technique will prove useful in the future in resolving planets orbiting stars outside our Solar System.
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