Scientists found binary star system very close to Earth [Astronomy]

According to NASA, astronomers from Pennsylvania State University, USA, with the help of data collected by the space telescope WISE, were ab...

According to NASA, astronomers from Pennsylvania State University, USA, with the help of data collected by the space telescope WISE, were able to identify a binary star system which is only 6.5 light years from our solar system. According to the space agency, these are the closest stars to us discoveries in almost a century, and the third system closer to the Sun than we have ever heard.

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Brown Dwarf - stars that are too small in mass to ever become hot enough to ignite hydrogen fusion.

The system is formed by two brown dwarfs, which are characterized by being cold and slightly shiny. Thus, rather than looking like sun, they are more like a giant planet like Jupiter, for example. Therefore, although it is so close, the pair of stars are not visible in the sky.

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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.
-Kevin Luhman,Penn State University.

The scientists named the two stars as WISE J1049-5319 A and B, and believe the discovery offers an excellent opportunity to search for new planets, given its proximity to Earth. Moreover, as this is the third system closer to the solar system - just behind Alpha Centauri, which is 4.4 light-years far, and Proxima Centauri, 4.2 light years - it is possible that in the distant future it become one of the destinations of manned missions.

[Via]

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