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Brown Dwarf Stars Could Host Earth-Size Planets

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Artist’s impression of the disc of dust and gas around a brown dwarf Click to Enlarge This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around a brown dwarf. Image released Nov. 30, 2012.CREDIT: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kornmesser (ESO

Artist’s impression of the disc of dust and gas around a brown dwarf. This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around a brown dwarf. Image released Nov. 30, 2012.
CREDIT: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/M. Kornmesser (ESO

Observations of a brown dwarf suggest Earth-size planets can form around these “failed” stars, according to new research.

Astronomers found evidence of tiny solid grains in a disk surrounding ISO-Oph 102, a brown dwarf embedded in a star nursery some 400 light-years from Earth.

Current planet-forming theory dictates that rocky worlds form over time as grains orbiting a protostar collide with each other and stick. Scientists previously thought that brown dwarfs have too few dusty particles, moving too quickly, for this process to happen.

We were completely surprised to find millimeter-sized grains in this thin little disk,” Luca Ricci, lead researcher of the study, said in a statement announcing the find. [Brown Dwarfs Make Rocky Planets Too? ]

“Solid grains of that size shouldn’t be able to form in the cold outer regions of a disk around a brown dwarf, but it appears that they do. We can’t be sure if a whole rocky planet could develop there, or already has, but we’re seeing the first steps, so we’re going to have to change our assumptions about conditions required for solids to grow,” added Ricci, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology…..
Read more: www.space.com


http://youtu.be/JdncxsF4JQY

Written by physicsgg

December 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

Posted in ASTRONOMY, ASTROPHYSICS

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