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Tiny Star, Smallest Ever Discovered, Could Have Earth-Like Planets

迄今發現最小的超小恆星,可能擁有類似地球的行星

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Astronomers have identified the smallest star ever discovered in the Universe and said that it could help in the search for Earth-like planets that may have the potential for life.

天文學家們已辨識出迄今在宇宙中發現的最小恆星,說它可幫助搜尋可能具有讓生命存在的潛力、類似地球的行星。

The star is located 600 light years away and is just larger than Saturn. The radius of Saturn is around 9.5 times that of Earth, but stars are generally much larger than planets.

這顆恆星位於600光年外,只比土星大一點。土星的半徑約是地球的9.5倍,而恆星通常遠大於行星。

Named EBLM J0555-57Ab, the newly-identified star has a gravitational pull around 300 times stronger than that on Earth. Its radius is 8.4 percent and mass 8.1 percent the size of that of the Sun.

這顆命名為「EBLM J0555-57Ab」的新辨識恆星,引力比地球強約300倍。它的半徑是太陽的8.4%,質量則為太陽的8.1%。

It is likely that the newly-identified star is as small as a star can possibly become. Stars require a certain level of mass to enable hydrogen fusion to take place at their cores.

這顆新辨識的恆星,似乎是恆星可能形成的最小尺寸。恆星需要一定程度的質量,核內才有空間發生氫聚變。

Were the star in question to be any smaller, it would not likely have the requisite mass to sustain the nuclear fusion. It would have instead become a brown dwarf, celestial objects that are bigger than giant planets but smaller than the smallest stars and emit infrared radiation, said Alexander Boetticher of the University of Cambridge, the lead author of the study.

若這顆恆星再小一點,似乎就不具有足以維持核融合的質量。研究報告的主要作者、劍橋大學學者亞歷山大.勃第雀爾說,它會因而變成一顆棕矮星,(此類)天體比巨行星大,但比最小的恆星還要小,會放射紅外輻射。

Source article: http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=1119384&day=2017-07-17

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