Hubble spies possible brown dwarf around low-mass star

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows one of the smallest objects ever seen around a normal star. Astronomers believe the object is a brown dwarf because it is 12 times more massive than Jupiter. The brown dwarf candidate, called CHXR 73 B, is the bright spot at lower right. It orbits a red dwarf star, dubbed CHXR 73, which is a third less massive than the Sun. At 2 million years old, the star is very young when compared with our middle-aged 4.6-billion-year-old Sun.

CHXR 73 B orbits 19.5 billion miles (about 31 billion kilometres) from its star, or roughly 200 times farther than Earth is from the Sun.

The star looks significantly larger than CHXR 73 B because it is much brighter than its companion. CHXR 73 B is 1/100 as bright as its star. The cross-shaped diffraction spikes around the star are artifacts produced within the telescope's optics. The star is 500 light-years away from Earth.

Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys snapped the image in near-infrared light on Feb. 10 and 15, 2005. The colour used in the image does not reflect the object's true colour.


NASA, ESA, and K. Luhman (Penn State University, USA)

About the Image

NASA caption
Release date:7 September 2006, 19:00
Related releases:heic0610
Size:322 x 322 px

About the Object

Name:CHXR 73 A, CHXR 73 B
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Type : Brown Dwarf
• Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Binary
Distance:500 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
50.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
139.3 KB

Print Layout

Screensize JPEG
187.5 KB


143.3 KB
194.5 KB
239.5 KB

Colours & filters

775 nm Hubble Space Telescope

Also see our

Accelerated by CDN77