Too big for a planet, too small for a star.
This could be both good and bad for potential extraterrestrial life.
Researchers working with the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii have made a stunning discovery: they found evidence of water clouds around a brown dwarf. Since its discovery, the brown dwarf known as WISE 0855 has fascinated astronomers. It lies just 7.2 light-years from Earth and it’s the coldest confirmed object outside of our solar system at temperatures ranging between −48 to −13 °C (that’s −55
NASA astronauts have discovered a lonely planetary-like mass floating on its own, without a solar system. Imagine a galaxy, riddled with countless solar systems. Then zoom in slowly on a solar system – how do you picture it? There’s probably a star at the center, and several planets around it. That’s generally where we feel planets should be, rotating around
While the windy and overcast weather of a stormy day isn’t surprising on telluric planets, it’s not something most of us readily associate with stars. But it does happen — the best evidence for this is W1906+40, a distant dwarf star recently described in a study published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Too close for comfort – a team of astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa concluded that a dim star passed through the Oort cloud, our solar system’s distant cloud of comets. The star missed the Earth by less than one light year, and passed five times closer than the current closest star, Proxima Centauri. In a paper published
An international discovered a young, exotic, rogue planet – PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass six times that of Jupiter; it was formed apporximately 12 million years ago – which makes it a newborn in terms of planets (the Earth was formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago. “We have never before seen an
In an unexpected discovery, astronomers have surprised a supermassive black hole that had been dormant for the past decades “waking up” and feasting upon an unsuspecting planet that had drifted too close to its event horizon. The mass of the planet hints towards a giant Jupiter or a small brown dwarf. Also, a similar event is set to take place
Researchers have for the first time conducted a remote reconnaissance of a distant planetary system with a new telescope imaging system. Peeking at other planets Project 1640 is a dedicated high contrast imaging program at Palomar Observatory with the goal of obtaining images and spectra of brown dwarfs and planetary mass companions to nearby stars. The solar system they analyzed
Like in a scene from a Sci-fi novel, about 100 light years away, somewhere in the constellation Doradus, a planet is travelling around the galaxy by itself, without orbiting a parent star. This “rogue planet“, has a temperature of about 400C and a mass between 4 to 7 times that of Jupiter – close to the mass limit beyond which
NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has offered data about the coolest stars ever found until now, stars which are about as warm as you and me. Named Y dwarfs, these stars have lit the interest of astrophysicists for a long time, but it wasn’t until now that they were finally discovered and analyzed. These dark orbs are almost impossible
Astronomers usually classify stellar objects by a spectra going from hotter to cooler, using the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. As observational technology progressed and a myriad of new astronomical findings were made, in the last 15 years alone two new classes L and T emerged designed to describe ultracool brown dwarfs. A recent scientific finding