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NASA -- larger image
DX Cancri is a dim red dwarf star, like Gliese 623 A (M2.5V)
and B (M5.8Ve) at lower right. (A 2MASS Survey image of
DX Cancri from the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database
may become available.)
This star is located only about 11.8 light-years (ly) from our Sun, Sol, just north of the center (08:29:48+26:46.7, ICRS 2000.0) of Constellation Cancer, the Crab -- northwest of the famous open star cluster M 44 (also known as the Beehive Cluster and Praesepe, Latin for "Manger") and Ascellus Australis (Delta Cancri). However, DX Cancri is much too faint to be seen with the naked eye. Its high proper motion may have been discovered by Willem Jacob Luyten (1899-1994), who found the proper motions of over 520,000 stars despite the loss of sight in one eye since 1925 by building an automated photographic plate scanner and measuring machine.
High resolution and jumbo images (Benz et al, 1998).
DX Cancri is a flare star, like UV Ceti shown flaring
at left. UV Ceti is an extreme example of a flare star
that can boost its brightness by five times in less
than a minute, then fall somewhat slower back down to
normal luminosity within two or three minutes before
flaring suddenly again after several hours.
This cool and extremely dim, main sequence red dwarf (M6.5 Ve) has only 8.7 percent of Sol's mass (RECONS), 11 percent of its diameter (Claud H. Lacy, 1977, page 481), and about 0.0000132 of its visual luminosity. DX Cancri is classified a UV-Ceti-type flare star, and a "spectacular flare" was spectroscopically detected in 2006 (Meusinger et al, 2007; and Samus et al, 2004). Some alternative names and useful star catalogue numbers are: DX Cnc, GJ 1111, G 51-15, LTT 18058, LHS 248, and USNO 311.
Hunt for Substellar Companions
The distance from DX Cancri where an Earth-type planet would be comfortable with liquid water is less than 0.04 AU and would result in a "year" that last less than 10 hours. At that distance, the rotation of the planet would probably be tidally locked with the star so that one side would have perpetual daylight while the other would be in eternal darkness. Moreover, DX Cancri's light is so red that Earth-type plants may not be able to photosynthesize very well.
The following star systems are located within 10 ly of DX Cancri.
|Star System||Spectra &|
|Procyon 2||F5 V-IV |
|LTT 12352||M3.5 V||5.1|
|Luyten's Star||M3.5-5 V||5.5|
|GJ 1116 AB||M5.5 V |
|Lalande 21185||M2.1 Ve||6.7|
|AD Leonis||M3 Ve||7.3|
|Wolf 359||M5.8 Ve||7.7|
|Groombridge 1618||K5-7 Ve||8.2|
|Wolf 294||M3 V||8.2|
|Ross 614 AB||M4.5 Ve |
|BD+44 2051 A|
WX Ursae Majoris (B)
|M1 Ve |
|Sirius 2||A0-1 Vm |
Up-to-date technical summaries on this star can be found at: the Astronomiches Rechen-Institut at Heidelberg's ARICNS, the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, the Research Consortium on Nearby Stars (RECONS) list of the 100 Nearest Star Systems, and the SIMBAD Astronomical Database. Additional information may be available at Roger Wilcox's Internet Stellar Database.
This constellation represents the Crab which is attacking Hercules during his fight with the water snake, Hydra. For more information on the stars and other objects in the constellation and an illustration, go to Christine Kronberg's Cancer. For another illustration, see David Haworth's Cancer.
For more information about stars including spectral and luminosity class codes, go to ChView's webpage on The Stars of the Milky Way.
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