Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two Brown Dwarfs in Our Backyard

WISE J104915.57-531906 is at the center of the larger image, which was taken by the NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). This is the closest star system discovered since 1916, and the third closest to our sun. It is 6.5 light-years away. 

At first, the light appeared to be from a single object, but a sharper image from Gemini Observatory in Chile revealed that it was from a pair of cool star-like bodies called brown dwarfs. 

Credit: NASA/JPL/Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF

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