Y dwarfs found at last – the final spectral class?

Bridging the gap in temperature between the T dwarfs and Jupiter, it took mid-infrared survey data from the WISE satellite to finally discover these coolest objects, which are characterised spectroscopically by the onset of ammonia absorption.

Overview paper on the new discoveries.

The images show an artist’s impression of what a Y dwarf would look like close up (top) and (lower) real WISE data with the longer wavelength infrared light coded in green – where the brown dwarf shines – compared to shorter wavelengths (blue) which shows up the background stars.

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