This article is supported by Skillshare august 24th, 2006, a date that will live in infamy, okay, one of the dates they live in him for me, because that was the day that the international astronomers Union declared that Pluto our favorite little buddy in the sky was no Longer a planet and people’s, heads went wow.
This is caused confusion and controversy that has continued to this very day. 14 years later, you’re doing it in the comments right now, aren’t. You it’s, not just the emotional attachment we feel to our solar systems.
Little oddball. It also kind of upturned everything that we were taught about solar systems. When we were kids, we were taught that the solar system was made up of basically four things: planets moons, asteroids and comets, and a star in the middle of course, but as it turns out just because we like to put things in a nice.
Little boxes does not mean that the universe will comply. The universe is indifferent to your OCD. We looked around and we found planets without atmospheres, moons with atmospheres asteroids the size of moons moons, the size of planets, and we began to realize that our solar system was way more complicated than just four things, and Pluto was a weird middle ground.
Anyway, you know, and then we started finding things like Ceres and Eris that were you know too big to be asteroids but too small to be planets and then just suddenly just our categories that didn’t really make any sense anymore.
So it made sense to come up with a new category: dwarf planets, so Pluto went from being the runt of the litter to the king of the dwarves, but the lesson of Pluto is again sometimes our need to organize things.
Doesn’t exactly fit with what the universe has in mind the universe it turns out as far weirder than our taxonomy. When does a planet stop in a star begin? The simple answer is that when a planet gets massive enough and it compresses and compresses harder and harder, eventually atoms in the core begin to fuse and then much like Bradley Cooper and Lady gaga, a star is born like take Jupiter, we often called it something of A failed star, you know it wasn’t quite strong enough to make hydrogen fusing to helium in the core, but it is strong enough to make hydrogen turn into weird, like metallic hydrogen want to be a star.
Go hit the gym, Jupiter dust. Now, even hoisted Jupiter, but what if Jupiter was bigger, say 12 to 20 times bigger. It might not be strong enough to light up in the center, but it might be big enough to smolder it.
Wouldn’t quite be a star. It wouldn’t, be a planet either, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a brown dwarf and a brown dwarf is its own thing. So I know David has pumpkins is like five years old and it’s, not Halloween or anything.
But I mean it is so funny right: yeah wait, think it should take it out’! Yeah I’m, leaving it in you, I nailed it. Brown dwarfs were discovered on January 6, 1994 by raffio rebel, Oh Maria. Oh sorry, oh and Eduardo Martin used in the 80 centimeter telescope at the Tita Observatory.
That’s. The first brown dwarf was named t21 and it was found in the Pleiades open cluster. Ever since then, the universe has just gotten weirder and weirder like. Where do we actually place this non planet non star and how did they find it in the first place turns out lithium was the smoking gun, as I mentioned before, stars fuse hydrogen into helium by smashing two protons together, but they can also smash three protons together And get lithium and this lithium is usually burnt off in normal stars, but in cooler, brown dwarf stars there’s, still a preponderance of lithium in the atmosphere.
So when astronomers ran spectral data on some of these cool stars out there, they found that there was a lithium signature there, which indicated that there is fusion going on in the core. Even though it’s, not shiny.
So again it’s, sort of a star, but not a star, and I really get an idea of just how dim a brown dwarf star is just take a quick look at your Hirshberg Brussel diagram that I’m sure you have Laying around in front of you what no fine here below the m-class stars are now these little dim flickering stars that we call brown dwarfs.
Think of them as the stars that just couldn’t quite enter astral puberty. Now this is possible for a few different reasons. One is possibly just that they don’t, have the mastic and burnt that hydrogen into helium, meaning there aren’t any bigger than point zero, eight m in being solar masses or the cloud that these brown dwarfs formed from just didn’t quite have the ingredients necessary to make a star, or it could possibly be something called quantum electron degeneracy pressure.
Q, EDP basically creates an outward pressure at the core that prevents the ingredients from falling into the core infusing, but yet for any or all of those reasons, a brown dwarf star kind of remains in that limbo, between a failed star and a super massive hot gaseous Planet, like your mom, are you feeling bad for brown dwarfs yet because you should probably feel bad for brown dwarfs, so we created this new category of objects called brown dwarfs, but of course, as soon as we do that there’s, an object that Decides it’s, not gon na fit into that nice little box? It does not fit and it does not sit.
This is a super choc brown dwarf that is adorably named sdss, j0, 1:03 plus 1535. It’s, 750 light-years away. Ten billion years old and it’s, 99.99 % helium and hydrogen making it the purest brown dwarf in the universe to date actually 250 times more pure than our own Sun, and it’s 90 times more massive than Jupiter, meaning it’s, plenty big enough to actually become a star, and yet it did not become a star.
Scientists are still unsure exactly how this happened. Why don’t? You start off isd. Why are you playing small and the more of these brown dwarfs? We found the more different magnitudes and types that we’ve, been able to encounter everything from a totally black brown dwarf.
That’s out, there can’t, be seen hardly even with telescopes brown dwarfs that can be seen with the naked eye, and you would think that we would have learned our lesson from Pluto and from the brown dwarves and stop trying To organize everything into categories, but no, we’ve created various categories of brown.
Dwarfs brown dwarfs are classified as LT and wide dwarfs. Class L dwarfs are cooler than Class M stars at 1300 to 2000 Kelvin. They’re reddish brown in color. They don’t, have titanium oxide or vanadium oxide bands, but instead has metal hydride emission bands in atomic lines of alkali metals and only 900 been discovered so far.
Class t dwarves are between 700 and 1300 Kelvin their dark magenta to the naked eye, and they have an abundance of methane out of all the brown dwarves. These are the most popular and most abundant brown dwarfs the first one identified was Gliese e 229 B, and they’re very light in mass Gliese e, for example, is only 3 %.
The mass of our Sun class-wide dwarfs are around 370 Kelvin, which is pretty darn chilly for a want to be a star. They’re about 5 to 15 times the mass of Jupiter and pretty much just big cold dark borderline planets.
Some rare class white dwarves emit no light whatsoever and appear almost entirely black, and many of these dwarves have incredible storms that take place on them. Sometimes raining molten iron and because they’re, so cool the likelihood of any life forming around them is pretty much impossible.
Now brown dwarfs are interesting, not just because they defy classification but because they might possibly, according to one theory, be a solution for dark matter. As you know, our observations of the way things move around in the universe, don’t quite add up with the amount of mass that we see out there in the universe, which means there’s, something out there creating a lot of Mass that we just can’t quite what’s, something else that we can’t see very well brown dwarfs and the number of brown dwarfs could be in the billions.
Potentially, some people speculate that there’s, a ratio between regular stars and brown dwarves of around like one to six and considering there’s around 250 billion stars in our own galaxy. One-Sixth of that is around 40 1.
6 billion brown dwarfs. Potentially out there so yeah that’s, the thought all these extra brown dwarves that are out there, that maybe we can’t even see, might be the thing that’s, causing all this dark matter.
Weirdness to pop up UCLA astronomy, professor Ian MacLean, said that maybe this is the case. He said it could make up a small but significant contribution to dark matter. Brown dwarfs one account for all the so called dark matter, though he doesn’t make the point that brown dwarfs are kind of proof that the missing matter that we’re looking for, could be out there.
The fact is, we just can’t quite see it. This does take a little bit of the woo-woo out of the whole dark matter thing, but it does make you kind of wonder. We just discovered two brown dwarfs what other dark, but massive objects.
Might be out there in the universe that could account for all this. You know micro, black holes, burnout, star systems galaxies, whose stars of all snuffed out you know who knows brown dwarfs have also been theorized.
As an answer to one of the big questions in our own solar system, there’s, been a lot of speculation. Over the years that there might be a ninth planet out there orbiting in a big orbital circle around the solar system.
They call it Planet X and it happens because there’s. Several comets that have been flung out from the Oort cloud in a similar direction, meaning that at some point way back in our past. Some massive object must have swung past or gone into orbit around our star.
We’ve, often called this planet X, but maybe it’s, a brown dwarf. Maybe there’s. A brown dwarf right out there in our backyard that we just can’t quite see. You know, because of its brown dwarf nests, our understanding of the universe is expanding as fast as the universe itself.
It was only 25 years ago that we first discovered brown dwarfs now. We think there might be 41 billion of them in our galaxy, possibly ones. Circling our own star, but one thing is for sure the universe will never be done, giving us more surprises.
So maybe you’re watching this article and you feel a bit of a kinship with brown dwarves. You kind of understand and identify with brown dwarves, because your own life is in a bit of a limbo between the thing that you want to be doing the stuff that you have to do.
I know that feels son. Well, look it’s a new year still relatively new anyway, and it’s a great time to get started, doing exactly that and what a good place to get started. Is the class discover success 7 exercises to discover your purpose, passion and path on Skillshare? This class is hosted by Emma Gannon, an author speaker and hosted the control-alt-delete podcast and this class.
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