The Curiosity rover, which is designed to explore Mars, has found an ancient oasis on Mars. Researchers working with the Curiosity rover have found salt-enriched…
With the help NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) scientists discovered the coldest class of star like bodies, with temperatures as cool as the human body or cooler than room temperature, less than about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). These dark orbs,called Y dwarfs, impossible to detected in conventional telescopes, because they almost don’t emit in the visible range. According to Jon Morse Astrophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington, WISE scanned the entire sky for these and other objects, and was able to spot their feeble light with its highly sensitive infrared vision. The Y are the coldest members of the brown dwarf family. Brown dwarfs are sometimes referred to as failed stars.
Astronomers study brown dwarfs to better understand how stars form, and to understand the atmospheres of planets beyond our solar system. Of the 100 brown dwarfs, six are classified as cool Y. One of the Y dwarfs is this coldest brown dwarf, called WISE 1828+2650. The Y dwarfs are in our sun’s neighborhood, from approximately nine to 40 light-years away. The Y dwarf approximately nine light-years away, WISE 1541-2250, may become the seventh closest star system, bumping Ross 154 back to eighth. By comparison, the star closest to our solar system, Proxima Centauri, is about four light-years away.
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