Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Coldest star ever found spotted by NASA infrared telescope

Published time: April 29, 2014 03:42
WISE J085510.83-071442.5 was discovered through its rapid motion across the sky in two infrared images the WISE satellite taken six months apart in 2010. Two additional images were taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2013 and 2014 to measure its distance via the parallax effect (NASA / JPL / IPAC)

WISE J085510.83-071442.5 was discovered through its rapid motion across the sky in two infrared images the WISE satellite taken six months apart in 2010. Two additional images were taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2013 and 2014 to measure its distance via the parallax effect (NASA / JPL / IPAC)

US astronomers announced Friday that they have discovered a star-like celestial body that is thought to be as frigid as the coldest regions on Earth.

NASA scientists told the press and public that they were able to use the agency’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the Spitzer Space Telescope to find the coldest brown dwarf ever found. The dwarf, officially known as WISE J085510.83-071442.5, is located 7.2 light-years away from our planet and, consequently, is the fourth-closest system from the sun.

It’s very exciting to discover a new neighbor of our solar system that is so close,” Kevin Luhman, a Penn State astronomer, said in the NASA release. “And given its extreme temperature, it should tell us a lot about the atmospheres of planets, which often have similarly cold temperatures.”

Unlike most stars, brown dwarfs do not give off enough light or heat to make them visible to the naked eye. NASA, using infrared telescope technology, was able to spot WISE J085510.83-071442.5.

Scientists eventually determined that the star’s temperature fluctuates between negative 54 degrees and 9 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning it is the coldest star ever found. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica, comparatively, was minus 135.3 degrees, and the coldest temperature ever recorded in the US was minus 80 degrees on a 1971 day in Alaska.

WISE J085510.83-071442.5 is estimated to be between 3 to 10 times the mass of Jupiter.

By comparison, other brown dwarf stars discovered in the past have been approximately room temperature.

It is remarkable that even after many decades of studying the sky, we still do not have a complete inventory of the sun’s nearest neighbors,” said Michael Werner, the project scientist for the Spitzer telescope at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California. “This exciting new result demonstrates the power of exploring the universe using new tools, such as the infrared eyes of WISE and Spitzer.”

Comments (4)

 

Sarkar Saheb 29.04.2014 16:24

A star that is that big? Nemesis perhaps? Need to keep this program going. Maybe the next find WILL be Nemesis.

 

Eddie Conscious Levin 29.04.2014 15:54

Aw? whats up with this formula ?

 

DoAskDoTell 29.04.2014 15:47

internal budget fightings... for more nasa fundings... US military waste is much worse than we thought

View all comments (4)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us