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.
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.