Amateur astronomers discovered two unusual brown dwarfs

(ORDO NEWS) — With the help of amateur astronomers, two very unusual brown dwarfs were discovered, which are gas balls that are not massive enough to ignite nuclear reactions in them that give energy to stars.

NASA-sponsored Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 helped leading scientists discover these unusual objects using data collected from the U.S. Space Agency’s Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission.

Scientists call these newly discovered objects “the first extreme sub-dwarfs of spectral class T”. The masses of objects are about 75 masses of Jupiter, and age – about 10 billion years. These two objects are closest in parameters to the planets of all brown dwarfs ever discovered by scientists among the oldest populations of stars of the Milky Way.

Astronomers hope to use observational data from these brown dwarfs to gain new knowledge about exoplanets, that is, planets beyond our solar system. Both planets and brown dwarfs are formed as a result of the same physical processes.

These two brown dwarfs have a very unusual chemical composition. When observed at certain wavelengths of infrared light, they look like ordinary brown dwarfs, while at other wavelengths they are not like any other planet or star observed to date.

Scientists were surprised to find that only very small amounts of iron are present in the composition of the matter of these brown dwarfs, which adds to their resemblance to ancient stars in that they involved very little iron-rich material produced by later generations of stars.

A typical brown dwarf contains 30 times more iron and other metals than these newly discovered objects. In the composition of the substance of one of these brown dwarfs, iron was found in an amount of only 3 percent of the iron content in the material of the Sun. Scientists suspect that very ancient exoplanets should also have low metallicity.


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