Feeds

Brown dwarf cools its jets

Cool pic too...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.