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Hang-loose Binary

This double is either a pair of young (about 30 million years old) brown dwarfs or of older red dwarfs, with a mass of less than one tenth solar each. It has the nickname 'Hang-loose Binary', the catalogue numbers for the two objects are 2MASS J012655.49-502238.8 and 2MASS J012702.83-502321.1. It has the longest known orbit period of a double star. If two brown dwarfs, the very week binding probably will be disconnected some time in the future by the passing of another star.

Constellation: Phoenix
Distance: 200 light-years
Space between 2MASS J012655.49-502238.8 and 2MASS J012702.83-502321.1: 5100 AU
Orbit period of 2MASS J012655.49-502238.8 and 2MASS J012702.83-502321.1: 500 000 years

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04/19/2007

    Hang-loose Binary
Photo: Gemini Observatory

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