Tech News

NASA space telescopes reveal a brown dwarf

NASA's Spitzer and Swift space telescopes joined forces to reveal a brown dwarf - thought to be the missing link between planets and stars.

Published: 11th November 2016 10:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2016 10:58 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

WASHINGTON: In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, NASA's Spitzer and Swift space telescopes joined forces to reveal a brown dwarf - thought to be the missing link between planets and stars, with masses up to 80 times that of our solar system's most massive planet, Jupiter.

The discovery of this brown dwarf, with the unwieldy name OGLE-2015-BLG-1319, marks the first time two space telescopes have collaborated to observe a microlensing event -- when a distant star brightens due to the gravitational field of at least one foreground cosmic object, NASA said in a statement on Thursday.

"We want to understand how brown dwarfs form around stars, and why there is a gap in where they are found relative to their host stars," said Yossi Shvartzvald from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and lead author of a study published in the Astrophysical Journal. 

Spitzer and Swift observed the microlensing event after being tipped off by ground-based microlensing surveys, including the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE). 

By combining data from these space-based and ground-based telescopes, researchers determined that the newly discovered brown dwarf is between 30 and 65 Jupiter masses.

They also found that the brown dwarf orbits a K dwarf, a type of star that tends to have about half the mass of the sun. 

"In the future, we hope to have more observations of microlensing events from multiple viewing perspectives, allowing us to probe further the characteristics of brown dwarfs and planetary systems," co-author of the study Geoffrey Bryden Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tech news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

Latest