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HST imaging of Betelgeuse

  • Ronald L. Gilliland (a1) and Andrea K. Dupree (a2)

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We have obtained the first direct image of the surface of a star with HST in March 1995. Our near-ultraviolet images of the M2 Iab supergiant-star Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) taken with the COSTAR-corrected Faint Object Camera show about 10 resolution elements over the stellar disk. With direct resolution of Betelgeuse the following discoveries resulted: 1) The apparent size of the disk in the UV (≃ λ 2550) is larger by a factor of ≃2.1 than in the optical, demonstrating the extent of the supergiant atmosphere. 2) An unresolved hot spot (higher temperature than the disk by a few thousand degrees) dominates the spatial structure of the atmosphere. 3) The atmosphere at 2550 å extends to 125 milliarcsec (FWHM 108 mas) with a limb-darkening coefficient of about 1.0.

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References

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HST imaging of Betelgeuse

  • Ronald L. Gilliland (a1) and Andrea K. Dupree (a2)

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