July 30, 2011 - Not to be outdone by the Keck II telescope in Hawaii, NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope
might have found a brown
dwarf even cooler than the brown dwarf Discovery News noted on last week.
Keck spotted "CFBDSIR J1458+1013B," a brown dwarf seventy five light-years from Earth
with a mass of 6-15 times that of Jupiter, and from observations recognized that this extremely dim object need to have a temperature of significantly less than 100 degrees Celsius
(212 F) -- about as scorching as boiling water.
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This discovery has extremely critical ramifications for star and planetary physics, since a brown dwarf is neither a star or a planet, it is an object that bridges the gap between planets and stars. For this reason, and since brown dwarfs do not have ample mass to sustain nuclear fusion in their cores, that they are frequently dubbed "failed stars."
So, the prospective Spitzer discovery of an "ultra-chilly" brown dwarf has thrilled researchers even a lot more. Spitzer's applicant brown dwarf, detected sixty three light-years from Earth
with a mass of about seven times the mass of Jupiter, appears to have a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius
(86 F)! This "space temperature" brown dwarf is called "WD 0806-661B."
Apparently, WD 0806-661B orbits a white dwarf star (called, unsurprisingly, WD 0806-661) and could be considered an exoplanet. But it orbits at a massive distance: 2,500 AU -- or 2,five hundred times the distance between the sun and Earth. For it to be a planet, it would require to be orbiting much, significantly nearer to the white dwarf.