Cool star leaves girlfriend cold

A great result has come out of UKIDSS, the IR survey of which I am overall PI, led by Steve Warren and Daniel Mortlock at Imperial. This is the discovery of the coldest star found so far – a brown dwarf with the telephone number ULAS J0034-00. We hope this is just the tip of the iceberg with UKIDSS, and are hoping to find a whole new population of super cool/old/small substellar objects. We have already decided what to call them even though we haven’t found them yet – Y dwarfs.

A press release has been put out to coincide with the AAS meeting. I am about umpteenth on the paper. Brown dwarfs are not really my speciality, but I find them fascinating. Not so my partner Deb it seems. I mentioned the result and she mocked. “You mean you are boasting about finding something especially dim and feeble ? How dull is that ? What happened to dark energy and hypernovae ?”

So I tried explaining to the kids but they was too busy revising Chemistry or killing monsters on the Playstation or something.

Well I still think its interesting.

(p.s. I see Fraser Cain picked this one up at Universe Today)

3 Responses to Cool star leaves girlfriend cold

  1. Fraser Cain says:

    See, you’re not alone in this.

  2. Stephen says:

    So this is Y, as in “somewhere to the right of the string OBAFGKM”? Is there anything between M and Y? So is Jupiter ‘Z’? And, then, of course, why Y?

  3. andyxl says:

    The use of letters in stellar classification has a strange tangled history..basically before brown dwarfs, only a few letters were unused for some kind or other of weird star .. Carbon stars and so on .. or risked confusion with other things like quasars and elliptical galaxies. Only H, L, T, and Y seemed to be left. This is explained nicely in Kirkpatrick et al 1999 (ApJ 1999 519 802, see Table 5). they decided to go for L and then T, with Y next. Z could indeed be next, but Kirkpatrick et al thought it better avoided as it implied reaching the end in some sense. But soon we have no choice..

    Hmm. Maybe a blog post could explain all this properly…

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