[Left] — This is a Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared-light image of a brown dwarf located 170 light-years away from Earth. The object is no more than 30 times the mass of Jupiter, making it too small to sustain nuclear fusion to shine as a star.
[Right] — When the glow of the brown dwarf is subtracted from the image, a smaller and fainter companion object becomes visible. No more that four times the mass of Jupiter, this companion is dubbed a "super-Jupiter." It has an estimated diameter as big as 40 percent greater than Jupiter's diameter. The world is 5 billion miles from the brown dwarf, nearly twice the distance between our sun and the planet Neptune.
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have measured the rotation rate of an extreme exoplanet by observing the varied brightness in its atmosphere. This is the first measurement of the rotation of a massive exoplanet using direct imaging.
Donna Weaver / Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
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