VLT:Young, Very Low Mass Objects Twice As Heavy As Predicted

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Kaustav
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VLT:Young, Very Low Mass Objects Twice As Heavy As Predicted

Post by Kaustav »

Thanks to the powerful new high-contrast camera installed at the Very Large Telescope, photos have been obtained of a low-mass companion very close to a star. This has allowed astronomers to measure directly the mass of a young, very low mass object for the first time.

The object, more than 100 times fainter than its host star, is still 93 times as massive as Jupiter. And it appears to be almost twice as heavy as theory predicts it to be.

This discovery therefore suggests that, due to errors in the models, astronomers may have overestimated the number of young "brown dwarfs" and "free floating" extrasolar planets.

Read the full account and look at the photo at http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/p ... 02-05.html
Kaustav Bhattacharya
>> http://kaustav.uk.com/unisphere/ - An online magazine about Astronomy, Science, Social Media and Society.
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