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Scholz's Star


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About this observation
Paul Leyland
Time of observation
04/01/2020 - 01:15
Scholz's Star
Observing location
Tacande Observatory
0.4m Dilworth Relay
SX 814
790s in 28 subs, median stacked.

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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