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Anthony Ayiomamitis, from Athens, Greece, has accomplished an incredible task using just a backyard telescope (AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF). He got an image of a brown dwarf, a very big planet out of the Solar system. Brown dwarfs are planets much bigger than Jupiter but not enough big so as to maintain nuclear fusion reactions. So their mass is below the threshold of the hydrogen fusion and they don't bright as much as a star. The temperature of a brown dwarf is of the order of 1,000 K so they emit in infrared. This temperature is reached due to some internal fusion reactions, but not enough to become a star.

This brown dwarf is called LSR0602+3910 and is located in Auriga constellation. The author says that "I sort of cheated by purposely going after the brightest known brown dwarf as a benchmark test to see whether this is a project I can pursue with additional (dimmer) targets. The good news is that now I also have a much more sensitive camera which means I should be able to pursue additional brown dwarfs and in spite of the very difficult challenge involved."

Congratulations, Anthony!

 
2011-04-12 03:15:36       
Great thinking! That really berkas the mold!
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