Charting the galaxies in the sky has come a long way since the 18th century, when Charles Messier first included 40 nearby galaxies in his catalog of celestial objects. The New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars of 1888 listed more than 6,000 such galaxies, while the Third Reference Catalog of Bright Galaxies, published in 1991, lists more than 23,000.
GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — We’ve never met some of the Sun’s closest neighbors until now. In a new study, astronomers report the discovery of 95 objects known as brown dwarfs, many within a few dozen light-years of the Sun.
They’re well outside the solar system, so don’t experience heat from the Sun, but still inhabit a region astronomers consider our cosmic neighborhood. This collection represents some of the coldest known examples of these objects, which are between the sizes of planets and stars.