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HD 187123
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Huddled over a computer in his bedroom, Kevin Apps could barely believe what he had found. From his modest bungalow near Gatwick Airport, he had spent days poring over observations sent back to Earth by a telescope orbiting our planet.
While Nasa had a team of more than 30 full-time scientists analysing the data, and had spent in excess of $600 million launching the telescope to search for planets beyond our own solar system, the 37-year-old gas worker had spotted something they had missed.
In a scientific paper to be published later this year, Mr Apps will be credited with discovering a rare type of astronomical object, known as a transiting Brown Dwarf small, dim stars that orbit around another much larger star.

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