Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Monday, 15/12/2008

Strong evidence brown dwarfs form like stars

An Artist's conception of the brown dwarf ISO-Oph 102, Image Credit: Y.C. Tsai , ASIAA

Recently, astronomers debated whether a brown dwarf could form the same way as a star. A research group of the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA) led by Phan Bao Ngoc have uncovered that brown dwarfs form like stars.

By using the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA), they detected molecules of carbon monoxide shooting outward from the object known as ISO-Oph 102. In December 2008, HarvardScience of Harvard University announced this discovery and the paper on ISO-OPH 102 published in the 2008 December 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"We thought that any such outflow would be too weak to detect with current facilities and would have to wait until a next-generation instrument like ALMA [the Atacama Large Millimeter Array]," said Phan Bao Ngoc. "This was a big surprise. Finding the molecular outflow with the SMA shows the extraordinary capabilities of the array."

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