'Dwarf' Star Could Yield Solar System Clue

TUCSON, July 29 (UPI) — Scientists say the recent discovery of a brown dwarf star, essentially a “failed” star, could shed light on the early stages of solar system formation.

Astronomers in Chile, using an infrared telescope, made the rare find of the brown dwarf in orbit around a nearby young sun-like star, a University of Arizona release said Thursday.

The host star, called PZ Tel A, is a younger version of our sun, having a similar mass but a relatively very young age of only 12 million years, about 400 times younger than the sun.

What makes the discovery special, astronomers say, is the closeness of the brown dwarf, PZ Tel B, to its companion star. It orbits at a distance comparable to the orbit of Jupiter around our own sun.

This makes the PZ Tel system an important laboratory for studying the early stages of solar system formation, researchers say.

PZ Tel B’s orbital motion has significant implications for what types of planets can form, and whether planets can form at all, in similar solar systems, they say.

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Categorized | Other, Solar
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