January 27, 2012
North Star May Be Wasting Away
Kate McAlpine, Science Now
The North Star, a celestial beacon to navigators for centuries, may be slowly shrinking, according to a new analysis of more than 160 years of observations. The data suggest that the familiar fixture in the northern sky is shedding an Earth's mass worth of gas each year. Some researchers caution, however, that the conclusion depends on certain assumptions about exactly where the star is in its several-billion-year life cycle.
TAGGED: stellar evolution, Stars