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Latest Kevin Luhman Stories

wise brown dwarf
2014-04-25 12:21:48

NASA NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what appears to be the coldest "brown dwarf" known -- a dim, star-like body that, surprisingly, is as frosty as Earth's North Pole. Images from the space telescopes also pinpointed the object's distance to 7.2 light-years away, earning it the title for fourth closest system to our sun. The closest system, a trio of stars, is Alpha Centauri, at about 4 light-years away. "It's very...

Closest Star System In A Century Found 6.5 Light Years Away
2013-03-11 16:28:34

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Using data obtained from a NASA satellite, a Pennsylvania State University astronomer has identified the closest solar system to be found within the past 97 years. According to astronomer Kevin Luhman´s report in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the newly identified system is a pair of brown dwarf stars and the third-closest system to the Sun. “The distance to this brown dwarf pair is 6.5 light years -- so close that...

Image 1 - Planet-sized Object Is As Cool As The Earth
2011-10-20 06:45:36

The photo of a nearby star and its orbiting companion -- whose temperature is like a hot summer day in Arizona -- will be presented by Penn State Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Kevin Luhman during the Signposts of Planets conference at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on 20 October 2011. A paper describing the discovery will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. "This planet-like companion is the coldest object ever directly photographed outside our solar system,"...

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2010-04-06 09:15:00

As our telescopes grow more powerful, astronomers are uncovering objects that defy conventional wisdom. The latest example is the discovery of a planet-like object circling a brown dwarf. It's the right size for a planet, estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. But the object formed in less than 1 million years "” the approximate age of the brown dwarf "” and much faster than the predicted time it takes to build planets according to some theories. Kamen Todorov of Penn...

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2006-09-07 12:25:00

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have photographed one of the smallest objects ever seen around a normal star beyond our Sun. Weighing in at 12 times the mass of Jupiter, the object is small enough to be a planet. The conundrum is that it's also large enough to be a brown dwarf, a failed star. The Hubble observation of the diminutive companion to the low-mass red dwarf star CHXR 73 is a dramatic reminder that astronomers do not have a consensus in deciding which objects...

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2005-02-08 07:05:00

JPL -- Moons circle planets, and planets circle stars. Now, astronomers have learned that planets may also circle celestial bodies almost as small as planets. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted a dusty disc of planet-building material around an extraordinarily low-mass brown dwarf, or "failed star." The brown dwarf, called OTS 44, is only 15 times the mass of Jupiter. Previously, the smallest brown dwarf known to host a planet-forming disc was 25 to 30 times more massive than Jupiter....


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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