WISE 1049-5319 – closest star found using the WISE data

Artist depiction of the binary system WISE 1049-5319 with the Sun in the background (Credit: Janella Williams / Penn State University)
Artist depiction of the binary system WISE 1049-5319 with the Sun in the background (Credit: Janella Williams / Penn State University)

Main Points:

Astronomers have discovered a pair of new stars “brown dwarfs,” forming the third-closest star system to our Solar System. This closest system discovered after more than 100 years of the last discovery of the closest star.

Journal:

The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Study Further:

First closest star system consists of Alpha Centauri, which was found in 1839, and present at a distance of 4.4 light years away from Sun, and the Proxima Centauri, which was discovered to be a neighbor in 1917 at 4.2 light years away. The second closest star is Barnard’s star

Study Further:

First closest star system consists of Alpha Centauri, which was found in 1839, and present at a distance of 4.4 light years away from Sun, and the Proxima Centauri, which was discovered to be a neighbor in 1917 at 4.2 light years away. The second closest star is Barnard’s star that was found in 1916 and is present at a distance of 6 light years away from Sun.

Star Systems closest to our Sun (Credit: Janella Williams, Penn State University)

Scientists discovered the third closest star system, dubbed “WISE J104915.57-531906”, in a map taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) during a 13-month period ending in 2011.

“The distance to this brown dwarf pair is 6.5 light years — so close that Earth’s television transmissions from 2006 are now arriving there,” Prof Kevin Luhman of Penn State University, author of the paper, said in a statement. “It will be an excellent hunting ground for planets because it is very close to Earth, which makes it a lot easier to see any planets orbiting either of the brown dwarfs.”

“One major goal when proposing WISE was to find the closest stars to the Sun. WISE 1049-5319 is by far the closest star found to date using the WISE data, and the close-up views of this binary system we can get with big telescopes like Gemini and the future James Webb Space Telescope will tell us a lot about the low mass stars known as brown dwarfs,” said Dr Edward Wright, the principal investigator for the WISE satellite.

Source:

The Penn State University

Reference:

K. L. Luhman (2013). Discovery of a Binary Brown Dwarf at 2 Parsecs from the Sun The Astrophysical Journal Letters arXiv: 1303.2401v2

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."