Hubble infrared view of extrasolar planet candidate

This is an artificial-colour Hubble Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) infrared-light view of the brown dwarf star 2MASSWJ 1207334-393254 (aka 2M1207) and giant planet companion candidate. The possible companion, estimated to be about five times the mass of Jupiter, is the magenta coloured spot at lower right. The brown dwarf's location is within the circle at image centre. The glare of the dwarf, which is 700 times brighter than the planet candidate (as seen at Hubble's near-infrared sensitivity) has been greatly reduced through image processing of NICMOS pictures taken at different Hubble orientations.

In this picture the dwarf and candidate planet are at a minimum distance of 8 billion kilometres apart. Further observations will be needed to confirm that the two objects are gravitationally bound. The red, green, and blue colours correspond to infrared wavelengths of (1.6, 1.1, and 0.9 microns respectively). At a temperature of only 1000 degrees Celsius, the candidate companion object appears very red in the NICMOS images.


NASA, ESA, G. Schneider (Steward Observatory, Univ. of Arizona, USA), I. Song (Gemini Observ.), B. Zuckerman, E. Becklin (Univ. of California, USA), P. Lowrance (California Inst. of Technology, USA), B. Macintosh (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA), M. Bessell (Australian National Univ.), and C. Dumas and G. Chauvin (European Southern Observatory)

About the Image

NASA caption
Release date:10 January 2005, 20:00
Related releases:heic0501
Size:464 x 464 px

About the Object

Name:2MASSWJ 1207334-393254
Type:Milky Way : Star : Type : Brown Dwarf
Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Binary
Distance:230 light years

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Colours & filters

1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
900 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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