The Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System

  title={The Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System},
  author={Eric E. Mamajek and Scott A. Barenfeld and Valentin D. Ivanov and Alexei Yu. Kniazev and Petri V{\"a}is{\"a}nen and Yuri Beletsky},
Passing stars can perturb the Oort Cloud, triggering comet showers and potentially extinction events on Earth. We combine velocity measurements for the recently discovered, nearby, low-mass binary system WISE J072003.20084651.2 (“Scholz’s star”) to calculate its past trajectory. Integrating the Galactic orbits of this ∼0.15 Me binary system and the Sun, we find that the binary passed within only 52 −14 kAU (0.25 +0.11 −0.07 pc) of the Sun 70 +15 −10 kya (1σ uncertainties), i.e., within the… CONTINUE READING


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