News Release Archive:

News Release 300 of 1051

April 6, 2010 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-03

Small Companion to Brown Dwarf Challenges Simple Definition


Image: Binary System 2M J044144 (Artist's Concept)

Binary System 2M J044144 (Artist's Concept)STScI-PRC2010-03a

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This is an artist's conception of the binary system 2M J044144 showing the primary brown dwarf that is estimated to be approximately 20 times the mass of Jupiter (at left) and its companion that is estimated to be 7 times the mass of Jupiter (at right). The disk of the primary likely never had enough material to make a companion of this mass. As a result, this small companion probably formed like a binary star. In this illustration, both objects are presented at the same distance to show relative sizes. Not shown are two other nearby objects, a low-mass star and a brown dwarf that are probably both parts of this system.

Image Type: Artwork

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

Artwork Credit: Gemini Observatory, courtesy of L. Cook


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