«Wise 1543-1043» is a brown dwarf about 50 light years from Earth. It moves at more than 200 kilometers per second and could be 10-13 billion years old
It is a “brown dwarf”, that is a celestial object too large to be a planet and too small to be a star: the mass of these bodies, in fact, is insufficient to trigger nuclear fusion and it is also for this reason that they are renamed ” failed stars ». In reality, the brown dwarf we are talking about, Wise 1543-1043, also has another nickname: «The Accident», whose translation is «The Incident». Its discoverer, scientist Dan Caselden, accidentally identified it in the data of NASA’s Neowise space telescope and also got that name for the way it was discovered. The story of “The Accident” was told byAstrophysical Journal Letters
, but Italian sites also account for it.
“Wise 1534-1043 has a faint brightness in some wavelengths, which suggests it is very cold (and old), but is bright in others, indicating a higher temperature”, explains from a scientific point of view Giuseppe Fiasconaro on Media Inaf. “To understand what this strange profile was due to, a team of scientists led by Caltech’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (Ipac) conducted follow-up analyzes, initially observing the object at different wavelengths in the near infrared. with the Keck I telescope at the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The result? This time the signal was so weak that they could not detect it at all, apparently confirming that it was a very cold object ».
A mysterious object
Sabrina Pieragostini in his blog Extremely
he undertakes to explain in more informative terms. “It is a mysterious object that roams our galaxy: astronomers were already aware of it, but recently they have been able to observe it in more detail. Yet what they discovered, instead of helping them to understand better, increased their perplexity due to some characteristics that really were not expected to find, especially in a celestial body so close to us, in the Milky Way. “The Accident”, in fact, is not a star but not even an alien world: it is something in the middle. Normally, brown dwarfs are far larger than planets – up to 80 times that of Jupiter – but have a much smaller mass and much less than that of our Sun. After starting as stars, they cool down, fade away a little by little until it dies out, becoming similar to enormous purple and reddish embers ».
Is it dull or still hot?
And here is the most interesting part of the story: «According to the lead author of the study, Davy Kirkpatrick, an astrophysicist at CalTech in Pasadena, California, this celestial object has exceeded all expectations with its blatant illogicality. To resolve the contradiction – is it almost dull or still hot? – the team then decided to test it with other powerful tools. But once again, instead of getting to the bottom of the mystery, the researchers found that “The Accident” is more bizarre than they thought. What is surprising, first of all, is its speed: it moves in our galaxy at 800,000 km / h, much more than a normal brown dwarf. Perhaps, Kirkpatrick and colleagues hypothesize, because in its long life it has received the gravitational pressures of the great celestial bodies it has crossed in its march through the cosmos ».
«But surprisingly – continues Pieragostini – they also found anomalies in its composition. Thanks to its mild light emissions in the infrared spectrum, astrophysicists have found that the object contains very little methane, a gas usually quite abundant in brown dwarfs with similar temperatures. Since methane is composed of hydrogen and carbon, it is very likely that “The Accident” was formed when the original Milky Way was filled almost entirely with hydrogen and helium: the carbon was produced later when the stars more ancient ones exploded, releasing the chemical element throughout the galaxy. But we are talking about truly remote times: the brown dwarf that baffles scholars must date back to a period between 10 and 13 billion years ago ». In short, search and research, we found an extraordinarily old object, even at the rate of twice the average age of all the other stars. Rather than a brown dwarf, do astronomers authorize us to call Wise 1534-1043 “supernatural”?
October 2, 2021 (change October 2, 2021 | 11:38)
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