Aug 23, 2017

Scientists capture most detailed image yet of star other than Sun

ESO / K. Ohnaka

Scientists at the European Southern Observatory have captured the most detailed image of a star other than the Sun by mapping the motions of the surface of the red supergiant Antares — 550 lightyears from Earth.

  • How they did it: The ESO used its Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Chile, which combines light from four different telescopes to create a virtual telescope more than 650 feet across.
  • What they were looking for: Scientists wanted to figure out why Antares is losing mass during the final stages of its life as it approaches supernova, discovering in the process that Antares is likely undergoing a previously unknown type of stellar energy transfer.
  • Why it matters: From Keiichi Ohnaka, the head of the team: "In the future, this observing technique can be applied to different types of stars to study their surfaces and atmospheres in unprecedented detail…Our work brings stellar astrophysics to a new dimension and opens an entirely new window to observe stars."

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.