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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Baby Star Found on Earth's Doorstep

Professor Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya 
The Milky Way itself spans 100,000 light-years from its one end-to- other end, and our nearest neighbouring star of any age is Proxima Centauri, at just 4.2 light-years away. AP Columbae was discovered by an international team comprising of Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Carl Melis of the Centre for Astrophysics and Space sciences of the University of California and a final-year PhD student, Simon Murphy, from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics .AP Columbae is about 40 million years old, which is very young compared to the age of the Earth; it formed after the dinosaurs became extinct and during a period when mammals were beginning to dominate the Earth. AP Columbae is classified as a Red dwarf with an estimated surface temperature of 3500°C. About a third the size of the Sun - and comparatively cool, with a surface temperature of about 3500ºC as opposed to the Sun's 6000ºC. The star has not evolved into a main sequence star yet and is still in the pre-main-sequence stage AP Col is the closer of only two known systems within 10 pc of the Sun younger than 100 Myr. The star is abnormally luminous. Although the star is dim and red, it's four times as bright as it should be, because it's twice the diameter of a main-sequence star of the same color.
Stars of near by Sourse Wikipedia
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Adric R. Riedel, Simon J. Murphy, Todd J. Henry, Carl Melis, Wei-Chun Jao, John P. Subasavage The Solar Neighborhood. XXVI. AP Col: The Closest (8.4 pc) Pre-Main-Sequence Star > astro-ph > arXiv:1108.5318