By /Christian Megan
With Artigau and McGill University astrophysicist Nicolas Cowan, both members of the Center for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec and the Institute for Research on Exoplanets, the international team of researchers include was led by the study’s principal author, Daniel Apai, associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
They released the mystery of the Dim objects called brown dwarfs, which is less massive than the Sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds – specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. This team from the Scientists and researchers including Université de Montréal astrophysicist Étienne Artigau have a new model for explaining how clouds move and change shape in brown dwarfs, using insights from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Giant waves cause large-scale movement of particles in brown dwarfs’ atmospheres, change recently and they could to realize these giant clouds can move and thicken or thin surprisingly rapidly, in less than an Earth day, but did not understand why.
The study also suggests these clouds are organized in bands confined to different latitudes, traveling with different speeds in different bands.
Like Jupiter’s belts and zones
The distribution and motions of the clouds on brown dwarfs in this study are similar to those seen on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Neptune has cloud structures that follow banded paths, too, but its clouds are made of ice. Observations of Neptune from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, operating in its K2 mission, were important in this comparison between the planet and brown dwarfs.
“The atmospheric winds of brown dwarfs seem to be more like Jupiter’s familiar regular pattern of belts and zones than the chaotic atmospheric boiling seen on the sun and many other stars,” said study co-author Mark Marley, of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.
Brown dwarfs can be thought of as failed stars because they are too small to fuse chemical elements in their cores. They can also be thought of as “super planets” because they are more massive than Jupiter, yet have roughly the same diameter. Like gas giant planets, brown dwarfs are mostly made of hydrogen and helium, but they are often found apart from any planetary systems. In a 2014 study using Spitzer, scientists found that brown dwarfs commonly have atmospheric storms.