Home > Astronomy, General Astronomy, Globular Clusters, Star & Solar System Formation > First Low-Mass Star Detected in Globular Cluster

First Low-Mass Star Detected in Globular Cluster


Until now, it was merely assumed that low-mass and therefore extremely faint stars must exist. However, in view of the vast distances and weak luminosity of low-mass stars, even the most modern telescopes fail. Together with a Polish-Chilean team of researchers, Swiss astrophysicist Philippe Jetzer from the University of Zurich has now detected the first low-mass star in the globular cluster M22 indirectly. As their recent article accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters reveals, it involves a dwarf star that has less than a fifth of the mass of our sun and is 3.2 kiloparsecs from it (one kiloparsec corresponding to 3,210 light years).

The evidence, which enables the mass to be determined highly accurately, is based upon so-called gravitational microlensing and requires the highest technical standards available. The measurements were carried out on the ESO VLT 8-meter telescope with adaptive optics at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Full Story: http://www.mnf.uzh.ch/en/news/detailview/archive/2011/12/article/erstmals-massearmer-stern-in-kugelsternhaufen-nach.html

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