The Observant Astronomer

The passing scene as observed by an observant Jew, who daylights as an astronomer.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Things crossing my desk

The latest issue of Tidbits contains a whole slew of product announcements from Apple. I particularly like the furry iBook.

On a more serious note, it seems that one of astronomy's holy mountains is the center of a new dispute regarding truth.

In the "What the heck is that?" department, Neuhaeuser et al. report on the direct observation of a ~2 Jupiter mass object moving through space with the young star GQ Lupi. The 140 pc distance quoted is the distance from us. The substellar companion is ~100 AU from the star itself. (For comparison, the Earth is 1 AU from the Sun; Neptune is 30 AU.) The orbital period of this object is of order 1000 years, so don't hold your breath waiting for it to move. The only reason we can see the thing at all is because it only ~1 million years old, and so still rather hot.


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