In a recent study by NASA, it was revealed that Brown dwarfs are not quite stars or planets, and also the new study indicates that there might be more of them lurking in our galaxy than scientists had previously assumed.
A current study offers an interesting explanation for how a peculiar cosmic object called WISEA J153429.75-104303.3 which is nicknamed as “The Accident”, came to be. Yet, the Accident is a brown dwarf.
The Accident was 1st noticed by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), it was launched under the moniker WISE and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2009 at Southern California. Brown dwarfs radiate mostly infrared light as they are relatively cool objects, or radiate wavelengths longer than what the human eye can see.
How do they form?
They formed like stars, regardless these objects don’t have sufficient mass to kickstart nuclear fusion which causes shine in the stars.
Moreover while brown dwarfs sometimes defy characterization, astronomers have a good grasp on their general traits.
Or they did, until they found this one.
A sheer coincidence
The Accident got its name after being discovered by sheer coincidence. It dropped past normal searches because it does not resemble any of the just over 2,000 brown dwarfs so far that have been uncovered in our galaxy.
According to a report, “As brown dwarfs age, they cool off, and their brightness in different wavelengths of light changes. It’s not unlike how some metals, when heated, go from bright white to deep red as they cool. The Accident confused scientists because it was faint in some key wavelengths, suggesting it was very cold (and old), but bright in others, indicating a higher temperature.”
“This object defied all our expectations,” said Davy Kirkpatrick, an astrophysicist at IPAC at Caltech in Pasadena, California.
He along with his co-authors asserts in their new study, coming out in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, that The Accident might be 10 billion to 13 billion years old which imply at least double the median age of other known brown dwarfs.
Which indicates this has formed when our galaxy was much younger and had a distinct chemical makeup. If that’s the case, there are likely many more of these ancient brown dwarfs lurking in our galactic neighborhood.