This Wikipedia article about Scholz's Star doesn't make sense

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  • Thread starter swampwiz
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I was reading this article @ Medium, which shows our Neanderthal (3K or so times removed) cousin looking at Scholz's Star:


And then the Wikipedia article about it

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholz's_Star

which says:

At closest approach the system would have had an apparent magnitude of about 11.4, and would have been best viewed from high latitudes in the northern hemisphere.
Prehistoric folks most certainly did NOT have access to telescopes, and heck, I couldn't even see a magnitude 10 star with my 12X binoculars under perfect dark-sky conditions.

What am I missing here?
 
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  • #2
Janus
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As far as I can tell, the Wiki article isn't saying anything about it actually being naked-eye visible to anyone at the time, but just refers to where in the sky it would have been found if you had the proper equipment to do so.
 
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As far as I can tell, the Wiki article isn't saying anything about it actually being naked-eye visible to anyone at the time, but just refers to where in the sky it would have been found if you had the proper equipment to do so.
It sure looks like the Medium article says it could have been seen by the unaided eye.
 
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I can't see the Medium article, but Ethan Siegal has made mistakes in the past. acknowledged them, but has not corrected the article. I agree with Janus on the Wikipedia article.

There is kind of a 20-30% uncertainty on (present) distance, with a corresponding uncertainty on brightness, but to be visible, it would need to be really, really close. Like a light-month.
 
  • #5
Janus
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The article itself says nothing about it. The lead picture really has nothing to do with the article and was likely added by some editor to "punch up" the piece and didn't know that it was inaccurate.
 
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