#NASA #Jupiter – Elusive Brown Dwarf Finally Spotted : There are many types of stars in the universe. Most stars are more or less the common ones such, like that of our Sun or red giants. Less common are brown dwarfs, which aren’t easy to spot. An elusive brown dwarf has finally been spotted, and astronomers are studying it.
Unlike most stars, brown dwarfs are somewhere between a star and a planet. Most of them would be massive, with a mass up to 80 times of Jupiter, yet not large enough to become a star. They have very hot cores as well, but not as hot or as dense as that of a star. There are also few brown dwarfs found, which scientists refer to as “the brown dwarf desert.”
The brown dwarf found has been orbiting another star. The brown dwarf has been found through a collaboration between NASA’s Spitzer telescope and the Swift space telescope. The discovery has been made through a process called microlensing, wherein another object is used to highlight the object being observed.
The use of two space telescopes also give astronomers a better view of the brown dwarf. By the use of more than one telescope, astronomers can see the brown dwarf from different angles, as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports. This also gives scientists a better grasp to how far the brown dwarf is from its host star.
Data from the two telescopes have been combined to know more about the brown dwarf. It is said to be orbiting a K dwarf star, which is a star that has about half the mass of the Sun. The distance between the brown dwarf and the host star is around 0.25 to 45 AU, as Science Daily notes.
More observations would be done on the brown dwarf, according to Geoffrey Bryden, a JPL scientist and the co-author of the study. Microlensing would be used in order to have more viewing angles of the brown dwarf.
With the elusive brown dwarf finally spotted, there would be more chances for astronomers to study it. A new way to study the Sun has also been revealed, which would be less expensive for astronomers. Source: itechpost