New cool starlet in our backyard

Eso_potw1338a_1024

eso_potw1338a September 23rd, 2013

Credit: ESO, and D. Minniti and J. C. Beamín (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile).

This new image, from ESOs VISTA telescope, shows a newly-discovered brown dwarf nicknamed VVV BD001, which is located at the very centre of thiszoomableimage. It is the first new brown dwarf spotted in our cosmic neighbourhood as part of the VVV Survey. VVV BD001 is located about 55 light-years away from us,towards the very crowded centre of our galaxy. Brown dwarfs are stars that never quite managed to grow up into a star like our Sun. They are often referred to as failed stars; they are larger in size than planets like Jupiter, but smaller than stars. This dwarf is peculiar in two ways; firstly, it is the first one found towards the centre of our Milky Way, one of the most crowded regions of the sky. Secondly, it belongs to an unusual class of stars known as unusually blue brown dwarfs it is still unclear why these stars are bluer than expected. Brown dwarfs are born in the same way as stars, but do not have enough mass to trigger the burning of hydrogen to become normal stars. Because of this they are much cooler and produce far less light, making them harder to find. Astronomers generally look for these objects using near and mid-infrared cameras and special telescopes that are sensitive to these very cool objects, but usually avoid looking in very crowded regions of space such as the central region of our galaxy, for example. VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) is the worlds largest survey telescope and is located at ESOs Paranal Observatory in Chile. It is performing six separate surveys of the sky, and the VVV (VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea) survey is designed to catalogue a billion objects in the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. VVV BD001 was discovered by chance during this survey. Scientists have used the VVV catalogue to create a 3 dimensional map of the central bulge of the Milky Way (eso1339). The data have also been used to create a monumental 108 200 by 81 500 pixel colour image containing nearly nine billion pixels (eso1242), one of the biggest astronomical images ever produced. Links VVV Survey (VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea) Research Paper

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1338a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
VVV BD001
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Type > Brown Dwarf
Eso_potw1338a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 17h 26m 40.0s
DEC = -27° 38’ 2.1”
Orientation
North is 33.6° CW
Field of View
8.5 x 8.5 arcminutes
Constellation
Ophiuchus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_red Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (None) Infrared (Ks) 2.2 µm
Arrow_left_green Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (None) Infrared (H) 1.7 µm
Arrow_left_blue Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (None) Infrared (J) 1.3 µm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Eso_potw1338a_1280
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ID
potw1338a
Subject Category
B.3.2.3  
Subject Name
VVV BD001
Credits
ESO, and D. Minniti and J. C. Beamín (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile).
Release Date
2013-09-23T10:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1338a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy
Instrument
None, None, None
Color Assignment
Red, Green, Blue
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Ks, H, J
Central Wavelength
2200, 1650, 1250
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
261.666828072, -27.6339277683
Reference Dimension
1501.0, 1501.0
Reference Pixel
750.0, 750.0
Scale
-9.47575845252e-05, 9.47575845252e-05
Rotation
-33.60000000000003
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw1338a
Metadata Date
2014-12-03T09:03:38Z
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.