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TVLM513-46546

This is an ultracool red dwarf, at the lower end of the mass limit for stars. Such small stars for a long time have been assumed to be quiet and simple. However, TVLM513-46546 is a very active flare star with a complex magnetic field and a hot spot, which covers half of its surface. The star spins every two days, like a cosmic lighthouse with a brighter and a darker side.

Constellation: Boötes
Age: > 1 billion years
Distance: 35 light-years
Spectral class: M8.5
Visual magnitude: 11
Luminosity: 0.0002 * Sun
Mass: 0.09 * Sun

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12/09/2007

    TVLM513-46546
The star with its magnetic field lines.
Graphic: Gemini Observatory/ Dana Berry, SkyWorks Digital Animation

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