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Tim Kendall's Extreme Astrophysics

At the observational frontier of local solar space: RECONS and the ten parsec census

28 Apr 2016, 19:31 UTC
At the observational frontier of local solar space: RECONS and the ten parsec census
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Image credit: A. Riedel and the RECONS group, P.I. Todd J. Henry taken from a new visualization by the RECONS consortium (www.recons.org) which can be seen on youtube. This is my final post (for now) on the subject of the completeness of our knowledge of stellar and planetary systems near the Sun. Stars here are plotted coloured broadly by spectral type and sized approximately by luminosity class (dwarfs or giants). The horizontal blue circle is the galactic plane crossed by the equatorial plane (grey circle) plotted at 2, 5, 10 and 25 parsecs distance. RECONS is preparing a 10 parsec census for publication and leads the field in both observation and visualization. The latest data were presented last year by Henry to the 227th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and I reproduce the abstract in part below. In the meantime, Bihain & Scholz (2016) have investigated the projected distribution of brown dwarfs around the Sun and listed 26 brown dwarfs within 6.5 parsecs distance (as compared to 136 stars) in their Table 1 (also below):

The sample of stars, brown dwarfs, and exoplanets known within 10 parsecs of our Solar System as of January 1, 2015 is presented. All ...

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