Cool brown dwarf discovered just 9.6 light years away; has designation UGPS 0722-05

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This isn't quite the jackpot that we're hoping WISE will find (a brown dwarf within about one light year of us), but a very cool brown dwarf has been discovered all by itself just 9.6 light years away (other articles here and here). It looks like we're still not too sure about the details of this brown dwarf, with a mass estimate anywhere from 5 to 30 Jupiters. It also has the easy-to-remember designation UGPS 0722-05. This brown dwarf is a nice reminder that there's still a lot out there very close to us that we're yet to discover.

In spite of being this cool (130 to 230C) a planet orbiting this brown dwarf could easily be heated by tidal heating.

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