New Brown Dwarf in the Solar Neighbourhood (Artist’s Impression) - copyright ESO
Very Cool Brown Dwarf Discovered Around Star in the Solar Neighbourhood
Using Eso’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, an international team of researchers  discovered a brown dwarf belonging to the 24th closest stellar system to the Sun. Brown dwarfs are intermediate objects that are neither stars nor planets. This object is the third closest brown dwarf to the Earth yet discovered, and one of the coolest, having a temperature of about 750 degrees Centigrade. It orbits a very small star at about 4.5 times the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. Its mass is estimated to be some-where between 9 and 65 times the mass of Jupiter.
At a time when astronomers are peering into the most distant Universe, looking at objects as far as 13 billion light-years away, one may think that our close neighbourhood would be very well known. Not so. Astronomers still find new star-like objects in our immediate vicinity. Using Eso’s VLT, they just discovered a brown dwarf companion to the red star SCR 1845-6357, the 36th closest star to the Sun.
Henri Boffin | alfa
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