Star formation

Planet Formation in Action?
Published 2/24/2011 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
Amazing results from my friend Nuria Huélamo and her collaborators .... From the ESO website: "Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope an international team of astronomers has been able to study the short-lived disc of material around a young star that is in the early stages of making a planetary system. For the first time a smaller companion could be detected that may be the cause of the large gap found in the disc. Future observations will determine whether this companion is a planet or a brown dwarf." I recommend the video, wonderful. More here read more ❯

The best proto-brown dwarf candidate so far: PR from Spitzer
Published 11/28/2009 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
SPITZER TELESCOPE OBSERVES BABY BROWN DWARF PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has contributed to the discovery of the youngest brown dwarf ever observed -- a finding that, if confirmed, may solve an astronomical mystery about how these cosmic misfits are formed. Brown dwarfs are misfits because they fall somewhere between planets and stars in terms of their temperature and mass. They are cooler and more lightweight than stars and more massive (and normally warmer) than planets. This has generated a debate among astronomers: Do brown dwarfs form like planets or like stars? [caption id="attachment_133" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="This image shows two young... read more ❯

The best proto-brown dwarf candidate so far: PR from Calar Alto
Published 11/26/2009 in David Barrado Author dbarrado
Brown dwarfs are sometimes called "failed stars". They are born from interstellar clouds following processes closely related to the formation of normal stars. But brown dwarfs lack mass enough to light up nuclear reactions in their interiors. Thus, they cannot be considered true stars and in fact some properties reassemble those shown by giant planets. Uncovering proto-brown dwarfs, i.e., brown dwarfs in their very first evolutionary stages, is a long-sought hit. A recent study has found the best proto-brown dwarf candidate known to date. Calar Alto has contributed key data to this finding… * * * The first brown dwarfs were discovered... read more ❯