Awesome Astronomy, Terrible Reporting

This morning, I was alerted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (reg. req’d) that a Georgia State University astronomy program on Mt. Wilson, in California, had imaged the surface of Altair, a sun-sized star that is one of the brightest in the northern sky. This is cool because it’s the first time a star this size has been seen this way.

image_5451429 However, accompanying this article was this image. It was very early when I read the news, so it didn’t ping my bullshit detectors, although the sheer amount of detail really should have been a tip-off. It wasn’t until I ended up at the National Science Foundation website that I noticed the caption that should have accompanied the image.

An artist’s rendition of Altair

What’s a little detail like that, between friends?

Regardless, this is excellent astronomy and great science. I could not find the actual image that goes along with the press releases. Hopefully that will pop up into the public domain soon.

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2 Responses to Awesome Astronomy, Terrible Reporting

  1. Chris says:

    The images can be had two links from your press releases link above.
    press releases –> University of Michigan Press Release –> Scroll Down to Supporting Images

    A direct link to a comparison of the ‘actual image’ and a computer model is here:
    http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~monnier/Local/Altair_files/PR_image5.jpg

  2. Bill says:

    I still question that “actual image” it seems to have way too many pixels across the width of the star.

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