Skip to main content

Orbiting Stars Eclipse | Space Wallpaper

Orbiting Stars Eclipse Space Wallpaper
This stunning space wallpaper is an artist’s impression showing an eclipsing binary star system. As the two stars orbit each other they pass in front of one another and their combined brightness, seen from a distance, decreases. (Image credit: ESO/L. Calçada)

This stunning space wallpaper is an artist’s impression showing an eclipsing binary star system. As the two stars orbit each other they pass in front of one another and their combined brightness, seen from a distance, decreases. By studying how the light changes, and other properties of the system, astronomers can measure the distances to eclipsing binaries very accurately. A long series of observations of very rare cool eclipsing binaries has now led to the most accurate determination so far of the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighbouring galaxy to the Milky Way and crucial step in the determination of distances across the Universe. This image was released March 6, 2013.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.