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“The Pale Green Dot” -The Coldest Star in the Universe

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Same Temperature as the Human Body


NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has uncovered the coldest brown dwarf known so far (green dot in very center of this infrared image). Called WISE 1828+2650, located in the constellation Lyra, this chilly star-like body isn’t even as warm as a human body, at less than about 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). The blue dots are a mix of stars and galaxies.
Like other brown dwarfs, it began life like a star, collapsing under its own weight into a dense ball of gas. But, unlike a star, it didn’t have enough mass to fuse atoms at its core, and shine steadily with starlight. Instead, it has continued to cool and fade since its birth, and now gives off only a feeble amount of infrared light.
WISE’s highly sensitive infrared detectors were able to catch the glow of this object during its all-sky scan, which lasted from Jan. 2010 to Feb. 2011. WISE launched Dec. 14, 2009, and mapped the entire sky in 2010 with vastly better sensitivity thanits predecessors. It collected more than 2.7 million images taken at four infrared wavelengths of light, capturing everything from nearby asteroids to distant galaxies.
Since then, the team has been processing more than 15 trillion bytes of returned data. A preliminary release of WISE data,covering the first half of the sky surveyed, was made last April….
Read more: hwww.dailygalaxy.com

Written by physicsgg

March 17, 2012 at 8:10 am

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