Feeds

Brown dwarf cools its jets

Cool pic too...

Business security measures using SSL

Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) VLT have found jets coming out from a 24 Jupiter-mass brown dwarf, or failed star, similar to the jets that are found coming out of young, but fully fledged stars.

These jets, or "outflows" as they are known, are ubiquitous in the universe, having been seen on everything from galactic cores, right down to new born stars. But this particular brown dwarf is the smallest ever object to be confirmed as having outflows.

"This leads us to the tantalising prospect that young giant planets could also be associated with outflows," says Emma Whelan, the lead-author of the paper reporting the results.

An artist's impression

Indeed, the research team suggests that the jets could be driven by gas-giant planets as "small" as Jupiter.

The observation itself was tricky: brown dwarves do not light up the sky like a normal young star, so the jets are not bright enough to be seen directly. As well as being relatively dim, they are small. Although in reality they stretch for about a billion km from the failed star, they appear to us on Earth to be the same size as a two Euro coin seen at a distance of 40km.

To make their observations, the astronomers used a technique known as spectro-astrometry, based on high resolution spectra taken with UVES on the VLT (Very Large Telescope).

"Discoveries like these are purely reliant on excellent telescopes and instruments, such as the VLT," says Whelan.

"Our result also highlights the incredible level of quality which is available today to astronomers: the first telescopes built by Galileo were used to observe the moons of Jupiter. Today, the largest ground-based telescopes can be used to observe a Jupiter size object at a distance of 200 light years and find it has outflows." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.