Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
What is the smallest known star in the Universe? © Getty

What is the smallest known star in the Universe?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Just big enough to be a star but a barely functioning one.

Asked by: Bob, via sciencefocus.com

Advertisement

In 2017, an international team of astronomers announced the discovery of a so-called red dwarf star that’s so small it barely functions as a star. Code-named EBLM J0555-57Ab and lying some 600 light-years away, it’s similar in size to the planet Saturn. It has just enough mass to maintain the conditions needed to fuse together nuclei of hydrogen – the power source of stars like the Sun. Any smaller, and it would have become a brown dwarf – a ‘failed star’.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.

Authors

Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content