VB 10

Coordinates: Sky map 19h 16m 58s, +05° 09′ 02″
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
VB 10

An animation of images taken with the 200 in (5.1 m) Hale Telescope over a period of nine years showing the proper motion of VB 10.
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Aquila
Right ascension 19h 16m 57.62s[1]
Declination +05° 09′ 02.2″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 17.30[1]
Spectral type M8V[1]
Apparent magnitude (B) ~19.42[1]
Apparent magnitude (R) ~15.6[1]
Apparent magnitude (J) 9.908 ±0.025[1]
Apparent magnitude (H) 9.226 ±0.026[1]
Apparent magnitude (K) 8.765 ±0.022[1]
Variable type UV[2]
Proper motion (μ) RA: -614[1] mas/yr
Dec.: -1368[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π)168.9537 ± 0.0668 mas[3]
Distance19.304 ± 0.008 ly
(5.919 ± 0.002 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV)18.7[4]
Luminosity (bolometric)0.000499±0.000004 L
Luminosity (visual, LV)0.000003 L
Age~1[6] Gyr
Other designations
2MASS J19165762+0509021, BD+04 4048 B, V1298 Aquilae, Gliese 752 B,
Van Biesbroeck's Star
Database references
Exoplanet Archivedata
Extrasolar Planets

VB 10 or Van Biesbroeck's star /vænˈbzbrʊk/[7] is a very small and very dim red dwarf[2] located in the constellation Aquila. It is part of a binary star system.

VB 10 is historically notable as it was the coolest, least massive and least luminous known star from its discovery in 1944 until the discovery of LHS 2924 in 1983. VB 10 is the primary standard for the M8V spectral class.

Although it is relatively close to Earth, at about 19 light years, VB 10 is a dim magnitude 17, making it difficult to image with amateur telescopes as it can get lost in the glare of the primary star.[1]


VB 10 was discovered in 1944 by the astronomer George van Biesbroeck using the 82 in (2.1 m) Otto Struve reflector telescope at the McDonald Observatory. He found it while surveying the telescopic field of view of the high-proper-motion red dwarf Gliese 752 (Wolf 1055), for companions. Wolf 1055 had been catalogued 25 years earlier by German astronomer Max Wolf using similar astrophotographic techniques. It is designated VB 10 in the 1961 publication of Van Biesbroeck's star catalog. Later, other astronomers began referring to it as Van Biesbroeck's star in honor of its discoverer. Because it is so dim and so close to its much brighter primary star, earlier astronomical surveys missed it even though its large parallax and large proper motion should have made it stand out on photographic plates taken at different times.[4]


VB 10 has an extremely low luminosity with a baseline absolute magnitude of nearly 19 and an apparent magnitude of 17.3 (somewhat variable), making it very difficult to see.

Mathematical formulae[8] for calculating apparent magnitude show that, if VB 10 occupied the place of the Sun, it would shine on Earth's sky at a magnitude of −12.87—approximately the same magnitude of that of the full moon.[9]

Later researchers also noted that its mass, at 0.08 solar mass (M), is right at the lower limit needed to create internal pressures and temperatures high enough to initiate nuclear fusion and actually be a star rather than a brown dwarf. At the time of its discovery it was the lowest-mass star known. The previous record holder for the lowest mass was Wolf 359 at 0.09 M.[10]

VB 10 is also notable by its very large proper motion, moving more than one arc second a year through the sky as seen from Earth.[1]

Flare star[edit]

VB 10 is a variable star and is identified in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars as V1298 Aquilae. It is a UV Ceti-type variable star and is known to be subject to frequent flare events.[2] Its dynamics were studied from the Hubble Space Telescope in the mid-1990s. Although VB 10 has a normal low surface temperature of 2600 K it was found to produce violent flares of up to 100,000 K.[10]

Binary star[edit]

VB 10 is the secondary star of a bound binary star system. The primary is called Gliese 752, and hence VB 10 is also referred to as Gliese 752 B. The primary star is much larger and brighter. The two stars are separated by about 74 arc seconds (~434 AU).[4]

Claims of a planetary system[edit]

In May 2009, astronomers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, announced that they had found evidence of a planet orbiting VB 10, which they designated VB 10b. The 200 in (5.1 m) Hale telescope at the Palomar Observatory was used to detect evidence of this planet using the astrometry method.[6][11] The new planet was claimed to have a mass 6 times that of Jupiter and an orbital period of 270 days. However, subsequent studies using Doppler spectroscopy failed to detect the radial velocity variations that would be expected if such a planet was orbiting this small star.[12][13] The claimants of VB 10b note that these Doppler measurements only rule out planets more massive than 3 times the mass of Jupiter, but this limit is only half the reported best-fit mass of the planet as originally claimed.[14] The claims for this planet thus fall into a long history of claimed astrometric extrasolar planet detections that were subsequently refuted.[12]

By 2016, it was suspected that the asymmetric debris disk signal was mistaken for the long-period planet.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "V* V1298 Aql". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  2. ^ a b c "V1298 Aql". General Catalogue of Variable Stars, Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow, Russia. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  3. ^ Brown, A. G. A.; et al. (Gaia collaboration) (2021). "Gaia Early Data Release 3: Summary of the contents and survey properties". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 649: A1. arXiv:2012.01533. Bibcode:2021A&A...649A...1G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039657. S2CID 227254300. (Erratum: doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039657e). Gaia EDR3 record for this source at VizieR.
  4. ^ a b c van Biesbroeck, G. (August 1944). "The star of lowest known luminosity". The Astronomical Journal. 51: 61–62. Bibcode:1944AJ.....51...61V. doi:10.1086/105801.
  5. ^ Pineda, J. Sebastian; Youngblood, Allison; France, Kevin (September 2021). "The M-dwarf Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Sample. I. Determining Stellar Parameters for Field Stars". The Astrophysical Journal. 918 (1): 23. arXiv:2106.07656. Bibcode:2021ApJ...918...40P. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac0aea. S2CID 235435757. 40.
  6. ^ a b c Pravdo, Steven H.; Shaklan, Stuart B. (June 2009). "An Ultracool Star's Candidate Planet" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 700 (1): 623–632. arXiv:0906.0544. Bibcode:2009ApJ...700..623P. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/700/1/623. S2CID 119239022. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
  7. ^ Charles Earle Funk (1936) What's the Name, Please?: A Guide to the Correct Pronunciation of Current Prominent Names, p.161
  8. ^ "ADVANCED MAGNITUDE CALCULATOR". www.1728.org. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  9. ^ "Moon Fact Sheet". nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  10. ^ a b Linsky; Wood, Brian E.; Brown, Alexander; Giampapa, Mark S.; Ambruster, Carol (December 20, 1995). "Stellar Activity at the End of the Main Sequence: GHRS Observations of the M8 Ve Star VB 10". The Astrophysical Journal. 455: 670–676. Bibcode:1995ApJ...455..670L. doi:10.1086/176614. hdl:2060/19970022983.
  11. ^ "Planet-Hunting Method Succeeds at Last". NASA NEWS, NEWS RELEASE: 2009-090. Retrieved 2009-05-28.
  12. ^ a b Bean, Jacob L.; Seifahrt, Andreas; Hartman, Henrik; Nilsson, Hampus; Reiners, Ansgar; Dreizler, Stefan; Henry, Todd J.; Wiedemann, Günter (2010). "The Proposed Giant Planet Orbiting VB 10 Does Not Exist". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 711 (1): L19–L23. arXiv:0912.0003. Bibcode:2010ApJ...711L..19B. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/711/1/L19. S2CID 122135256.
  13. ^ Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Shkolnik, Evgenya L.; Weinberger, Alycia J.; Thompson, Ian B.; et al. (2010). "Strong Constraints to the Putative Planet Candidate around VB 10 Using Doppler Spectroscopy". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 711 (1): L24–L29. arXiv:1001.0043. Bibcode:2010ApJ...711L..24A. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/711/1/L24. S2CID 119210331.
  14. ^ [1] Nature 462, 705 (2009) 8 December 2009 doi:10.1038/462705a
  15. ^ Kral, Q.; Schneider, J.; Kennedy, G.; Souami, D. (2016), "Effects of disc asymmetries on astrometric measurements", Astronomy & Astrophysics, 592: A39, arXiv:1605.04908, doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201628298, S2CID 119245922

External links[edit]