astronomy

Surprise! When a Brown Dwarf is Actually a Planetary Mass Object

Jonathan Gagne

Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet—or planet-like anyway. A team led by Carnegie’s Jonathan Gagné, and including researchers from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal, the American Museum of Natural History, and University of California San Diego, discovered that what astronomers had previously thought was one of the closest brown dwarfs to our own Sun is, in fact, a planetary mass object. 

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Leopoldo Infante Appointed Director of Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory

Las Campanas

The Carnegie Observatories announces the appointment of Professor Leopoldo Infante of Pontifica Universidad Católica (PUC) de Chile to direct the Las Campanas Observatories (LCO), high in the Atacama Desert in Chile. He will take the job July 31, 2017, succeeding Carnegie astronomer Mark Phillips who stepped in as interim LCO director when the previous director, Miguel Roth, retired in 2014. 

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Visualizing Debris Disk "Roller Derby" to Understand Planetary System Evolution

Erika Nesvold

New work led by DTM’s Erika Nesvold looks at how a disk is affected by a planet that exists beyond its outermost edge and demonstrates that the disk’s shape can indicate whether the planet formed beyond the disk or initially existed inside of the disk and moved outward over time. The work is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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Hunting for Giant Planet Analogs in our Own Backyard

Floating Planet

There may be a large number of undetected bright, substellar objects similar to giant exoplanets in our own solar neighborhood, according to new work from a team led by DTM’s Jonathan Gagné and including researchers from the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) at Université de Montréal. It is published by The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

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DTM Astronomers Participate in Burnt Mills Elementary School's Science and Technology Night

Sergio Dieterich

DTM NSF postdoctoral fellow Sergio Dieterich and research trainee Maggie Thompson had a busy evening on Thursday, February 23, participating in the Burnt Mills Elementary School Science and Technology Night in Silver Spring, MD.

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Seven Earth-Size Planets Identified: What Does it Mean?

7 Planets

Orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1 not too far away, lie at least seven Earth-size planets that may have temperatures similar to Earth's. This discovery was announced today, February 22, 2017, at a news conference at NASA Headquarters. The study is published in the journal Nature. Here's a quick breakdown from some of our astronomers of why this discovery is important and just how Earth-like these planets really are. The study is published in the journal Nature

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