Scientists from the University of Toronto have found an object about 500 light years away that may change what we call a planet or a star.
The image above of the system from the Keck telescope shows the star in the center and ROXs 42Bb orbiting about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU=the distance from Earth to the Sun.)
“We have very detailed measurements of this object spanning seven years, even a spectrum revealing its gravity, temperature, and molecular composition. Still, we can’t yet determine whether it is a planet or a failed star — what we call a ‘brown dwarf’. Depending on what measurement you consider, the answer could be either,” said Thayne Currie, a post-doctoral fellow in U of T’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Analysis of ROXs 42Bb’s spectra over time hasn’t helped determine what the object is. Is it a failed star (a brown dwarf) or a large Jupiter? So, it doesn’t quite fit what we know.
Go figure that the Universe wouldn’t adhere to what we want it to. Dang Universe.
– Ex astris, scientia –
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