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BAA Images Paul Leyland

Observation by Paul Leyland: Scholz's Star

Uploaded by

Paul Leyland

Observer

Paul Leyland

Observed

2020 Jan 04 - 01:15

Uploaded

2020 Mar 16 - 18:06

Equipment
  • 0.4m Dilworth Relay
  • SX 814
  • Unfiltered
Exposure

790s in 28 subs, median stacked.

Location

Tacande Observatory

Target name

Scholz's Star

Title

Scholz's Star

About this image

Scholz's star is a nondescript M9 red dwarf  / T5 brown dwarf binary discovered in 2013 and located 22 light years away in Monoceros. Despite being so close, its apparent magnitude is only 18.3 — which shows how intrinsically faint it is.  The Sun at the same distance would be a mag 3.7 star, about as bright as η Leonis.

The only reason I bothered tracking it down is its history. Around 70,000 years ago it made a close fly-by of the solar system, passing 0.8 light years from the Sun. That is well within the boundaries of the Oort cloud.

It seems almost certain that our descendants will live in interesting times around 2 million years hence, that being how long it will take for the displaced comets to reach us.

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