NASA researcher and the orbital telescope Spitzer discovered most of the known low-temperature brown dwarfs – dim star-like object, which surprisingly looks as frosty as the North Pole on Earth. By images from space telescopes can be quite accurately determine the distance from the Earth to the subject – 7.2 light years away, so he became the fourth nearest star system to our sun.
System is the nearest star, Alpha Centauri trio, to defend the Earth from about 4 light-years.
It is very interesting to find a new neighbor of our sun, which is so close – said Kevin Lyuhmen, an astronomer at the Center for extra solar planets inhabited worlds and Pennsylvania State University. – And his extreme temperature should tell us a lot of new information about the atmospheres of the planets, which often have the same low temperature.
Brown dwarfs into existence as a star as squeezable balls of gas, but they lack the mass to burn nuclear fuel and emission of starlight. Newly opened cold brown dwarf named WISE J085510.83-071442.5. It has cold temperature between -9 and -54 degrees Fahrenheit (-48 to -13 degrees Centigrade). Previous coldest brown dwarfs discovered WISE and Spitzer telescopes, had a temperature close to room temperature.
WISE telescope was able to detect rare object because he twice visited the whole sky in infrared light, watching some areas three times. Cool objects such as brown dwarfs may be invisible when observed with telescopes in the visible range, but their thermal radiation, even very weak, stands out in the infrared spectrum. In addition, the closer the body is, the more noticeable it moving in photographs taken at intervals of months apart. Airplanes are a good example of this effect: it seems that a closer low-flying plane in the sky moves faster than someone who flies above.
According to WISE, the object moved very quickly – Lyuhmen explained. – Therefore, we decided that it was really something special.
Noticing in March 2013 fast moving WISE J085510.83-071442.5, Lyuhmen analyzed additional images obtained by Spitzer and Gemini South Telescope on Cerro Pachon mountain in Chile. Infrared data from Spitzer helped define the freezing temperature of a brown dwarf. The combined observations from Spitzer and WISE telescopes made from different locations around the Sun, it possible to determine the distance to the dwarf through the parallax effect. A similar principle explains why it seems that your finger jumps from side to side if it pulled right in front of you and look at him left and right eye alternately.
It is noteworthy that even after decades of studying the sky, we still do not have full information on the nearest neighbors of the Sun, – says Michael Werner, Spitzer project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA’s Spitzer control. – This exciting new result demonstrates the power of the study of the universe using new tools such as infrared lenses WISE and Spitzer.
According to estimates, WISE J085510.83-071442.5 exceeds the mass of Jupiter, only 3-10 times. Such a small mass can be at the gas giant like Jupiter, which broke away from the home star system. However, scientists believe that it is likely not a planet and a brown dwarf as brown dwarfs are fairly common. If this is true, then this place is one of the least massive brown dwarfs detected.
In the analysis of images from WISE in March 2013, found a couple Lyuhmen significantly warmer brown dwarfs, distant from the Earth at 6.5 light years away, and it has become the third closest to the Sun. His quest for fast moving bodies also showed that the outer region of the solar system probably does not contain a large undiscovered planet, referred to as “Planet X or Nemesis. However, the new discovery shows that space has many secrets …