Brown dwarf and mystery companion

This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of young brown dwarf 2M J044144. It has a companion object at the 8 o'clock position that is estimated to be 5-10 times the mass of Jupiter. In the right panel, the light from the brown dwarf has been subtracted to provide a clearer view of the companion object. The separation of the companion corresponds to 2.2 billion kilometres at the distance of the Taurus star-forming region, which is only about 1 million years old. The companion may be a very small brown dwarf or a large planet, depending on how it formed. Images were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 to track the motion of the two objects to see if they actually do travel across space together. Additional observations were done with the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.


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

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:6 April 2010, 15:00
Size:1000 x 800 px

About the Object

Name:2MASS J04414489+2301513, 2M J044144
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Type : Brown Dwarf
• Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Binary
Distance:450 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
93.0 KB
Screensize JPEG
89.3 KB

Colours & filters

791 nm Hubble Space Telescope
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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