Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Water clouds discovered on brown dwarf


Posted on Friday, 29 August, 2014 | Comment icon 7 comments

Water clouds could be commonplace on distant worlds. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Astronomers have found evidence of water clouds outside of our own solar system for the first time.
Located at a distance of just 7.3 light years from the Earth, the clouds are situated in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf and were first identified by astronomer Kevin Luhman using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope.

A brown dwarf is a type of failed star that has too little mass to sustain nuclear reactions. This particular one is about the size of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

While the discovery is still being regarded as "tentative" at the moment, astronomers are quietly confident that this relatively nearby extrasolar body is indeed home to water ice clouds.

"I’ve been obsessed with this object since its discovery," said astronomer Jacqueline Faherty. "At the telescope, I’ve never been so nervous. I’ve never wanted clear conditions so badly."

While the temperatures and atmosphere on the brown dwarf are extremely unlikely to be suitable for life, the discovery still represents a significant step forward in the hunt for habitable worlds.

Source: CBS Local | Comments (7)

Tags: Water Clouds, Brown Dwarf


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by bubblykiss on 26 August, 2014, 16:09
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.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 26 August, 2014, 16:35
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 s... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by StRoostifer on 26 August, 2014, 17:05
Eek, its Nibiru, run for the hills! 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.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 26 August, 2014, 17:39
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.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 29 August, 2014, 15:11
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.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 29 August, 2014, 15:15
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.
Comment icon #7 Posted by taniwha on 30 August, 2014, 11:07
I wonder what life on these brown dwarfs might look like.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5854955
264538
165095

 
New video reveals Huygens' harrowing descent
1-17-2017
NASA has released a new video recreating the Huygens probe's historic touchdown on Saturn's moon Titan.
French Polynesia signs 'floating city' deal
1-17-2017
The world's first ever floating city could soon begin construction off the French Polynesian coast.
Giant alligator goes for a stroll in Florida
1-17-2017
A huge alligator was filmed by tourists at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County, Florida this week.
'Creature' photographed in garden at night
1-16-2017
A Reddit user has uploaded an image of what appears to be a strange figure running through a garden.
Featured book
 
By Toryn Chapman
Campbell Mackenzie is a successful lawyer with occasional feelings of déjà vu. There's just one problem, though - it's not déjà vu.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Can anger be good for you ?
Posted 1-17-2017 | 1 comment
A new study has suggested that (some) anger can be beneficial to your health.
 
Marshmallows in a vacuum
Posted 1-16-2017 | 2 comments
What happens to a pile of marshmallows when all the air is removed ?
 
Fighting fire with fire
Posted 1-15-2017 | 0 comments
Adam Savage learns whether it is possible to use fire (or the sound of fire) to put out fire.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Phantom vehicle
1-6-2017 | Ramer, United States
 
True ghost stories
1-6-2017 | Southern California
 
Floating tiles
1-6-2017 | Chewelah, Washington
 
A haunting in Northern California
12-28-2016 | Northern California
 
Strange creature in South Africa
12-28-2016 | South Africa, Hoedspruit.
 
A 15-year-old predicted my future!
12-21-2016 | Katherine, Australia
 
The haunted pond
12-21-2016 | Essex, Ontario, Canada
 
The haunted hospital
12-28-2016 | New Plymouth, New Zealand
 
Loud crash in the night
12-17-2016 | Pennsylvania
 
Mysterious woman in a blue dress
12-17-2016 | Northern Ireland
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ