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First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

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First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

ESO’s VLT charts surface of nearest brown dwarf

ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to create the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. An international team has made a chart of the dark and light features on WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, which is informally known as Luhman 16B and is one of two recently discovered brown dwarfs forming a pair only six light-years from the Sun. The new results are being published in the 30 January 2014 issue of the journal Nature.

Brown dwarfs fill the gap between giant gas planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, and faint cool stars. They do not contain enough mass to initiate nuclear fusion in their cores and can only glow feebly at infrared wavelengths of light. The first confirmed brown dwarf was only found twenty years ago and only a few hundred of these elusive objects are known.

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Artist's impression of Luhman 16B recreated from VLT observations

This video sequence is an artist's impression based on the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. An international team used ESO's Very Large Telescope to make a chart of the dark and light features on WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, which is informally known as Luhman 16B and is one of two recently discovered brown dwarfs forming a pair only six light-years from the Sun. Luhman 16A appears in the background in this sequence.

Note that the faint fine detail on the surface of Luhman 16B has been added for artistic effect.

Credit: ESO/I. Crossfield/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

Source: ESO Observatory

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Surface map of Luhman 16B recreated from VLT observations

This video shows the first ever map of the weather on the surface of the nearest brown dwarf to Earth. An international team has used ESO's Very Large Telescope to create a chart of the dark and light features on WISE J104915.57-531906.1B, which is informally known as Luhman 16B and is one of two recently discovered brown dwarfs forming a pair only six light-years from the Sun.

This video shows the object as it rotates on its axis.

Credit: ESO/I. Crossfield

Source: ESO Observatory

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Zooming in on the nearby brown dwarf Luhman 16B

This video starts with a broad view of the entire sky and closes in on the southern constellation of Vela (The Sails). In the final sequence, among huge numbers of faint stars, a very faint double object appears. This is WISE J104915.57-531906.1AB, which is informally known as Luhman 16AB. It is a recently discovered pair of brown dwarfs only six light-years from the Sun.

Credit: ESO/I. Crossfield/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)/Digitized Sky Survey 2

Music: movetwo

Source: ESO Observatory

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Flying among the closest stars to the Solar System

This video takes you on a fly-through of the space around the nearest stars to the Sun. Some familiar stars are visible, such as Alpha Centauri, Sirius and Barnard's Star, but there is also a faint object only discovered in early 2013 — this is WISE J104915.57-531906.1AB, which is informally known as Luhman 16AB, a recently discovered pair of brown dwarfs only six light-years from the Sun. It is the third closest system to the Solar System.

Credit: ESO/I. Crossfield/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

Source: ESO Observatory

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Nice vids, especially the last one. Really gives you some perspective.

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Interesting indeed!

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Great stuff thanks!

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