Wolf 359 - the red dwarf of Leo Constellation

Saturday, July 28, 2012 0 comments

Wolf 359 is the name of the red dwarf that is located in the Leo Constellation, near ecliptic. Discovered by the German astronomer Max Wolf in 1917 the star has a distance of approximately 7.8 light years from the earth and can be seen with the help of a large telescope. This red dwarf is one of the nearest star to our solar system other than the Alpha Centuari and Proximal Centuari.

This star is one of the faintest and lowest-mass stars known. At the light emitting layer called the photosphere, it has a temperature of about about 2800k. Some of the chemical compunds may survive at this level of temperature. It has a stronger magnetic field than the Sun itself.

The most intersting fact about Wolf 359 is that, due to its magnetic activity, it is a flare star that has a change in luminosity for several minutes. These flares emit strong gamma ray radiation that hav been observed by telescopes. These radiation levels are stronger enough to blast a monster like Hulk.

Comparative size of Wolf 359 with Sun.

But the Wolf 359 is relatively young star with an age of less than billion years(younger than the earth than the earth). Its orbit has no debris or disks lik that of saturn.It is moving away from the Sun at a velocity of 19km/s. Approximately 13,850 years ago, the star was only 7.35 light yrs away from the Sun.


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