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News Release 3 of 53

December 21, 1994 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1994-54

Hubble Finds One of the Smallest Stars in the Universe

December 21, 1994: The Hubble telescope's crisp vision has captured a first-time view of one of the smallest stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. Called Gliese 623b or Gl623b, the diminutive star [right of center] is 10 times less massive than the Sun and 60,000 times fainter. (If it were as far away as the Sun, it would be only eight times brighter than the full Moon).

Located 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hercules, Gl623b is the smaller component of a double-star system, where the separation between the two members is only twice the distance between Earth and the Sun (approximately 200 million miles). The small star completes one orbit around its larger companion every four years.

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Credit: C. Barbieri (Univ. of Padua), and NASA/ESA

Investigators: Cesare Barbieri, Gabriele Corrain, Roberto Ragazzoni (Univ. of Padua), Antonella Nota, Guido De Marchi, and Duccio Macchetto (ESA/STScI), and the FOC Instrument Definition Team.