PIA16872: Two Brown Dwarfs in Our Backyard
Mission: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)
Spacecraft: WISE
Instrument: WISE Telescope
Product Size: 2233 x 2236 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: IPAC-Caltech
Full-Res TIFF: PIA16872.tif (14.99 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA16872.jpg (190.2 kB)

Click on the image above to download a moderately sized image in JPEG format (possibly reduced in size from original)

Original Caption Released with Image:

WISE J104915.57-531906 is at the center of the larger image, which was taken by the NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). This is the closest star system discovered since 1916, and the third closest to our sun. It is 6.5 light-years away.

At first, the light appeared to be from a single object, but a sharper image from Gemini Observatory in Chile revealed that it was from a pair of cool star-like bodies called brown dwarfs.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages, and operated WISE for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The spacecraft was put into hibernation mode after it scanned the entire sky twice, completing its main objectives. Edward Wright is the principal investigator and is at UCLA. The mission was selected competitively under NASA's Explorers Program managed by the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The science instrument was built by the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo. Science operations and data processing take place at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/wise and http://wise.astro.ucla.edu.

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF

Image Addition Date:
2013-03-11