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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Beyond the Solar system first discovered water clouds

By studying the brown dwarf WISE 0855, the coldest known today, astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz have discovered that it is surrounded by clouds consisting of liquid or, most likely frozen water. About his discovery, the researchers reported in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

photo: pixabay.com

Celestial body WISE 0855, opened in 2014 and since then attracted the attention of scientists for many different reasons. The temperature of the brown dwarf is estimated at 225 to 260 K ( -48 to -13 degrees Celsius), making it the coldest object this type of all, are open today. In this WISE 0855 is, in the cosmic sense, very close to Earth — at a distance of about 7.2 light years. Basically, the observation of a brown dwarf carried out with the help of telescopes operating in the infrared range.

Experts note that the assumption of the existence in the atmosphere of WISE 0855 water clouds was nominated for a long time, however, to obtain direct evidence of this still failed. However, using infrared Gemini telescope in Hawaii, researchers were able to examine the spectrum of a brown dwarf and make sure that water clouds around it really is. The study also proved that, in many respects, WISE 0855 atmosphere similar to the atmosphere of Jupiter, although it is assumed that air shell last is much more hectic.

Brown dwarfs are “failed stars” — they are shaped just like the “full” light from accumulations of gas or dust, but they do not have enough mass to maintain long-term thermonuclear reactions that cause stars to Shine. According to the mass of these space objects are “in between” stars and planets, ten times behind on this indicator the Sun, but, as a rule, in tens times exceeding Jupiter.

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