What is the brightest red dwarf star seen from the Earth?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello.

I was wondering if the any astronomers, professional or amateur, could help me with a few questions about red dwarf stars. The main query I have is the one heading this thread - what (or which) is the brightest red dwarf that can be seen from here on Earth?

Associated questions on this topic are...

What is the apparent magnitude of this star?

What kind of telescope is needed to see it?

Many thanks,

Cerenkov.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Thank you Vanadium 50.

Now that I know this I can follow it up further.

Cerenkov.
 
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sophiecentaur
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Thank you Vanadium 50.

Now that I know this I can follow it up further.

Cerenkov.
Google is your friend - particularly for initial research.
 
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If you mean 'naked eye' observation, there seems but one candidate, though not routinely...
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-frequent-flaring-proxima-centauri-bad.html:
The strong flaring activity of Proxima Centauri has already been known to astronomers, and several superflares were observed previously. During such eruptions, extremely large amounts of energy are released that may reach 10^33 ergs, or 10 times the Carrington event in 1859, the strongest flare ever seen on the sun—consider such a flare from a much smaller star. In 2016, during one these superflares, the brightness of Proxima Centauri increased by a factor of 70 compared to its quiescent state —it became the only cool red dwarf visible to the naked eye, albeit only for a few minutes.
/
Caret '^' added for clarity...
 
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Thank you Nik_2213. I didn't know that.

Cheers.

Cerenkov.
 
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It seems a bit unfair to take several flare stars, Lacaille 8760, Lacaille 21185 and Proxima Centauri and compare Proxima when it is flaring with the others when they are not.
 
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As @lomidrevo kindly alerted me to a while ago, you can use Stellarium's Ctrl-F feature to highlight Lacaille 8760 (or AX Microscopii as its variable designation) in the sky and see various details about it in real time.
 
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or AX Microscopii as its variable designation
...or Gliese 825

It's as bad as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
 
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It's as bad as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.
Indeed, and there is the Hipparcos Star Catalogue reference (HIP105090) and Henry Draper catalogue reference (HD202560). I don't know any astronomers to ask how they cope with so many names, but presume its arisen because there's lots of stars and lots of people looking at them, so double, triple, and quadruple up of designations is probably inevitable.
 
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Slightly off-topic but, before the internet, there were a LOT of problems correlating and cross-matching catalogues...

Back in 1979/1980, prior to crafting an explorable '3D Planetarium' of 100+ near-by stars on my beloved Apple ][+, I spent a lot of time manually feeding different catalogues' star-systems' RA, Dec & Parallax (mas) to a FP BASIC routine that corrected their 'era' and converted their positions to XYZ light-years.

Given that star-systems are rarely less than several light-years apart, I found a disconcerting number of 'doubles' due individual records' error-bars. Successive astronomers had found them in various 'corners' of their 'box-car', catalogued them as different stars.

Okay, near-by stars were 'unfashionable', especially after van de Kamp's claimed detection of several extra-solar planets collapsed due tiny alignment errors caused by instrument refurbishments. Analogous to subsequent Hubble ST mirror calibration's affliction. 'Professional' Astronomers surely kept catalogue amendment lists for their study regions / types...

The wondrous Hipparchos survey shrank such error bars by an order of magnitude or better. However, there were some oddities. IIRC, follow-up work suggests the Big H's sensors and algorithms could be 'thrown' by close binaries, random noise pixels, back-ground stars and solar flares off-setting the apparent position. The Gaia survey seems immune to those failure modes, but may have its own quirks...
 
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