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News Release 182 of 215

January 10, 1995 05:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1995-03

Red Dwarf Dynamo Raises Puzzle over Interiors of Lowest Mass Stars

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 10, 1995: The Hubble telescope has uncovered surprising evidence that powerful magnetic fields may exist around the lowest mass stars in the universe, which barely have enough nuclear fuel to burn as stars.

Hubble detected a high-temperature outburst, called a flare, on the surface of the extremely small, cool red dwarf star Van Biesbroeck 10, also known as Gliese 752B. Stellar flares are caused by intense, twisted magnetic fields that accelerate and contain gases that are much hotter than a star's surface. The illustration demonstrates the complex nature of this star.

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Credit: Dr. Jeffrey Linsky/JILA; STScI