Astronomers Find Most Stable Optical Clock In Heavens

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telfrow

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<i>After 31 years of tracking the light- output of a burnt-out star from telescopes at McDonald Observatory, astronomer S.O. Kepler of Brazil's Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, and a slew of University of Texas colleagues have found the most stable optical clock in the heavens. <br /><br />The finding has implications for theories of how stars live and die, and places limits on where planets can exist around this white dwarf. <br /><br />Their results are being published in today's edition of The Astrophysical Journal in what is being called a "landmark paper" by one of that journal's editors. <br /><br />The star in question is a 400 million-year-old white dwarf called G117-B15A, located in Leo Minor. Its pulses of light are so regular that it loses one second in 8.9 million years. This makes the pulses of G117 more accurate and much more stable than the ticks of an atomic clock, Kepler said. </i><br /><br />Full story here: http://www.physorg.com/news8712.html<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>
 
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