Our Astronomical Column


    A VERY MASSIVE STAR.—A paper by Prof. Plaskett on a spectroscopic binary of very high mass was read by Prof. Newall at the meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society on June 9. The star is of the sixth magnitude, and shows two spectra with considerable difference of brightness, but both measurable. It is difficult to imagine any explanation of the double spectrum other than duplicity of the star, as the spectral type indicates a fair amount of condensation, and the distance between the stars is of the order of half an astronomical unit. As there is no evidence of light-variation, it is presumed that eclipses do not occur; it is therefore estimated that we see the orbit open to the extent of some 15°. The minimum values of the masses are given as about 70 times that of the sun for each component, the combined mass being about four times as great as that of any previously determined.

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    Our Astronomical Column. Nature 109, 791 (1922). https://doi.org/10.1038/109791a0

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