Thursday, January 09, 2014

Molten iron storm clouds

Here is some pretty cool research on Brown Dwarfs (or Dwarves?) using the Spitzer Space Telescope. Researchers expected that Brown Dwarfs should show variations in brightness due to storms in their atmospheres, which are more like extreme versions of giant planets like Jupiter than the atmospheres of actual stars like the Sun. When they went looking with the SST they found even more variation in brightness than expected.

The really cool part: the clouds aren't made of water vapour or methane, but molten iron, sand or salt.

Originally seen on Space.Com: Storms on 'Failed Stars' Rain Molten Iron.

Free fun fact. I very nearly did a PhD on searching for Brown Dwarfs, back before any had been actually detected.

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