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An unusual Brown Dwarf
30 Septiembre 2010
As part of the Gemini South NICI Planet-finding campaign, Beth Biller and team have found an unusual star-brown dwarf pair. PZ Tel A, a young sun-like star, was imaged with NICI (Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager) using adaptive optics to detect the brown dwarf (PZ Tel B), which is in a highly elliptical orbit. Specialized image analysis techniques were used to remove a vast majority of light from PZ Tel A in this image (left). This is one of few brown dwarfs imaged at a distance closer than 30 Astronomical Units from its parent star. On the right the range of sizes of a brown dwarf compared to Jupiter and the Earth (to scale) is illustrated.
Results are being published in ApJ letters 2010 ApJ 720 L82.