Image of the Month - August 2003

Ross 248

This plot shows the path of Ross 248, a faint dwarf star located at only 10.3 light years distance in the constellation of Andromeda. The pink line is the calculated path, combining the star's proper motion of 1.62" per years towards south-south-east, and the star's annular parallax of about 0.32". The blue dots represent about 200 individual positions, measured by Rainer Kresken and co-workers at the Starkenburg Observatory, Germany, between November 1999 and September 2002. Each dot is the mean position calculated from several observations in a single night, respectively. Obviously, the observers were able to detect both the proper motion and the parallax of the star using a Apogee AP-7 CCD camera at the 0.45m f/4.4 Newtonian reflector.

Path of Ross 248
Credit & Copyright: Rainer Kresken, Starkenburg Observatory, Heppenheim, Germany The scale of the Plot is indicated in arc seconds.

Recently, a previously unknown, faint star with high proper motion (5.05" per year) has been found by B. J. Teegarden in archive images from the NEAT asteroid survey in the constallation Aries . Different estimates place the Teegarden's star, also known as SO025300.5+165258, at a distance between 7.5 and 19 light yeras. Tenative measurements by the USNO suggest a parallax of 0.42" (corresponding to a distance of 8 light yeras). Roger W. Sinnot suggests in the September issue of Sky & Telescope that the star "might be just close enough to reveal its distance even to a backyard observer".

Related Links:

  • The 100 nearest stars (RECONS)
  • Ross 248 fact sheet (Sol Company)
  • NASA Press Release about Teegarden's Stary

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