Monday, March 10, 2014

WISE J104915.57-531906

The third closest star system to the sun, called WISE J104915.57-531906, is at the center of the larger image, which was taken by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). It appeared to be a single object, but a sharper image (inset) from Gemini Observatory in Chile, revealed that it was binary star system, consisting of a pair of brown dwarfs. This is the closest star system to be discovered in nearly a century. The discovery was announced in March, 2013.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF

Note: For more information, see PIA17990: What WISE Can and Cannot See, PIA17991: A New Solar Neighbor, and NASA's WISE Survey Finds Thousands of New Stars, But No 'Planet X'.

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