EBLM J0555-57Ab

Astronomers discovered the smallest star so far, only slightly larger than Saturn.

Named EBLM J0555-57Ab, the tiny star is located about 600 light-years from Earth.

With a radius around 85 percent that of Jupiter, but 85 percent heavier, is the smallest star ever recorded.

Above, EBLM J0555-57Ab next to Jupiter, Saturn and TRAPPIST-1.  Credit University of Cambridge

It is part of a binary system, as it orbits another much larger star.

EBLM J0555–57Ab is being between 2,000 to 3,000 times fainter than our Sun.

“Our discovery reveals how small stars can be,” said Alexander Boetticher, the lead author of the study, and a Master’s student at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and Institute of Astronomy. “Had this star formed with only a slightly lower mass, the fusion reaction of hydrogen in its core could not be sustained, and the star would instead have transformed into a brown dwarf.”

source University of Cambridge