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Fraser
2003-Jul-20, 09:44 AM
SUMMARY: An international survey by the European Southern Observatory has uncovered more than 1000 luminous red variable stars in nearby galaxy Centaurus A (aka NGC 5128). This is the first survey that's ever been performed on a galaxy outside our own Milky Way. These stars, known as Mira-variables, pulse in a very specific way; the longer the cycle, the brighter they are - by comparing the visual brightness to their actual brightness, they can judge distances to these stars very accurately. This allows a very accurate measurement of the distance to Centaurus A.


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