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Vb 10

The meaning of «vb 10»

VB 10 or Van Biesbroeck's star /vænˈbiːzbrʊk/[6] is a very small and very dim red dwarf[2] located in the constellation Aquila. It is part of a binary star system.

VB 10 is historically notable as it was the coolest, least massive and least luminous known star from its discovery in 1944 until the discovery of LHS 2924 in 1983. VB 10 is the primary standard for the M8V spectral class.

Although it is relatively close to Earth, at about 19 light years, VB 10 is a dim magnitude 17, making it difficult to image with amateur telescopes as it can get lost in the glare of the primary star.[1]

VB 10 was discovered in 1944 by the astronomer George van Biesbroeck using the 82 in (2.1 m) Otto Struve reflector telescope at the McDonald Observatory. He found it while surveying the telescopic field of view of the high-proper-motion red dwarf Gliese 752 (Wolf 1055), for companions. Wolf 1055 had been catalogued 25 years earlier by German astronomer Max Wolf using similar astrophotographic techniques. It is designated VB 10 in the 1961 publication of Van Biesbroeck's star catalog. Later, other astronomers began referring to it as Van Biesbroeck's star in honor of its discoverer. Because it is so dim and so close to its much brighter primary star, earlier astronomical surveys missed it even though its large parallax and large proper motion should have made it stand out on photographic plates taken at different times.[4]

VB 10 has an extremely low luminosity with a baseline absolute magnitude of nearly 19 and an apparent magnitude of 17.3 (somewhat variable), making it very difficult to see.

Mathematical formulae[7] for calculating apparent magnitude show that, if VB 10 occupied the place of the Sun, it would shine on Earth's sky at a magnitude of −12.87—approximately the same magnitude of that of the full moon.[8]

Later researchers also noted that its mass, at 0.08 solar mass (M☉), is right at the lower limit needed to create internal pressures and temperatures high enough to initiate nuclear fusion and actually be a star rather than a brown dwarf. At the time of its discovery it was the lowest-mass star known. The previous record holder for the lowest mass was Wolf 359 at 0.09 M☉.[3]

VB 10 is also notable by its very large proper motion, moving more than one arc second a year through the sky as seen from Earth.[1]

VB 10 is a variable star and is identified in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars as V1298 Aquilae. It is a UV Ceti-type variable star and is known to be subject to frequent flare events.[2] Its dynamics were studied from the Hubble Space Telescope in the mid-1990s. Although VB 10 has a normal low surface temperature of 2600 K it was found to produce violent flares of up to 100,000 K.[3]

VB 10 is the secondary star of a bound binary star system. The primary is called Gliese 752, and hence VB 10 is also referred to as Gliese 752 B. The primary star is much larger and brighter. The two stars are separated by about 74 arc seconds (~434 AU).[4]

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