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seeder

First discovery of 'cloudy' world like Earth

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Posted (edited)

Water clouds discovered beyond the solar system for the FIRST time

Astronomers in Washington DC have found the first ever evidence for water clouds beyond the solar system

The discovery was made on a 'failed star' 7.3 light-years from Earth

The object is a brown dwarf called WISE J0855-0714 that is up to 10 times the mass of Jupiter

It is also the first discovery of a 'partly cloudy' world like Earth

And it could help to find more Earth-like worlds in the future

http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz3BVvDaGVu

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Edited by seeder
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Common sense tells me that if it happened here then it happened elsewhere...however, it is always exciting to think about discoveries like this one.

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Th3 "like Earth" in the title is pushing it a bit. A brown dwarf is an object very unlike Earth. These objects are half-way between a giant planet and a very small star. Too small for their core to ignite and undergo nuclear fusion but large enough that they generate heat in their core by a process called the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism: gravitational compression of the core generates heat.

This internal heat can mean that the outer atmosphere can (as seems to be the case here) by similar to that of Earth's, but that is where the similarity ends. Like a gas giant planet there will be no solid surface here. Weather will be driven by internal heat, not by the external heat of a sun (WISE J0855-0714 is a free floating object and is not in orbit around another star).

Common sense tells me that if it happened here then it happened elsewhere

Common-sense and science are not always bedfellows (try applying common-sense to quantum mechanics) however I suspect you are right. H2O is a fairly common molecule.

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Eek, its Nibiru, run for the hills! :P

Jupiter is supposed to be 300X the mass of earth and this brown dwarf is up to 10X the mass of Jupiter! Whoa mama! Pretty cool stuff.

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Jupiter is supposed to be 300X the mass of earth and this brown dwarf is up to 10X the mass of Jupiter! Whoa mama!

A mass 3,000 x the Earth makes it a rather unimpressive object astronomically speaking. The Sun is a dwarf star and that has a mass 333,000 times that of Earth.

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A mass 3,000 x the Earth makes it a rather unimpressive object astronomically speaking. The Sun is a dwarf star and that has a mass 333,000 times that of Earth.

Probably so, but with the gravitation pull the brown dwarf would have, we'd have a hard time exploring the dwarf from the surface.

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we'd have a hard time exploring the dwarf from the surface.

Gravity is irrelevant, as it's basically a big ball of warm gas it doesn't actually have a surface to explore.

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I wonder what life on these brown dwarfs might look like.

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