View Poll Results: Will WISE find what closer than Proxima?

Voters
19. You may not vote on this poll
  • WISE will discover a brown dwarf closer to us than Proxima Centauri.

    7 36.84%
  • WISE will discover a red dwarf closer to us than Proxima Centauri.

    1 5.26%
  • WISE will find an iceberg cold or colder brown dwarf closer than Proxima.

    3 15.79%
  • WISE will find more than one brown dwarf or star closer than Proxima.

    9 47.37%
  • No, Proxima Centauri will keep itsrecord & WISE won't find anything nearer to thee than Proxima!

    6 31.58%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Poll : Will WISE discover a star or brown dwarf nearer than Proxima Centauri?

  1. #1
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    Red face Poll : Will WISE discover a star or brown dwarf nearer than Proxima Centauri?

    The WISE (Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer) is NASA's latest space observatory spacecraft which was (I think) successfully launched just over an hour ago. Among its possible discoveries, it is suggested via this cool video by WISE scientist Amy Mainzer :

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/index.cfm?id=879

    That WISE may discover a cool star or brown dwarf nearer to our Sun than current record holder (4.2 Light years off) Proxima Centauri. Neat enough in itself - but what's more is this star could be as cold as an iceberg. (I'm guessing, BTW, that applies to the surface layers only and not the hypothetical objects core temp!)

    So I just thought I'd see what other people think here :

    1) Will WISE discover a red dwarf star closer than Proxima Centauri?

    2) Will WISE discover a brown dwarf closer than Proxima Centauri?

    3) Will WISE discover a brown dwarf closer than Proxima that's cold or colder than an iceberg?

    4) Will WISE discover more just than one star / brown dwarf closer than proxima Centauri?

    Or will it be as case of

    5) Nup, Proxima will keep its record & WISE will fail to turn up anything closer?

    Also anyone care to bet on when such discoveries may occur? (no money, well none from me anyhow, for the very simple reason that I have none. )

    (Yes I like polls - as you may have noticed. )

    PS. If you can't decide I have enabled multiple choice voting here. Of course, voting Proxima keeping its record is rather inconsistent with all the other options but still ... For the record my (lack of) money & hope is on all the first four objects being found - a red dwarf, a brown dwarf , more than one of each and an iceberg cold or colder brown dwarf closer in than Proxima. That'd be so cool, it'd be infrared .. not sure when but I'd guess within the next five years maybe?
    Last edited by Messier Tidy Upper; 2009-Dec-14 at 03:54 PM. Reason: Added PS note. Fixed some typos as always. Removed 8) emoticon as it doesn't work here.

  2. #2
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    I have not voted, as the option " Lets wait and see... " is not there.

    Time and time again this sort of pre-guessing results. Lets not imagine what might not be... we can know, soon.

    mark in sunny Wanganui.

  3. #3
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    It would be neat if it did. I voted the final option (no nearer star), but of the other options, I'd consider a closer brown dwarf most likely.

    Coincidentally, last night I dreamed that the nearest star was actually a dead neutron star and that I myself flew there. But then, I started reading "Crashlander" last night in bed, and the first story (excepting "ghost" which pervades the book) was Niven's "Neutron Star".

  4. #4
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by tdvance View Post
    It would be neat if it did. I voted the final option (no nearer star), but of the other options, I'd consider a closer brown dwarf most likely.

    Coincidentally, last night I dreamed that the nearest star was actually a dead neutron star and that I myself flew there. But then, I started reading "Crashlander" last night in bed, and the first story (excepting "ghost" which pervades the book) was Niven's "Neutron Star".
    Don't you love dreams like that! I sure do. :-)

    Out of curiousity - any particular reason for why you think WISE won't find anything closer than Proxima Cen?

    BTW. I've posted a link back to this on the WISE facebook page :

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/WISE-M...8262603?ref=mf

    I hope that's okay and a good idea. Apologies if this breeches "netiquette" or anything like that.

    If anyone from the WISE team does comes visiting here I'd just like to say :

    Again, my congratulations and thanks for your work. It's been so cool to watch WISE lifting off last night. Best wishes for you and your marvellous orbiting machine.
    Last edited by Messier Tidy Upper; 2009-Dec-15 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Because I never can seem to post anything without a few typos in it.

  5. #5
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    1,080
    Nice summary. I like the 3-D map of our stellar neighborhood.
    On that map, is that object at 2,9 ly real or just a hypothetical discovery?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by clint View Post
    Nice summary. I like the 3-D map of our stellar neighborhood.
    On that map, is that object at 2,9 ly real or just a hypothetical discovery?
    Just hypothetical, there's no object "named" or rather catalogued as WISE-set of numerals like those shown. Yet.

    All this does strongly remind me of reading the brilliant Isaac Asimov novel 'Nemesis' ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemesis...c_Asimov_novel) ) where Asimov predicted a brown dwarf ("Megas") with an earth-sized moon ("Erythro") orbiting a red dwarf ("Nemesis") all closer than Proxima. Asimov's "Nemesean system" also included an asteroid belt too. If something that's anything remotely like that is found closer than Proxima then I'd like love to see it named 'Nemesis' or 'Erythro' or even better maybe 'Asimov's Star' in his honour.

    To me, it also seems worth noting that Isaac Asimov even predicted the existence of Hot Jupiters (or something very much like them) in that one under-rated but, IMHON, superb 1989 novel.

    (Yes, that is one of my favourite novels -why do you ask? )
    Last edited by Messier Tidy Upper; 2009-Dec-15 at 12:29 AM. Reason: I just can't spell prioperlee. Added link & expanded on Asimov's Nemesis novel. Tookout qualifiers and made more certain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevoR View Post
    Don't you love dreams like that! I sure do. :-)

    Out of curiousity - any particular reason for why you think WISE won't find anything closer than Proxima Cen?

    BTW. I've posted a link back to this on the WISE facebook page :

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/WISE-M...8262603?ref=mf

    I hope that's okay and a good idea. Apologies if this breeches "netiquette" or anything like that.

    If anyone from the WISE team does comes visiting here I'd just like to say :

    Again, my congratulations and thanks for your work. It's been so cool to watch WISE lifting off last night. Best wishes for you and your marvellous orbiting machine.
    WISE could find something, but the reason I suspect it won't is, even though we haven't been exhaustive, anything closer than Proxima has a very good chance of having been discovered. I don't really know the probabilities, but am going by my "sense" of the matter (i.e. I'm kind of making it up).

  8. #8
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    Well here's the latest news from WISE via the BA blog :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/ba...-dwarfs-found/

    Nearby, but not quite nearby enough - and still more data collected from the WISE to go through.

    PS. Formerly posted here as StevoR but have now changed username to match my BA blog moniker.
    Last edited by Messier Tidy Upper; 2011-Aug-09 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Added PS for clarity.

  9. #9
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    Unfortunately I think the lack of announced discoveries so far means that Proxima will retain its record, at least for BD and stellar-mass objects.

    The discovery of the nearest stellar body to the sun is such a scientific prize that I am sure it was one of the first things looked for in the data. Yes they might be awaiting confirmation and making further observations, but I think it could not be kept secret this long.

    After all, existing data says that BD's are less common than red dwarfs. The peak of the stellar population occurs at 0.27 of the sun's mass, firmly in the red dwarf category. Also, nearby and large BD's would've been detected already. It's only small (and cool) BD's that could still exist nearby and be discovered by WISE.

    There's still the possibility of unbound planetary-mass objects. There was a recent paper on microlensing which contended these are twice as common as stars. A Jupiter-mass unbound planet would be detected by WISE only out to 1 LY though.

  10. #10
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    In the processing of the data stream... Have 'they' not found the killer asteroid or Nubaru... ?

    Have 'they' turned it on... ? Yes, this is good. This is science with its best foot forward. Will it silence the Woo woo's NO.

  11. #11
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    That would indeed be exciting to find a Jupiter mass, or more object about a lightyear away. I suppose it could have Earth mass objects orbiting it up to one AU away.
    I agree: Much warmer than zero c and it would likely already be cataloged. Cooler than zero c probably means it is more than 4.6 billion years old, as more mass than Jupiter means it retains more fossil heat longer. Convection yes, or convection. no make quite a difference about how fast it cools. I suppose million c at the center and zero c at the surface is possible, but a smaller spread is more likely.
    I understand the object will be close to Jupiter radius from one to 70 Jupiter mass. It could be just passing though: 0.0001 c vector toward our Sun, means it will take 10,000 years to get one light year closer. With those conditions how soon will it be closing at 0.00011 c? Please rebut, if I'm wrong. Neil

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