Beta Lyrae – Shelyak !

Well… beta Lyrae is a special star for us as its arabic name is Shelyak, the origin of the Shelyak Instruments company name.

Few years ago, we spent couple of week studying this star spectroscopically. This is a Be star (see article about this type of active hot stars), binary. You can actually see with naked eyes the brightness changes through the ~13 days period by comparing beta Lyrae and stars around – a very easy and educational project.

But in spectroscopy, beta Lyrae shows astonishing changing spectrum, specially in high resolution.

We have been recently more astonished by learning that professional astronomers actually took some high resolution images (interferometry method) of this binary, revealing through our eyes the two stars orbiting around their center of mass. Here is an animation made from the published images (Zhao, 2008) :

Reference  :