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NASA’s Kepler space telescope has observed the effects of a dead star bending the light of its companion red star.The findings are among the first detections of this effect — a result predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity — in binary, or double, star systems.

The dead star, also called a white dwarf, is the burnt-out core of what used to be a star . It is locked in orbiting dance with its partner, a small “red dwarf” star. While the tiny white dwarf is physically smaller than the red dwarf, it is more massive. When the white dwarf passes in front of its star, its gravity caused the starlight to observably bend and brighten.

The  team used Cornell-led ultraviolet measurements of the star called  KOI-256 taken by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), a NASA space telescope operated by Caltech.

White Dwarfs

Where a star ends up at…

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