Science: Dimmest Dwarf

Colleagues sometimes tease Astronomer Willem J. Luyten of the University of Minnesota by calling him a "stellar mortician" because of his passionate interest in dying stars. Luyten does not mind the ribbing; the faint pinpoints of light that he studies are the end products of stellar evolution and hold many secrets of the universe. Recently, Astronomer Luyten found the dimmest star yet: a minuscule "white dwarf that emits 50,000 times less light than the sun, yet probably contains an equal or greater mass. "This one," he says, "looks to be at the end of the line."

The Companion. The first white...

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