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Barnard’s Star

Velox Barnardi, V2500 Ophiuchi

Proper NamesBarnard's Star, Velox Barnardi
Variable DesignationV2500 Ophiuchi
Right Ascension17h 57m 49s
Declination+4° 41' 36"
Distance6.0 light years
1.8 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +9.5
Absolute: +13.2
Spectral ClassM2 Red Subdwarf
Planets in this systemBarnard's Star b (GJ 699 b), super Earth (formally unconfirmed)
Optimum VisibilityJuly
NotesOne of the nearest stars to the Solar System, Barnard's Star is faint red dwarf of considerable age, being at least nine billion years old, or twice the age of the Sun.
Location of Barnard's Star

In the northern reaches of Ophiuchus lies tiny, faint Barnard's Star, one of the Sun's nearest neighbours in space.

Barnard's Star

The Sun's near-neighbour Barnard's Star, a faint star in Ophiuchus less than six light years from Earth's Solar System. Indications have been discovered that this red dwarf might have one or more attendant planets.

After Proxima and Alpha Centauri, Barnard's Star is the Sun's closest neighbour in space. Nonetheless, it is a tiny, feeble star and quite invisible to the naked eye.

Orion from Barnard's Star

To an observer near Barnard's Star, Orion is still clearly recognisable. Following the line of the Belt downwards and eastwards, though, reveals a new, yellow star of first magnitude: our own Sun, nearly six light years away.

Nearby Barnard's Star has a higher proper motion than any other star in the sky (where 'proper motion' refers to an object's movement across the celestial sphere). Since this image was captured, Barnard's Star has moved northward relative to the more distant background stars by some four arcminutes (that is, approximately the height of this image). Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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