News Release Archive:

News Release 474 of 1051

March 15, 2006 01:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2006-11

Astronomers Measure Precise Mass of a Binary Brown Dwarf


Image: Eclipsing Binary Brown Dwarfs (Artist's Concept)

Eclipsing Binary Brown Dwarfs (Artist's Concept)STScI-PRC2006-11 Artist's Concept

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This is a schematic view of a pair of newly discovered brown dwarfs that are gravitationally linked together. The binary pair are too close to be resolved with present-day telescopes. This is an artistic oblique view of the system. In reality, the orbital plane is tilted edge-on to Earth such that the stars are seen eclipsing each other. Eclipsing binaries allow precise measurements of each companion star's mass, diameter, surface temperature, and intrinsic brightness.

Image Type: Artwork

Credit (Artwork): NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Credit (Science): NASA, NSF, J. Valenti (STScI), K. Stassun (Vanderbilt University), and R. Mathieu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)