Science

JWST has spotted sandy clouds on a distant alien world

Brown dwarfs are too massive to be a planet but not large enough to be a star, giving them features of both. Now, astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have found clouds on one of these cosmic objects



Space



2 September 2022

The James Webb Space Telescope can observe brown dwarfs in unprecedented detail

NASA-GSFC, Adriana M. Gutierrez (CI Lab)

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has found direct evidence of clouds made from sand-like substances on a distant world.

Brown dwarfs are large balls of gas, more massive than planets but without enough mass and pressure from gravity to start nuclear fusion like stars, giving them a dull glow in mostly the infrared range. To date, all our observations of these failed stars had been in a narrow wavelength of light, limiting our understanding of their chemical composition. …

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