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The twin stars of Zeta Reticuli can be seen at the far right. Diamond-shaped, the constellation lacks bright stars and is apparently an unimpressive sight. Only just visible to the unaided eye, Zeta Reticuli was first referred to as such in Can I just repeat that Zeta Reticuli has been seen in the 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search without a telescope for centuries. The whole identification of this system as a homeworld to ufonauts is based on the thorough and painstaking work of Marjorie Fishwhich is now believed to be incorrect being based on out-dated data on star positions.

Through a telescope Zeta Reticuli can be clearly seen to be two stars you can do this without a telescope if the sky is dark enough. The two stars are both very similar in mass, diameter, temperature and brightness to our own Sun Zeta 1, a G3 class star, is slightly smaller, cooler and more orange than the Sun, while Zeta 2 is G2 class, almost identical to the Sun. They orbit a common centre of mass approximately midway between them and are separated by at least AU about 0.

By the standards set by objects in our own Solar System, this is a huge distance; about a hundred times as far as Pluto is on average from the Sun. A beam of light from one of the stars would take three weeks to reach its companion.

This is great enough a separation for each star in the duo to have its own planetary system. Each star could have its own habitable zone or Goldilocks zone, a region where there is enough warmth from a star to allow water to persist as a liquid on the surface of a planet. Another myth about the Zeta Reticuli system I have encountered states that emissions from the two stars contribute to a dangerous level of background radiation in their vicinity.

The two stars are too far apart for this and this idea seems to have been dreamed up by the perpetrators of the staggeringly inept Project SERPO hoax.

What are the prospects for life in this star system? Both stars are similar to the Sun and if they have suitable planets it is not impossible that life has arisen there. Their youth may count against the possibly of higher forms of life having evolved on Zeta Reticulan worlds. If the story of life on Earth is typical and who knows for sureI would not bet on there being any little grey men, or indeed ladies, on any Zeta Reticulan planets unless they were colonised from elswhere.

There has been a false alarm though. In astronomers at the European Southern Observatory announced that they had observed evidence of a giant planet around Zeta 2. The planet appeared to be tugging on the star causing it to make slight rhythmic movements, suggesting the planet had a mass about a quarter that of Jupiter and was moving in a close orbit 0.

Well, its not a conspiracy, rather there is no point as the HST could not resolve any planets at this distance, this is something it was not designed to do. Almost certainly 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search are comet nuclei and dwarf planets, analogues of our Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea, in this ring. This debris disc is not symmetrical, a possible indication that the material is being gravitationally effected by an unseen planetary companion.

To be honest, based on the distribution of exoplanets in the Milky Way it would be very surprising if in fact there were no planets in the Zeta Reticulum system. However as our methods for finding exoplanets are still pretty limited it may be a long time before we know for sure. Until we actually discover any Zeta Reticulan planets the best we can do is watch out for them in science fiction.

By far and away the best-known fictional world in the vicinity of the Zeta 2 Reticuli system is LV also called Acheron from the Alien movies and related works. On this world humans first encountered the awful acid-blooded, drooling horrors sometimes called Xenomorphs yes, I am deliberately ignoring the Aliens vs Predator movies and I advise you to do the same. LV, which went unnamed in the first film, is a tiny rocky world, apparently one of several satellites of a gas giant planet.

Originally, its tortured landscape was overlaid by a cold but violently stormy atmosphere of nitrogen with methane, carbon dioxide and ammonia but by its second appearance in Aliens it had been terraformed to give it an atmosphere and climate compatible with human life. The moon was apparently devoid of native life; Xenomorph eggs were found there in a derelict starship belonging to some other enigmatic alien civilisation I also prefer to pretend Prometheus never happened.

Zeta Reticuli is an interesting nearby binary star system, but there is no evidence to suggests it is the home of extraterrestrial visitors to our world. Article by Colin Johnston, Science Communicator. This article was inspired by a conversation I had with a caller to the Planetarium last week, I hope he is reading this. One problem I have with many of these comments is that they share a common assumption—which I consider fatally flawed—that alien beings would look, think, and behave more or 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search as we do, whatever their origins; that their thought processes would be intelligible to us, or more importantly, that our thought processes and cultures would be of particular interest to them.

On our planet, there are at least three species that are arguably as intelligent in many ways as we humans are, although they lack technological sophistication: We know that these beings communicate at a highly sophisticated level, yet in no case have 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search been able even to scratch the surface of their languages, even though they are all relatively close to us in evolutionary terms.

I think it is naive and supremely presumptuous for us to assume that we would be able to communicate with alien beings from another planetary system on any level, especially a civilization of intelligent beings that, were they to have the ability to reach our planet from interstellar space, would probably be so advanced tat they could observe us without ever giving notice of their presence, were they to investigate our species.

We may well have been visited and studied, or are presently being examined, by highly intelligent lifeforms from another 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search. But the naivete of groups such as SETI is astonishing, in its assumption that we would be fortunate enough to encounter an alien civilization virtually at exactly the same stage of technological development as we are.

Any beings from another star system must be hundreds, if not more likely, many tens of thousands of years beyond us, in terms of their technological accomplishments. We might well appear to them as we would regard ants or bees: And even if they had equipment that could render pictorially coherent reproductions of,say, our television, what would they make of what they saw?

What if they had a completely different notion of what they considered music, assuming that they might well be tone-deaf by our standards? What if they were water-based beings that had no sense of boundaries or nations? They might well look at our gyrating rock stars, our sports contests, and our endless wars, indifference to the climate and capacity for self-destruction, without necessarily having any understanding or comprehension of what was occurring, other than to conclude that we were, in the main, non-rational creatures that should be possibly monitored, but otherwise of no genuine significance.

I do not question the validity of other beings from other worlds or star systems. I do question people like Nancy Lieder who have marginalized and monetized the belief in Zeta Reticuli and what she is supposedly told, for a dollar. Thank you for the interesting astronomical facts about the Zeta Reticuli star system. It would be amazing if it were real, but like most UFO tales, there is very little evidence.

Will, There is evidence all the time: I have a question: Why we have precise image of constellations that are light year from us, but we have nothing from hubble telescope for Zeta Reticuli?

Earth was put into place in the current solar system by some higher civilisation. Since we hear of this abrupt beginning of animals and fruits in our history it suggests to me they were brought here from another planet. I believe we are seen as vulnerable by other species. I enjoy freedom of speech and hearing different viewpoints. You yourself have accused people directly or indirectly of being dishonest or fictional.

Some people take big offense to that. You are also being hypocritical in having absolute views when you havent known or seen anything other than what youve seen yourself. If there is no current possibility of visiting zeta reticuli then you have no possibility to make absolute claims yourself. 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search i like to conclude on is that i feel very aware of the need to value this planet and let us not be selfish or to take away something from the future that previous generations enjoyed.

Dear D, thank you for your comments. You are entitled to your beliefs but you must understand that until evidence to confirm them becomes available they will remain personal beliefs and not accepted facts.

I have looked over the comments to this article, and I have only removed content for three reasons:. I am happy for people to discuss their beliefs and speculation here, however this is the blog of a scientific institution, so I must present the scientific case. There is no evidence at present of life of any kind or even planets in the Zeta Reticuli star system. So you believe space jockeys exist? Hi, Betty hill corresponded with me in a couple of letters after i wrote to her in Our local newspaper had an article about her at the time.

Grateful to have met her. Comment not published as it was not very polite. I often think that the guy that hosts Ancient Aliens has the best job on the planet. He could, in theory, just make up any old gibberish and someone will believe it. Whether or not he actually does this is up to you, the reader of my comment, to say. That said, I was looking for a good, rational bit of info, and google led me right here. Why do and quiet all extraterrestrial races does they look so ugly and have insects aspect?

Reich made it always clear: According my records there are other documented alien craft crashes here and extraterrestrials from Zeta, and as a scientist when you omit our technology to see or visualise other planets, then everything you say B.

You do not think too well or your a paid gov spoke or drone?! I would really like to see them do the next exoplanet search on the zeta reticuli patch of sky, I mean…. Dear Brandon, thank you for the comment. I am sorry but I cannot allow you to post this content as you are not the original author and I cannot see its relevance to the article- ADMIN. What if there was a person who had a story regarding extra terrestrial lifebut their only evidence is their word on their experience?

This person may not be a scientist and have no idea how to speak in scientific terms, but this person might be able to tell you some things that would make scientists and religious people rethink everything they think they know.

Dear Barry, thank you for your comment. If someone did have genuine, verifiable scientific knowledge that only have come from an extraterrestrial source they would be taken very seriously indeed by scientists who, remember, must be sceptical or are failing at their job even if they no supporting physical evidence.

Yes very true, I understand. I spent most of my childhood afraid of when these experiences came about, and later in life I decided to seek help as I thought I was insane.

I know people are skeptical and they have a right to be. Would you be interested in reading about where these experiences have led me in detail? If you would like to hear about it just let me know where I can send it to you whether it be mail or email.

Dear Barry, thank you very much for your offer to share your experiences. I am afraid that is not an appropriate forum so I must decline. Great stuff 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search here very interesting but I dint believe Betty and barney hill had any extraordinary experience at all but simply put a great story together after watching too many t.

At least, her analysis was extensive. The real mystery here is how a woman with zero astronomical knowledge could have drawn a map from memory under hypnosis that has been scientifically correlated to an actual star system in our cosmic neighborhood or 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search least lays out the path toward another star system in a way that 48 known close and spectroscopic binaries not detected in our search with real systems like Zeta.

Admin you do have abig point in lots of your comments but you could be a minion for nasa or even higher you either have alot of time on your hands or paid to out smart people about life else where …… sorry i like thinking outside the box … i have enjoyed this post and i dont want a debate just like making people think who is behind that keyboard.

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Astronomers have made the first unambiguous detection of an elusive type of object known as a brown dwarf. The evidence consists of observations from inch and inch telescopes on Mount Palomar, and a confirmatory image from the Hubble telescope. The brown dwarf, called Gliese B GLB , is a small companion to the cool, red star Gliese , located 19 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lepus. Estimated to be 20 to 50 times the mass of Jupiter, GLB is too massive and hot to be classified as a planet, but too small and cool to shine like a star.

At least , times dimmer than Earth's Sun, the brown dwarf is the faintest object ever seen orbiting another star. Astronomers have made the first unambiguous detection and image of an elusive type of object known as a brown dwarf. The evidence consists of an image from the inch observatory on Mt. Palomar, a spectrum from the inch Hale telescope on Mt.

The brown dwarf, called Gliese B GLB , is a small companion to the cool red star Gliese , located 19 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lepus. Estimated to be 20 to 50 times the mass of Jupiter, GLB is too massive and hot to be classified as a planet as we know it, but too small and cool to shine like a star.

Kulkarni added, however, that "it looks like Jupiter, but that's what you'd expect for a brown dwarf. Methane is not seen in ordinary stars, but it is present in Jupiter and other giant gaseous planets in our solar system. The Hubble data obtained and analyzed so far already show the object is far dimmer, cooler no more than 1, degrees Fahrenheit and less massive than previously reported brown dwarf candidates, which are all near the theoretical limit eight percent the mass of our Sun where a star has enough mass to sustain nuclear fusion.

Brown dwarfs are a mysterious class of long-sought object that forms the same way stars do, that is, by condensing out of a cloud of hydrogen gas. However, they do not accumulate enough mass to generate the high temperatures needed to sustain nuclear fusion at their core, which is the mechanism that makes stars shine. Instead brown dwarfs shine the same way that gas giant planets like Jupiter radiate energy, that is, through gravitational contraction.

In fact, the chemical composition of GLB's atmosphere looks remarkably like that of Jupiter. The discovery is an important first step in the search for planetary systems beyond the Solar System because it will help astronomers distinguish between massive Jupiter-like planets and brown dwarfs orbiting other stars. Advances in ground- and space-based astronomy are allowing astronomers to further probe the "twilight zone" between larger planets and small stars as they search for substellar objects, and eventually, planetary systems.

Follow-up observations a year later were needed to confirm it is actually a companion to Gliese The discovery was made with a inch reflecting telescope at Palomar Observatory in southern California, using an image-sharpening device called the Adaptive Optics Coronagraph, designed and built at the Johns Hopkins University.

Another Hubble observation six months from now will yield an exact distance to GLB. The astronomers suspect that the brown dwarf developed during the normal star-formation process as one of two members of a binary system.

However, the astronomers say they cannot yet fully rule out the possibility that the object formed out of dust and gas in a circumstellar disk as a "super-planet. Astronomers say the difference between planets and brown dwarfs is based on how they formed.

Planets in the Solar System are believed to have formed out of a primeval disk of dust around the newborn Sun because all the planets' orbits are nearly circular and lie almost in the same plane. Brown dwarfs, like full-fledged stars, would have fragmented and gravitationally collapsed out of a large cloud of hydrogen but were not massive enough to sustain fusion reactions at their cores.

The orbit of GLB could eventually provide clues to its origin. If the orbit is nearly circular then it may have formed out of a dust disk, where viscous forces in the dense disk would keep objects at about the same distance from their parent star.

If the dwarf formed as a binary companion, its orbit probably would be far more elliptical, as seen on most binary stars. The initial Hubble observations will begin providing valuable data for eventually calculating the brown dwarf's orbit.

However, the orbital motion is so slow, it will take many decades of telescopic observations before a true orbit can be calculated. GLB is at least four billion miles from its companion star, which is roughly the separation between the planet Pluto and our Sun.

Astronomers have been trying to detect brown dwarfs for three decades. Their lack of success is partly due to the fact that as brown dwarfs age they become cooler, fainter, and more difficult to see.

An important strategy used by the researchers to search for brown dwarfs was to view stars no older than a billion years. Caltech's Nakajima reasoned that, although brown dwarfs of that age would be much fainter than any known star, they would still be bright enough to be spotted. With the advent of sophisticated light sensors and adaptive optics, astronomers now have the powerful tools they need to resolve smaller and dimmer objects near stars. Hubble was used to look for the presence of other companion objects as bright as the brown dwarf which might be as close to the star as one billion miles.

No additional objects were found, though it doesn't rule out the possibility of Jupiter-sized or smaller planets around the star, said the researchers. The Palomar results will also appear in the November 30 issue of the journal Nature and the December 1 issue of the journal Science. Today, you might just as easily find astronomers humming this nursery rhyme as well as children.

Rapid advances in telescope technology — adaptive optics, space observatories, interferometry, image processing techniques — are allowing astronomers to see ever fainter and smaller companions to normal stars.

As telescopic capabilities sharpen, conventional definitions for planets and stars may seem to be getting blurry. In the search for other planetary systems, astronomers are turning up objects that straddle the dim twilight zone between planets and stars, and others that seem to contradict conventional wisdom, such as a planetary system accompanying a burned-out compacted star called a neutron star.

Stars are large gaseous bodies that generate energy through nuclear fusion processes at their cores —where temperatures and pressures are high enough for hydrogen nuclei to collide and fuse into helium nuclei, converting matter to energy in the process. Stars are born out of clouds of hydrogen, that collapse under gravity to form dense knots of gas. This collapse continues until enough pressure builds up to heat the gas and trigger nuclear fusion. The energy released by this "fusion-engine" halts the collapse, and the star is in equilibrium.

A star's brightness, temperature, color and lifetime are all determined by its initial mass. Our Sun is a typical middle-aged star halfway through its ten billion-year life. Following a fiery birth, stars lead tranquil lives as inhabitants of the galaxy.

Late in a star's life, fireworks can begin anew as changes in the core heat the stars further, eject its outer layers, and cause it to pulsate. All stars eventually burn out.

Most collapse to white dwarf stars — dim planet-sized objects that are extraordinarily dense because they retain most of their initial mass. Extremely massive stars undergo catastrophic core collapse and explode as supernovae — the most energetic events in the universe.

Black holes and neutron stars — ultra dense stellar remnants with intense gravitational fields — can be created in supernova blasts. At least half of the stars in the galaxy have companion stars. These binary star systems can undergo complicated evolutionary changes as one star ages more rapidly than the companion and dies out. If the two stars are close enough together, gas will flow between them and this can trigger nova outbursts.

Supernovae and novae are key forces in a grand cycle of stellar rebirth and renewal. Heavier elements cooked up in the fusion furnaces of stars are ejected back into space, serving as raw material for building new generations of stars and planets. Though the universe contains billions upon billions of stars, until recently only nine planets were known — those of our solar system. The Solar System provides a fundamental model for what we might expect to find around other stars, but it's difficult to form generalities from just one example.

It may turn out that nature is more varied and imaginative when it comes to building and distributing planets throughout the Galaxy. In it simplest definition, a planet is a nonluminous body that orbits a star, and is typically a small fraction of the parent star's mass.

Planets form out of a disk of dust and gas that encircles a newborn star. These embryonic disks have been observed around young stars, both in infrared and visible light. The planets' orbits in our solar system trace out the skeleton of just such a disk that encircled the newborn Sun. Planets agglomerate from the collision of dust particles in the disk, and then snowball in size to solid bodies that continue gobbling up debris like cosmic Pac-Men.

In the case of our solar system this led to eight major bodies, thousands to tens of thousands of miles across. The ninth planet, Pluto, is probably a survivor of an early subclass of solar system inhabitants called icy dwarfs.

A planet's mass and composition are determined by where it formed in the disk. In the case of our solar system the more massive planets are found far from the Sun, though not too far where material didn't have time to agglomerate because orbital periods were so slow that chances for collisions were minimal. Unlike asteroids which are cold chunks of solar system debris, a planet must be massive enough to have at least once had a molten core that differentiated the planet's interior.

This is a process where heavier elements sank to the center and lighter elements float to the surface. Depending how far they formed from their parent star, they may retain a dense mantle of primordial hydrogen and helium.

In the case of our solar system this establishes two families of planets: Massive planet like Jupiter are still gravitationally contracting and shine in infrared light. Ironically, the first bonafide planetary system ever detected beyond our Sun exists around a neutron star - a collapsed stellar core left over from the star's self-detonation as a supernova. Resembling our inner solar system in terms of size and distribution, these three planets orbiting the crushed star probably formed after the star exploded.

Apparently a disk must have formed after the stellar death, from which the planets agglomerated. Other suspected extrasolar planets also seem to defy conventional wisdom. An object orbiting the star 51 Pegasus may have the mass of Jupiter, but is 20 times closer to the star than Earth is from the Sun.

Brown dwarfs are the galaxy's underachievers. They never quite made it as stars. Like stars, brown dwarfs collapse out of a cloud of hydrogen. Like a planet they are too small to shine by nuclear fusion, and radiate energy only through gravitational contraction. More massive brown dwarfs might have initiated fusion, but could not sustain it.

Their predicted masses range from several times the mass of Jupiter to a few percent the mass of our Sun. Spectroscopically, the cool dwarfs may resemble gas giant planets in terms of chemical composition. The different type of so-called "dwarfs" in the Galaxy would even befuddle the storybook character, Snow White:.

Ironically, their surface temperature rises as they collapse and so the star is white-hot. The cooler a star the redder it is, just as a dying ember fades from yellow-orange to cherry-red. The universe isn't old enough yet for black dwarfs to exist. Nov 29, 3: Kulkarni Caltech , D.