Local solar space: the very nearby and coolest known brown dwarf, WISE 0855-0714

432836_900The above image is found by google and taken courtesy of a website located in Siberia: credit: http://za-neptunie.livejournal.com/55097.html. It shows the detections of WISE 0855-0714 by the WISE and Spitzer infrared space telescopes. Each field of view is about an arcminute on a side. At top left (first red circle) the object is detected by WISE in 2010. At a third epoch (top right and third red circle) is the Spitzer detection, shown at three further epochs following (lower panels). The object is far too faint to be seen in the optical Digitized Sky Survey data. The status of this object, with such a low effective surface temperature and lying only 2.31 pc distant, makes it unique, for now. Today new Hubble photometry has been reported in arXiv marginally detecting the object at visible magnitude >26 and also giving an H-band (F160W) magnitude of 23.90±0.02. Spectroscopically, it is only possible to say it is later than Y2, and a very recent report on first spectroscopy, only possible so far in the range 4.5 – 5.2µm, shows thermal emission strikingly like Jupiter.

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