NASA James Webb Space Telescope Makes Shocking Discovery Regarding a Cold Brown Dwarf | Space

Brown Dwarf W1935 Image.jpg

Astronomers utilizing the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have stumbled upon a shocking discovery concerning a cold brown dwarf.

The telescope’s latest observations have revealed methane emission on this celestial body, a surprising revelation given its frigid and secluded nature. 

This discovery suggests that the brown dwarf in question may be capable of generating aurorae akin to those observed on Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn.

(Photo: NASA, ESA, CSA, Leah Hustak (Space Telescope Science Institute))

Aurorae on a Brown Dwarf

Brown dwarfs, characterized by their intermediate mass between planets and stars, are prevalent within our solar vicinity, with thousands having been identified. 

Last year, a team led by Jackie Faherty, a senior research scientist and senior education manager at the American Museum of Natural History, was granted JWST observation time to scrutinize a dozen such brown dwarfs. 

Among these targets was CWISEP J193518.59-154620.3, more succinctly known as W1935-a cold brown dwarf situated 47 light years away. 

This particular celestial object, co-discovered by citizen science volunteer Dan Caselden and the NASA CatWISE team through the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project, boasts a surface temperature of approximately 400° Fahrenheit. While its mass remains somewhat uncertain, estimates suggest it ranges from six to 35 times the mass of Jupiter.

During their examination of various brown dwarfs via JWST, Faherty’s team encountered an intriguing anomaly with W1935: the presence of methane emissions, a phenomenon previously unobserved on such celestial bodies. 

“Methane gas is expected in giant planets and brown dwarfs but we usually see it absorbing light, not glowing,” Faherty said in a press release statement. “We were confused about what we were seeing at first but ultimately that transformed into pure excitement at the discovery.”

Subsequent computer modeling unveiled yet another revelation:…

 read more www.techtimes.com

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