Hubble spies possible brown dwarf around low-mass star

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows one of the smallest objects ever seen around a normal star. Astronomers believe the object is a brown dwarf because it is 12 times more massive than Jupiter. The brown dwarf candidate, called CHXR 73 B, is the bright spot at lower right. It orbits a red dwarf star, dubbed CHXR 73, which is a third less massive than the Sun. At 2 million years old, the star is very young when compared with our middle-aged 4.6-billion-year-old Sun.

CHXR 73 B orbits 19.5 billion miles (about 31 billion kilometres) from its star, or roughly 200 times farther than Earth is from the Sun.

The star looks significantly larger than CHXR 73 B because it is much brighter than its companion. CHXR 73 B is 1/100 as bright as its star. The cross-shaped diffraction spikes around the star are artifacts produced within the telescope's optics. The star is 500 light-years away from Earth.

Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys snapped the image in near-infrared light on Feb. 10 and 15, 2005. The colour used in the image does not reflect the object's true colour.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and K. Luhman (Penn State University, USA)

About the Image

NASA caption
Id:heic0610a
Type:Observation
Release date:7 September 2006, 19:00
Related releases:heic0610
Size:322 x 322 px

About the Object

Name:CHXR 73 A, CHXR 73 B
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Type : Brown Dwarf
• Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Binary
• X - Stars Images/Videos
Distance:500 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
I
775 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACIS

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