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FL Virginis

Wolf 424, Gliese 473

Proper NameNone
Bayer DesignationNone
Flamsteed NumberNone
HR (BSC)None
Variable DesignationFL Virginis
Other DesignationsWolf 424, Gliese 473
Right Ascension12h 33m 17s
Declination+9° 1' 16"
Distance14.3 light years
4.4 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +12.47
Absolute: +14.26
Spectral ClassM7V red dwarf
Optimum VisibilityApril

A binary system of two tiny red dwarf stars in the northern parts of Virgo, FL Virginis lies against the backdrop of the extensive Virgo Cluster of galaxies. This system is one of the Sun's nearest neighbours in space at a distance of just 14.3 light years, but the component stars are each so dim that they only achieve a combined visual magnitude of +12.47, much too faint to be seen with the naked eye.

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

The two stars that make up the system follow a 15-year mutual orbit at an average distance of of 4.1 AU from each other (a distance that places them closer together than Jupiter's distance from the Sun). These are both low-mass stars, each a little over a tenth of the mass of the Sun. Like many red dwarfs, both components known to be flare stars: each star in the pair shows brief rapid bursts of brightening at unpredictable intervals.


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