Winds blowing at a speed of 2300 km / h. It s reality on brown armchairs

Astronomers analyzing data collected using the Very Large Array (VLA) network and the Spitzer Space Telescope measured the speed of winds blowing on the surface of a brown dwarf - an object that borders the kingdoms of planets and stars.

By reviewing data on Jupiter and Saturn, researchers at Bucknell University, led by Katelyn Allers, realized that using techniques similar to those of the two planets, they should be able to measure the speed of winds blowing on the surface of brown dwarfs.

To test their assumptions, researchers chose the 2MASS J10475385 + 2124234 brown dwarf resembling Jupiter, but 40 times more massive. The object is about 34 light years away from Earth.

Brown dwarfs are so-called failed stars, objects more massive than planets, but not massive enough to maintain in their nucleus the fusion reactions that characterize stars.

We noticed that Jupiter's rotation period based on radio observations is different from that set on the basis of visible and infrared observations, says Allers.

The difference between them is that the emission in the radio range has its source in the electrons interacting with the planet's magnetic field, which has its source deep inside the planet, while the infrared radiation comes from the upper atmosphere. The atmosphere rotates faster than the inside of the planet, and the difference between them is caused by winds blowing in the atmosphere.

Because we expect the same for brown dwarfs, we've decided to measure the rate of rotation in the radio and infrared range, "says Johanna Vos from the American Museum of Natural History.

During observations conducted in 2017-2018 with the help of Spitzer, the researchers noticed changes in infrared brightness caused by long-lasting formation in the atmosphere. In 2018, the planet's interior rotation rate was measured using VLA.

Just like in the case of Jupiter, it turned out that the atmosphere of a brown dwarf rotates faster than its interior. The difference between these two speeds showed that the wind speed on the surface of the brown dwarf is 2300 km / h. For comparison, wind speed in Jupiter is only 370 km / h.

Our results agree with the simulations that showed much higher wind speeds on brown dwarfs, "adds Allers.

According to astronomers, the method they developed will allow us to measure the speed of winds blowing on extrasolar planets in the future, but given that the magnetic field on gaseous exoplanets is much weaker than the magnetic field of the brown dwarf, observations will have to be made at lower frequencies.

A scientific article describing the results of the measurements was published in the journal Science.

Winds blowing at a speed of 2300 km / h. It's reality on brown armchairs


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