The Saddest Star in the Milky Way


Mon, Nov 15th, 2010 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

This article on io9 points out to a newly discovered brown dwarf, memorably named WISEPC J045853.90+643451.9, and about 18 to 30 light-years away. That's about as good as it gets for this fellow. Reportedly, these type of stars just aren't big enough to be bright and shiny like real stars. If anything, you can think of them as the special-needs of the cosmos: the galactically impaired stars.

The star is about as hot as an oven, colder than the surface of Venus and to add insult to injury, it is composed of a mixture of noxious gases that, if you could smell them, would remind you of rotten eggs.

Although called Brown Dwarfs, scientists explain that the star's noxious atmospheres traps blue infrared light while their weakness prevents them from emitting any red infrared light. As such, on infrared telescopes they appear green -- probably out of envy of their much brighter siblings that surround them.



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