A new super planet has been discovered for the first time using a radio telescope, with radio emissions having only detected a small number of cold brown dwarfs, as they’re also known, in the past - and all of those had first been detected by infrared surveys beforehand.
According to the Independent, brown dwarfs are, in fact, quite the opposite and are rather on the big side, anything from between 15 and 75 times the mass of Jupiter, with gaseous atmospheres similar to some of the planets in our solar system.
You may also hear them referred to as failed stars because of how they shine. Planets shine by reflecting light but stars do it by producing their own. Even though they’re so sizeable, brown dwarfs can’t sustain the nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium, which is what makes stars shine.
Brown dwarfs do, however, emit light at radio wavelengths in much the same way that Jupiter does, accelerating charged particles such as electrons to produce radiation, including radio waves and aurorae.
This brown dwarf has been called Elegast, discovered using data from the Low-Frequency Array telescope in Europe. It was later confirmed using telescopes at the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Earlier last month (November), the government also announced that the European Space Agency has been given the go-ahead to develop the world’s first space telescope that will study how exoplanet atmospheres form and evolve.
The Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exploanet Large-Survey (or Ariel!) is expected to launch in 2029, following a rigorous review process that has been taking place this year.
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