I just read that a star called Scholz passed only 0.8 years-light away from us 70,000 years ago. It is a red dwarf. I don´t know how bright it was in the night sky. Does someone know how bright it was?


1 Answer 1


I just found the answer to my question at this place: http://astronomynow.com/2015/02/18/suns-close-encounter-with-scholzsstar/

Here is the answer:

Currently, Scholz’s Star is a small, dim red dwarf in the constellation of Monoceros, about 20 light-years away. However, at the closest point in its flyby of the solar system, Scholz’s Star would have been a 10th magnitude star — about 50 times fainter than can normally be seen with the naked eye at night. It is magnetically active, however, which can cause stars to “flare” and briefly become thousands of times brighter. So it is possible that Scholz’s Star may have been visible to the naked eye by our ancestors 70,000 years ago for minutes or hours at a time during rare flaring events. The star is part of a binary star system: a low-mass red dwarf star (with mass about 8% that of the Sun) and a “brown dwarf” companion (with mass about 6% that of the Sun). Brown dwarfs are considered “failed stars;” their masses are too low to fuse hydrogen in their cores like a “star,” but they are still much more massive than gas giant planets like Jupiter.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .