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About the Image

About the Object

Color Mapping

Astrometrics

06.24.10

Brown Dwarf as Cool as a Stellar Cucumber

This image shows what astronomers think is one of the coldest brown dwarfs discovered so far (red dot in middle of frame). The object, called SDWFS J143524.44+335334.6, is one of 14 such brown dwarfs found by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope using infrared light. Follow-up observations are required to nail down this "failed" star's temperature, but rough estimates put this particular object at about 700 Kelvin (800 degrees Fahrenheit).

In this image, infrared light with a wavelength of 3.6 microns is color-coded blue; 4.5-micron light is red. The brown dwarf shows up prominently in red because methane is absorbing the 3.6-micron, or blue-coded, light.