Teegarden's star

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Teegarden's Star
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Aries
Right ascension 02h 53m 00.85s[1]
Declination +16° 52′ 53.3″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 15.14[2]
Spectral type M6.5 V[2]
Apparent magnitude (B) ~17.21[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) ~15.40[1]
Apparent magnitude (R) ~14.1[3]
Apparent magnitude (I) ~10.4[3]
Apparent magnitude (J) 8.394 ± 0.027[4]
Apparent magnitude (H) 7.883 ± 0.040[4]
Apparent magnitude (K) 7.585 ± 0.046[4]
Proper motion (μ) RA: +3,386[5] mas/yr
Dec.: –3,747[5] mas/yr
Parallax (π) 259.25 ± 0.94[6] mas
Distance 12.58 ± 0.05 ly
(3.86 ± 0.01 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) 17.22[7]
Mass 0.08[2] M
Other designations
Teegarden's Star, 2MASS J02530084+1652532, APM EO0425-0315372, FBS L 14-17, FBS 0250+167, GAT 1370, LSPM J0253+1652, SO J025300.5+165258, USNO-A2.0 1050-00774305, USNO-B1.0 1068-00028941.[1]
Database references
Data sources:
Hipparcos Catalogue,
CCDM (2002),
Bright Star Catalogue (5th rev. ed.)

Teegarden's Star (SO J025300.5+165258, 2MASS J02530084+1652532, LSPM J0253+1652) is an M-type brown dwarf in the constellation Aries, located about 12 light years from the Solar System. Despite its proximity to Earth it is a dim magnitude 15 and can only be seen through large telescopes. This star was found to have a very large proper motion of about 5 arcseconds per year. Only seven stars with such large proper motions are currently known.[1]


Teegarden's Star was discovered in 2003 using asteroid tracking data that had been collected years earlier. This data set is a digital archive created from optical images taken over a 5-year period by the Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program using two 1-m telescopes located on Maui. The star is named after the discovery team leader, Bonnard J. Teegarden, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.[8]

Astronomers have long thought it was quite likely that many undiscovered dwarf stars exist within 20 light years of Earth, as stellar population surveys show the count of known nearby dwarf stars to be lower than otherwise expected and these stars are dim and easily overlooked. Teegarden's team thought that these dim stars might be found by data mining some of the huge optical sky survey data sets taken by various programs for other purposes in previous years. So they reexamined the NEAT asteroid tracking data set and found this star. The star was then also identified on photographic plates from the Palomar Sky Survey taken in 1951. This discovery is also significant as the team did not have direct access to any telescopes and did not include astronomers at the time of the discovery.[8]

Teegarden's Star (top, center) is the 24th nearest star (system) to the Solar System.


Teegarden's star distance estimates

Source Parallax, mas Distance, pc Distance, ly Ref.
Teegarden et al. (2003) 410 ± 90 2.4+0.7
Henry et al. (2006) 260.63 ± 2.69 3.84 ± 0.04 12.51 ± 0.13 [7]
Gatewood et al. (2009) 259.25 ± 0.94 3.857 ± 0.014 12.58 ± 0.05 [6]
RECONS TOP100 (2012) 259.41 ± 0.89[note 1] 3.855 ± 0.013 12.57 ± 0.04 [9]

Non-trigonometric distance estimates are marked in italic. The best estimate is marked in bold.


Teegarden's Star was originally identified as a red dwarf, but measurements made since its discovery make it more likely to be a brown dwarf with a mass less than 0.08 that of the Sun. The inherent low temperatures of such objects explain why it was not discovered earlier, since it has an apparent magnitude of only 15.4 (and an absolute magnitude of 17.47). Like most red and brown dwarf stars it emits most of its energy in the infrared spectrum.[1]

The parallax was initially measured as 0.43 ± 0.13 arcseconds. This would have placed its distance at only 7.50 light years, making Teegarden's Star only the third star system in order of distance from the Sun, ranking between Barnard's Star and Wolf 359.[8] However, even at that time the anomalously low luminosity (the absolute magnitude would have been 18.5) and high uncertainty in the parallax suggested that it was in fact somewhat farther away, still one of the Sun's nearest neighbors but not nearly as high in the ranking in order of distance. A more accurate parallax measurement of 0.2593 arcseconds was made by George Gatewood in 2009, yielding the now accepted distance of 12.578 light years.[6]

Planet searches[edit]

Radial velocity measurements have been made by the ROPS survey on two nights in November 2010. The results showed some variation, with increasing radial velocities on the first night and decreasing velocities on the second night, though there is insufficient data to make claims of planet detection.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "2MASS J02530084+1652532 -- Brown Dwarf (M<0.08solMass)". SIMBAD - Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  2. ^ a b c The 100 nearest star systems, Research Consortium On Nearby Stars, January 1, 2012, retrieved 2012-03-07 . The object is listed as SO 0253+1652.
  3. ^ a b Monet, David G. et al. (February 2003), The USNO-B Catalog, The Astronomical Journal 125 (2): 984–993, arXiv:astro-ph/0210694, Bibcode:2003AJ....125..984M, doi:10.1086/345888 
  4. ^ a b c Cutri, R. M. et al. (June 2003), 2MASS All Sky Catalog of point sources, NASA/IPAC, Bibcode:2003tmc..book.....C 
  5. ^ a b Shara, Michael M. (March 2005), A Catalog of Northern Stars with Annual Proper Motions Larger than 0.15" (LSPM-NORTH Catalog), The Astronomical Journal 129 (3): 1483–1522, arXiv:astro-ph/0412070, Bibcode:2005AJ....129.1483L, doi:10.1086/427854 
  6. ^ a b c George Gatewood, Louis Coban (January 2009). "Allegheny Observatory Parallaxes for Late M Dwarfs and White Dwarfs". The Astronomical Journal 137 (1): 402–405. Bibcode:2009AJ....137..402G. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/137/1/402. 
  7. ^ a b Henry, Todd J. et al. (December 2006), The Solar Neighborhood. XVII. Parallax Results from the CTIOPI 0.9 m Program: 20 New Members of the RECONS 10 Parsec Sample, The Astronomical Journal 132 (6): 2360–2371, arXiv:astro-ph/0608230, Bibcode:2006AJ....132.2360H, doi:10.1086/508233 .
  8. ^ a b c d Teegarden, B. J., et al. (May 20, 2003). "Discovery of a New Nearby Star". The Astrophysical Journal Letters 589 (1): L51–L53. arXiv:astro-ph/0302206. Bibcode:2003ApJ...589L..51T. doi:10.1086/375803. 
  9. ^ "RECONS TOP100". THE ONE HUNDRED NEAREST STAR SYSTEMS brought to you by RECONS (Research Consortium On Nearby Stars). 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-22. 
  10. ^ ROPS: A New Search for Habitable Earths in the Southern Sky, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, April 27, 2012 


  1. ^ Weighted parallax based on parallaxes from Teegarden et al. (2003), Henry et al. (2006) and Gatewood et al. (2009).

External links[edit]