The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, October 29, 1980-Page 9 ,
Stars unusual characteristics
bewilder excited astronor
Doily Photo by DAVID HARRIS
UNIVERSITY ASTRONOMER Bill Blair attempts to explain the unusual
behavior of SS 433, a star which has intrigued astronomers for years.
By MARK SCHUMACK
Astronomers are racking their brains
over the behavior of an unusual star
located 65 quadrillion miles from Ear-
The star-labelled SS 433 because it is
the 433rd entry in a list of stars com-
piled by two Cleveland astronomers-is
a "hot topic" of celestial concern, ac-
cording to Bill Blair, an astronomer at
An important aspect of the star is that
its behavior seems to confirm one area
of the general theory of relativity and
other astronomy-related questions,
said Blair, who has been instrumental
in studies leading to this discovery.
BLAIR HAS been collecting data on
SS 433 "from over a hundred nights
over the last two years." Observations
of the star are taken at the University's
observatory near Tucson, Arizona.
SS 433 lies amidst the remnants of a
supernova explosion, said Blair, which
means that SS 433 could be a leftover
piece of a star which blew up.
SS 433 also could provide insight to
the behavior of quasars-light-emitting
objects existing at the edges of the
known universe. Some quasars have
exhibited behavior similar to that of the
The characteristic of SS 433 which
first caught the interest of astronomers
was its shifting wavelengths. Most
stars emit a fairly steady spectrum of
wavelengths, but SS 433's wavelengths
appear to fluctuate back and forth,
ONE THEORY suggests that there
could be a neutron star or a black hole
involved, Blair said. The fluctuating
wavelengths could be the result of two
jets of material being shot out at enor-
mous speed from opposite ends of a
As the black hole or neutron star
revolves, the jets spin around and give
spectators on Earth the impression of
changing wavelengths. That im-
pression, Blair explained, has the same
effect a listener experiences when a
train passes: A high pitch is heard upon
the train's approach and the sound
drops after the train passes.
LIKEWISE, WHEN the jets of SS 433
are spinning towards Earth, they ap-
pear to have a shorter wavelength, and
when they are moving away they ap-
pear to have a longer wavelength.
SS 433 is located in the constellation
Aquila, near the bright star Altair, an
area which can only be seen through a
Some scientists think that SS 433
Voyager I discovers two new
satellites orbiting Saturn's ri
could be a system involving two of
possibly three stars, Blair said.
Blair suggested that SS 433 consistsjof
a neutron star-an ultra-dense object 10
kilometers in diameter having the mass
of the sun-in orbit around a red giant
The star pulls gases out of its cot-
panion due to its enormous gravity.
Strong magnetic fields on the neutron
star then redirect the gases into two
jets shooting outwards into space witb
CHICAGO (AP)-The advertising
manager of a college newspaper that
carried a listing of street prices of
various drugs was arrested yesterday
and charged with felony possession of
narcotics, police said.
Police said Roland Priebe, 24, a
senior journalism student, was
arrested after more than $25,000 in
marijuana, cocaine, LSD, Quaaludes
and amphetamines were found in his
Priebe is manager of campus adver-
tising of the Chicago Illini, student
publication of the University of Illinois-
OFFICER STEVE KAPLAN said
that Priebe published a feature in the
newspaper, which is owned by former
students, called "Monthly Drug In-
dex." It listed street prices of "grass,"
"coke," "acid," and "speed," and was
carried in the newspaper's Sept. 22
editions and again on Oct. 20.
After the arrest, Kaplan said Priebe
was "pretty philosophical about the
whole thing." He quoted the student as
saying, "You got me. I guess I'm
Kaplan said the drugs were found in a
desk drawer and a hallway closet of
Priebe's apartment after he was stop-
ped for driving with a suspended
THE OFFICER SAID an informant
sent him a copy of the "Monthly Drug
Index" and information about Priebe.
A check of Priebe's record showed
that he toad no policerecord but that he
had a suspended driver's license.
Police had staked out the apartment
and stopped Priebe as he drove away.
Kaplan said the "drugs were in plain
view" when he admitted police to his
apartment in an attempt to prove that
his car registration was valid.
KAPLAN SAID WHEN he saw the
price listings in the newspaper, "I
couldn't believe it."
A caption to the "index" read:
"Reefer is beginning to swamp the
market again. No surprise. The harvest
season is upon us now, and no doubt the
upc9ming election has a little to do with
the situation-po't-deprived smokers
tend not to be overjoyed with the in-
cumbent administration, and if the
authorities aren't pursuing dealers with
as much zeal as usual for a few weeks,
Kaplan said he is speculating that the
"index" was published to "let people
know that he (Priebe) had connected"
and that drugs were "on the market."
Voyager 1 spacecraft, rapidly closing in
for an encounter with Saturn, has
discovered two new moons and confir-
med three others circling the ringed
planet, scientists announced yesterday.
The robot craft, 12.8 million miles
from Saturn and closing at 45,000 mph,
pinpointed the new moons-the planet's
13th and 14th-in pictures taken last
weekend, Dr. Bradford Smith said at a
news briefing by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The newly discovered satellites, as
yet unnamed, are orbiting close to each
other outside the most visible rings of
Sasturn and take about 15 hours to cir-
cle the planet, Smith said.
ONE SATELLITE is about 185 miles
in diameter and is moving in an orbit
about 50,800 miles above the giant
planet's clouds. The other, ap-
proximately 155 miles in diameter, is in
an orbit 49,300 miles above the clouds.
The one-ton Voyager 1, launched 38
months ago on a journey that first took
it to Jupiter last year, is in good con-
dition considering the wear and tear of
traveling 1.3 billion miles through
space. NASA officials said.
The craft is on course for its planned
closest approach to Saturn on Nov. 12,
when it will whisk within 77,174 miles of
the cloud tops, officials said.
VOYAGER 1 WILL approach from an
angle above the planet, swing underit
and pop up outside the edge of the most
prominent rings before being thrown on
a path that will carry it outside 'the
solar system in 1990.
LSA Student Gov't
Information & Applications
Available-4003 Michigan Union
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