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The discovery is expected to shed light on the early stages of solar system formation.
Astronomers have discovered a unique "brown dwarf" right in our solar neighborhood. If your city were the galaxy, it would be like finding someone you didn't know about living upstairs in your house, one of the discoverers said.
According to new results from a powerful southern sky telescope, astronomers may have overestimated the number of young "brown dwarfs" and "free floating" extrasolar planets. Brown dwarfs are objects 75 times more massive than Jupiter but not massive enough to burn as stars.
Thanks to the powerful new high-contrast camera installed at the Very Large Telescope, photos have been obtained of a low-mass companion very close to a star. This has allowed astronomers to measure directly the mass of a young, very low mass object for the first time.