Red Dwarf Star

A red dwarf is the smallest and coolest kind of star on the main sequence. Red dwarfs are by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way, at least in the neighborhood of the Sun, but because of their low luminosity, individual red dwarfs cannot be easily observed. From Earth, not one star that fits the stricter definitions of a red dwarf is visible to the naked eye. Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, is a red dwarf, as are fifty of the sixty nearest stars. According to some estimates, red dwarfs make up three-quarters of the stars in the Milky Way. The coolest red dwarfs near the Sun have a surface temperature of ~2,000 K and the smallest have radii of ~9% that of the Sun, with masses about ~7.5% that of the Sun. These red dwarfs have spectral classes of L0 to L2. There is some overlap with the properties of brown dwarfs, since the most massive brown dwarfs at lower metallicity can be as hot as 3,600 K and have late M spectral types.

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