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Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith tells the story of our storm warning system. See our online store book collection.
This is a photograph of Gliese 623 taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This star is one of the smallest stars in the Milky Way.
Click on image for full size
Image from the Hubble Space Telescope, reproduced with permission from AURA/STScI.

Gliese 623b - One of the Smallest Stars in the Galaxy

What's in a Name:The 623rd entry in the Gliese catalog of stars within 25 parsecs of the Sun (originally published in 1969). "B" means the secondary star in a binary system.
Claim to Fame: One of the smallest stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Part of a double star system. Orbits about its companion in 4 years. Hubble was able to separate the star from its companion for the first time in images shown here.
Type of Star: Red Dwarf Star (Main Sequence). Once thought to be the most abundant type of star in the galaxy but surprisingly found to be very rare. Unsolved Mystery.
How Far Away: 25 light years away
How Big: 1/10 of the sun's mass
How Bright: 1/60,000 of the sun's luminosity (if placed at the sun's location in the solar system would look only eight times brighter than the full moon to us.)
Where to View: Located in the constellation Hercules
When to View: This star not visible without the Hubble. Best to view Hercules from May through October.
Last modified June 15, 2005 by Travis Metcalfe.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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