Is this the only amateur photo of a brown dwarf?

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So many cool things are happening as both amateur and professional astroimagers go deeper and deeper into the universe with every passing month. On Friday, I received a message from our great friend and talented astroimager Anthony Ayiomamitis, who lives in Athens, Greece. Anthony mentioned the story that broke a week earlier, on July 14, when astronomers at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, Germany, announced the news concerning two new brown dwarf discoveries, WISE J0254+0223 and WISE J1741+2553. Brown dwarfs are luminous, Jupiter-sized objects whose masses are insufficient to ignite hydrogen fusion in their cores — so they are not exactly stars —but they are larger and more luminous than gas giant planets.

Anthony Ayiomamitis
These two new brown dwarfs are in our galactic backyard, only 15 and 18 light-years from the Sun. (The closest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is a mere 4.3 light-years away.)

 

Anthony also sent the link to his image of the field containing LSR0602+3910, a brown dwarf in the constellation Auriga that lies 35 light-years away. He shot the image in December 2007 using his 6-inch f/7.5 Astro-Physics StarFire EDF refractor, SBIG ST-2000XM CCD camera, and multiple exposures stacked as explained at his link. It may very well be the only image of a brown dwarf ever taken by an amateur astronomer!

(Here’s the link to our news story.)

Enjoy!

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