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WISE 0855−0714

Coordinates: Sky map 08h 55m 10.83s, −07° 14′ 42.5″
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WISE J085510.83−071442.5

Time-lapsed photo sequence of WISE 0855−0714's movement in the sky using captured images from the JWST
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Hydra
Right ascension 08h 55m 10.83168s[1]
Declination −07° 14′ 42.5256″[1]
Evolutionary stage Sub-brown dwarf
Spectral type Y4V[2][3]
Apparent magnitude (J) 25.00±0.53[1]
Apparent magnitude (H) 23.83±0.24[1]
Proper motion (μ) RA: −8,123.7±1.3 mas/yr[2]
Dec.: 673.2±1.3 mas/yr[2]
Parallax (π)439.0 ± 2.4 mas[2]
Distance7.43 ± 0.04 ly
(2.28 ± 0.01 pc)
Mass~3–10[4] MJup
Radius0.888[a][4] RJup
Luminosity4.9545×10−8[b][4] L
Surface gravity (log g)~4[4] cgs
Temperature285[4] K
Metallicity [Fe/H]~1[4] dex
Age1–10[4] Gyr
Other designations
WISEA J085510.74-071442.5, GJ 11286[5]
Database references
WISE 0855−0714 is located in the constellation Hydra.
WISE 0855−0714 is located in the constellation Hydra.
WISE 0855−0714
Location of WISE 0855−0714 in the constellation Hydra

WISE 0855−0714 (full designation WISE J085510.83−071442.5,[6] or W0855 for short) is a sub-brown dwarf 2.28±0.01 parsecs (7.43±0.04 light-years)[2] from Earth, therefore the fourth-closest star or (sub-) brown dwarf system to the Sun,[7] the discovery of which was announced in April 2014 by Kevin Luhman using data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).[7] As of 2014, WISE 0855−0714 has the third-highest proper motion (8,151.6±1.8 mas/yr)[2] after Barnard's Star (10,300 mas/yr) and Kapteyn's Star (8,600 mas/yr)[6] and the fourth-largest parallax (439.0±2.4 mas)[2] of any known star or brown dwarf. It is also the coldest object of its type found in interstellar space, having a temperature of about 285 K (12 °C; 53 °F).[4]



The WISE object was detected in March 2013, and follow-up observations were taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Gemini North telescope.[7]


Based on direct observations, WISE 0855−0714 has a large parallax, which specifically relates to its distance from the Solar System. This phenomenon results in a distance of around 7.43±0.04 light-years,[2] with a small margin of error due to the strength of the parallax effect and the clarity of observations. WISE 0855−0714 also has an exceptionally high proper motion.[2]


Its luminosity in different bands of the thermal infrared in combination with its absolute magnitude—because of its known distance—was used to place it in context of different models; the best characterization of its brightness was in the W2 band of 4.6 μm at an apparent magnitude of 13.89±0.05, though it was brighter into the deeper infrared.[6] Infrared images taken with the Magellan Baade Telescope suggest evidence of sulfide clouds below water ice clouds.[8]

Near- and mid-infrared spectra in the L- and M-band were taken with the GNIRS instrument on the Gemini North Telescope. The M-band (4.5–5.1 μm) spectrum is dominated by water vapour (H2O) absorption. The L-band (3.4–4.14 μm) spectrum is dominated by methane absorption. Both the M- and L-band surprisingly have no detection of phosphine (PH3), which appears in the atmosphere of Jupiter. The M-band spectrum shows evidence for water ice clouds and the near-infrared photometry WISE 0855 is faint compared to models, suggesting an additional absorber, probably clouds made of ammonium dihydrogen phosphate (NH4)(H2PO4), which are below the water ice clouds.[9][10] An approved JWST proposal describes how the team is planning to use a near-infrared time-series to study the hydrological cycle in the atmosphere of WISE 0855 with NIRSpec.[11]

Observations with NIRSpec detected methane (CH4), water vapor (H2O), ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide (CO) in the atmosphere, but was not able to confirm any phosphine (PH3) or carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Water ice clouds are also not confirmed and the spectrum is well matched with a cloudless model. Future modelling and inclusion of observations at longer wavelengths with MIRI might help to reveal clouds in WISE 0855.[4]


Variability of WISE 0855 in the infrared was measured with Spitzer IRAC. A relative small amplitude of 4–5% was measured. Water ice cloud models predicted a large amplitude. This small amplitude might suggest that the hemispheres of WISE 0855 have very small deviation in cloud coverage. The light curve is too irregular to produce a good fit and rotation periods between 9.7 and 14 hours were measured.[12]

Physical parameters[edit]

Based on models of brown dwarfs WISE 0855−0714's is estimated to have a mass of 3 to 10 MJup.[7] This mass is in the range of a sub-brown dwarf or other planetary-mass object.

As of 2003, the International Astronomical Union considers an object with a mass above 13 MJup, capable of fusing deuterium, to be a brown dwarf. A lighter object and one orbiting another object is considered a planet.[13] However, if the distinction is based on how the object formed then it might be considered a failed star, a theory advanced for the object Cha 110913-773444.[14]

Combining its luminosity, distance, and mass it is estimated to be the coldest-known brown dwarf, with a modeled effective temperature of 225 to 260 K (−48 to −13 °C; −55 to 8 °F), depending on the model.[7] Models matching the NIRSpec spectrum are well fitted with a temperature of 285 K (12°C; 53 °F).[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Applying the Stefan–Boltzmann law with a nominal solar effective temperature of 5,772 K:
  2. ^ Derived from a luminosity logarithm of -7.305


  1. ^ a b c d "WISEA J085510.74-071442.5". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Kirkpatrick, J. Davy; Gelino, Christopher R.; et al. (2021). "The Field Substellar Mass Function Based on the Full-sky 20 pc Census of 525 L, T, and Y Dwarfs". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 253 (1): 7. arXiv:2011.11616. Bibcode:2021ApJS..253....7K. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/abd107. S2CID 227126954.
  3. ^ Mamajek, Eric. "A Modern Mean Dwarf Stellar Color and Effective Temperature Sequence". Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Luhman, K. L.; Tremblin, P.; et al. (January 2024). "JWST/NIRSpec Observations of the Coldest Known Brown Dwarf". The Astronomical Journal. 167 (1): 5. arXiv:2311.17316. Bibcode:2024AJ....167....5L. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ad0b72. ISSN 0004-6256.
  5. ^ Golovin, Alex; Reffert, Sabine; Just, Andreas; Jordan, Stefan; Vani, Akash; Jahreiß, Hartmut (November 2022). "The Fifth Catalogue of Nearby Stars (CNS5)". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 670: A19. arXiv:2211.01449. Bibcode:2023A&A...670A..19G. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202244250. S2CID 253264922. Catalogue can be accessed here.
  6. ^ a b c Luhman, Kevin L. (21 April 2014). "Discovery of a ~250 K Brown Dwarf at 2 pc from the Sun". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 786 (2): L18. arXiv:1404.6501. Bibcode:2014ApJ...786L..18L. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/786/2/L18. S2CID 119102654.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Clavin, Whitney; Harrington, J. D. (25 April 2014). "NASA's Spitzer and WISE Telescopes Find Close, Cold Neighbor of Sun". NASA.gov. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014.
  8. ^ Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Tinney, C. G.; Skemer, Andrew; Monson, Andrew J. (August 2014). "Indications of Water Clouds in the Coldest Known Brown Dwarf". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 793 (1): L16. arXiv:1408.4671. Bibcode:2014ApJ...793L..16F. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/793/1/L16. S2CID 119246100.
  9. ^ Skemer, Andrew J.; Morley, Caroline V.; Allers, Katelyn N.; Geballe, Thomas R.; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Bjoraker, Gordon L.; Lupu, Roxana (1 August 2016). "The First Spectrum of the Coldest Brown Dwarf". The Astrophysical Journal. 826 (2): L17. arXiv:1605.04902. Bibcode:2016ApJ...826L..17S. doi:10.3847/2041-8205/826/2/L17. ISSN 0004-637X.
  10. ^ Morley, Caroline V.; Skemer, Andrew J.; Allers, Katelyn N.; Marley, Mark. S.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Visscher, Channon; Beiler, Samuel A.; Miles, Brittany E.; Lupu, Roxana; Freedman, Richard S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Geballe, Thomas R.; Bjoraker, Gordon L. (1 May 2018). "An L Band Spectrum of the Coldest Brown Dwarf". The Astrophysical Journal. 858 (2): 97. arXiv:1804.07771. Bibcode:2018ApJ...858...97M. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aabe8b. ISSN 0004-637X.
  11. ^ Skemer, Andrew; Miles, Brittany E.; Morley, Caroline; Allers, Katelyn; Bjoraker, Gordon; Carter, Aarynn; Cushing, Michael C.; Faherty, Jacqueline Kelly; Fortney, Jonathan; Freedman, Richard; Geballe, Thomas R.; Line, Michael; Lupu, Roxana; Marley, Mark S.; Martin, Emily (1 March 2021). "Water Ice Clouds and Weather on the Coldest Brown Dwarf". JWST Proposal. Cycle 1: 2327. Bibcode:2021jwst.prop.2327S.
  12. ^ Esplin, T. L.; Luhman, K. L.; Cushing, M. C.; Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Trucks, J. L.; Burgasser, A. J.; Schneider, A. C. (1 November 2016). "Photometric Monitoring of the Coldest Known Brown Dwarf with the Spitzer Space Telescope". The Astrophysical Journal. 832 (1): 58. arXiv:1609.05850. Bibcode:2016ApJ...832...58E. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/832/1/58. ISSN 0004-637X.
  13. ^ "Working Group on Extrasolar Planets: Definition of a "Planet"". Working Group on Extrasolar Planets of the International Astronomical Union. 28 February 2003. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  14. ^ Papadopoulos, Leonidas (28 April 2014). "Between the Planet and the Star: A New Ultra-Cold, Sub-Stellar Object Discovered Close to Sun". AmericaSpace.com. Retrieved 28 April 2014.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]