Barnard's Star

Bar·​nard's Star | \ ˈbär-nərdz- How to pronounce Barnard's Star (audio) \

Definition of Barnard's Star

: a red dwarf star of the ninth magnitude that is located approximately six light years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus Such is the case with Barnard's Star. It is the fourth closest star to Earth at only 36 trillion miles away, yet you'll need a telescope to see it.— Tom Burns, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, 16 July 1995

Note: Barnard's Star is notable because it is one of the closest stars to the Sun. Only the Alpha Centauri system is closer.

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First Known Use of Barnard's Star

1916, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Barnard's Star

after Edward Emerson Barnard †1923 American astronomer

Note: Barnard drew attention to the star, previously recorded on photographic plates, because of its unusually large proper motion; see “A Small Star with Large Proper Motion,” Popular Astronomy, vol. 24 (1916), pp. 504-08 (article dated by the author July 25, 1916).

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The first known use of Barnard's Star was in 1916

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Cite this Entry

“Barnard's Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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