Baby Star Found on Earth’s Doorstep

A baby star has been found only 27 light years away.

AP Columbae lies in the constellation Columba the Dove, south of the brilliant constellation Orion. “AP Columbae is still contracting under gravity towards the main sequence,” says astronomer Adric Riedel of Georgia State University in Atlanta, whose team measured the star’s parallax—an indication of its distance—and discovered that the star is abnormally luminous. Although the star is dim and red, it’s four times as bright as it should be, because it’s twice the diameter of a main-sequence star of the same color.