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News Release Archive:

News Release 200 of 951

April 6, 2010 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-03

Small Companion to Brown Dwarf Challenges Simple Definition

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Image: Brown Dwarf and Mystery Companion

Brown Dwarf and Mystery CompanionSTScI-PRC2010-03b

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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.

Object Names: 2MASS J04414489+2301513, 2MASS J044144

Image Type: Astronomical/Annotated

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

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

The above montage includes these images:

Brown Dwarf 2M J044144 with Companion — HST WFPC2 — August 20, 2008 Image Type: Astronomical Brown Dwarf 2M J044144 with Companion — HST WFPC2 — August 20, 2008 Brown Dwarf 2M J044144 with Companion (Subtracted Image) — HST WFPC2 — August 20, 2008 Image Type: Astronomical Brown Dwarf 2M J044144 with Companion (Subtracted Image) — HST WFPC2 — August 20, 2008

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