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brown dwarf, called OTS 44,

Brown dwarf, called OTS 44,
PIA07335: Birth of an Unusual Planetary System (Artist 

 Target Name: OTS 44
 Mission: Spitzer Space Telescope
 Product Size: 3000 x 2400 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By: California Institute of Technology 
 Full-Res TIFF: PIA07335.tif (11.05 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG: PIA07335.jpg (371.7 kB) 

Original Caption Released with Image:

This artist's animation shows a brown dwarf surrounded by a swirling disc of planet-building dust. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope spotted such a disc around a surprisingly low-mass brown dwarf, or "failed star." The brown dwarf, called OTS 44, is only 15 times the size of Jupiter, making it the smallest brown dwarf known to host a planet-forming, or protoplanetary disc.

Astronomers believe that this unusual system will eventually spawn planets. If so, they speculate that OTS 44's disc has enough mass to make one small gas giant and a few Earth-sized rocky planets.

OTS 44 is about 2 million years old. At this relatively young age, brown dwarfs are warm and appear reddish in color. With age, they grow cooler and darker.Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech
Image Addition Date:2005-02-08

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