| Exoplanetary Scratchpad|
Our Nearest Stars Listing Web PagesEdit
Our Nearest Stars Listing In the NewsEdit
- 1 - Solar System - Our home star system. Contains 4 terrestrial planets, 4 gas giant planets, several dwarf planets, an asteroid belt, and a kuiper belt, around a G-Class yellow dwarf star. Contains the only known habitable planet, Earth.
- 2-4 - Alpha Centauri System - Alpha Centauri is also known as Rigil Kentaurus. A is also known as HD 128620 and HR 5459, B is HD 128621 and HR 5460, and C is Proxima Centauri. It is the nearest star system to the Sun. Contains a yellow dwarf star a little bigger than the Sun and an orange star a little smaller orbiting each other orbiting each other about the distance Uranus is from the Sun (varies from Saturn like to Neptune like), as well as a distant Red Dwarf companion Proxima that may or may not be orbiting the other two.
Stellar fingerprinting suggests a high probability that a planet orbits star A, due to dearth of Iron around star. Russian astronomers announced the detection of a second planet orbiting the binary pair at 80 AU with a 100 year period, which appears to be false. The stars in the system will become markedly closer together in 2016, making observations much more difficult and one follow up failed to find it. The system is the first target for the European Cheops exoplanet space telescope.
First planet discovered is an Earth-massed rocky-iron planet with no atmosphere at epistellar distances around the orange dwarf star B found by HARPS. This is the least massive planet found around a sunlike star. The planet was informally and controversially named by Uwingu during a fund raising naming contest Albertus Alauda, after a participant's grandfather. Earthlike planets are not detectable in the habitable zone with present radial velocity methods. Technique for detection of planet is a source of doubt for some and it has yet to be independently verified. A team thought they might have detected a transit of this planet, but further observations showed the timing wasn't consistent. It is possible that a second further out (20.4 day period) Earth-sized planet is altering the transit times of the first. A cheap crowdfunded satellite devoted to studying this star could confirm the planets. The star was observed to be a good candidate to host a "super Habitable" planet, which would have 25% more gravity than the Earth, shallow seas, flatter landscape, higher atmospheric pressure, and the 6 BYO star would be stable for life longer.
Proxima, a small flare star, was discovered in 1915 by Robert Ines, who named it. Long suspected planet around Proxima found not to exist. The Pale Red Dot project is dedicated to finding a planet around Proxima using dopplar spectrometry. As Proxima passes in front of two stars (once in 2014, again in 2016), any planets within 5 AU should be detectable via microlensing using the HST. It is known that no planets of Neptune sized mass exist within 1 AU and no Jovians with periods up to 1000 days, or transiting planets exist. An Earth-like planet in the habitable zone was discovered around Proxima Centauri. In 2017, a large stellar flare erupted and bombarded the planet, making it likely that the atmosphere has been completely stripped away by events such as this and not a good candidate for life. It was thought that a lot of dust existed in the system, making it feasable that the star had a rich complement of planets, but this seems to not be the case.
- 5 - Barnard's Star System - Barnard's Star is also known as Gliese 699 and informally as Proxima Ophiuchi. Named for the astronomer E. E. Barnard, who discovered it in 1916 and was the first to measure its proper motion. Second closest star system to the Sun and the one with the highest proper motion in the sky - due to its rapid approach to the Sun. Will get as close as 3.8 ly away in 12,000 years. A red dwarf thought early on to have a planet around it found due to radial velocity method, which has been disproved. A super earth has been detected at Mercury-like distances, but beyond the frost line. Life could be possible if an additional source of heat was provided. A potential target for the 1970's Project Daedelus. The star is very ancient 11-12 Billion Years Old, and is the nearest inactive Red Dwarf Star. It may take another 40 Billion Years before it cools to become a Black Dwarf. Astronomers were surprised to discover that it was a flare star in 2003, and dubbed it V2500 Ophiuchi.
- 6 - Wolf 359 System - Wolf 359 is also called Gl 406, and CN Leonis and informally called Proxima Leonis. Third nearest star system to the Sun and the nearest star with no known planets. It is one of the smallest Red Dwarf stars known and is a flare star and the M6 V spectral standard star. Its proper motion was first measured by German astronomer Max Wolf in 1917. It was the lowest mass and faintest star known until the discovery of VB 10 in 1944. Its temperature is so low that chemical compounds can exist in it, which is rare for a star. It is a relatively young star, less than a billion years old.
- 7 - Lalande 21185 System - Lalande 21185 is also called GJ 411 and informally Proxima Ursa Majoris. It is the fourth closest star system to the Sun at 8.3 ly. It is the third brightest red dwarf in the night sky. It has been the spectral standard star for class M2 V for a long time. It is sometimes classified as a BY Draconis type variable star and has been known to emit x-rays. Van de Kamp thought he found planets in 1951. The system has two unconfirmed planets detected via radial velocity in 1996. It is also one of the earliest planets detected that still has a good chance to exist. The planets orbit far away from their dim Red Dwarf star, which makes one planet colder than Saturn and the other colder than Neptune despite being at a Saturn-like distance. One confirmed planet is a hot super earth with a rocky surface. The star is the nearest Galactic 'Thick Disk' star (which includes about 4% of nearby stars), and moves perpendicular to the galactic plane. It will get nearest to the Sun in 19,000 years when it is 4.65 ly.
- 8, 9 - Sirius System - Sirius is also known as Alpha Canis Majoris and Gliese 244. The brightest star in the sky. A hot blue-white main sequence star with a white dwarf (the "pup") orbiting it. Orbit distance varies between 8.1 and 31.5 ly and takes 50 years to navigate. The habitable zone of Star A is centered 4.25 AU from the star and may be disrupted due to the presence of Star B. Long thought to be a part of the Ursa Major Moving Group (also called the "Sirius Group"), it was found to be too young to be a member and not heading in the right direction. The brightest star within a large distance from the Sun. Star B is about the same mass as the Sun, but is almost the same size as the Earth. It may have evolved from a 5 solar massed B-type main sequence star. It is the nearest and first discovered white dwarf star. Dust has been detected from the system, probably from material sluffed off from Star B. A search in 2008 using high contrast imaging for planets within 10 Jupiter masses within 25 AU of the binary star turned up negative.
- 10, 11 - Luyten 726-8 System - Luyten 726-8 is also known as Gliese 65 and Luyten 726-8 and informally Proxima Ceti. It is the 6th nearest star system to the Sun. Nearby binary star system of red dwarves a distance of 2 to 9 AU from each other. Star A is also called BL Ceti, while Star B is the most famous flare star, called UV Ceti (arch-type for UV Cetic class flare stars). In 31,500 years, it will pass within only 0.93 ly of Epsilon Eridani, which may stir up comets in any Oort Clouds in these systems. It is possibly a member of the Haydes Stream.
- 12 - Ross 154 System - Ross 154 is also called Gliese 729 and informally Proxima Sagittarii. Nearby flare star that experiences major flares about once every 2 days. An exceptionally large red dwarf and probably young, which explains the flares. First cataloged by Frank Ross in 1925.
- 13 - WISE 1541-2250 System - One of the nearest Brown Dwarf, originally thought to be within 10 light years, but turns out to be about 14 ly away. The coolest known Brown Dwarf and one of the first discovered Y class ones.