Brown Dwarf and Mystery Companion
Brown Dwarf and Mystery Companion
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News release ID: STScI-2010-03
Release Date: Apr 6, 2010
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of young brown dwarf 2M J044144. It has a companion object at the 8 o'clock position that is estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. In the right panel, the light from the brown dwarf has been subtracted to provide a clearer view of the companion object. The separation of the companion corresponds to 1.4 billion miles at the distance of the Taurus star-forming region, which is only about 1 million years old. The companion may be a very small brown dwarf or a large planet, depending on how it formed. Images were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to track the motion of the two objects to see if they actually do travel across space together. Additional observations were done with the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Annotated, Astronomical, Brown Dwarfs, Hubble Telescope, Stars


Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Todorov and K. Luhman (Penn State University)