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Discovered: Stars as Cool as the Human Body

 

NASAWashington, D.C. – Scientists using data from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have discovered six “Y dwarfs”– star-like bodies with temperatures as cool as the human body.

Astronomers hunted these dark orbs for more than a decade without success. When viewed with a visible-light telescope, they are nearly impossible to see. WISE’s infrared vision allowed the telescope to finally spot the faint glow of a half dozen Y dwarfs relatively close to our sun, within a distance of about 40 light-years.

This artist's conception illustrates what a "Y dwarf" might look like. Y dwarfs are the coldest star-like bodies known, with temperatures that can be even cooler than the human body.  (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist's conception illustrates what a "Y dwarf" might look like. Y dwarfs are the coldest star-like bodies known, with temperatures that can be even cooler than the human body. (Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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