Wide Binary Brown Dwarfs
Astronomers have identified a pair of rare 'blue' L-dwarfs that are orbiting each other at a great distance (optically, they're actually red in colour but are on the cool end of the infrared spectrum - thus denoted as 'blue'). These two tiny brown dwarfs are about 130 Astronomical Units apart, which is about four times the distance to Neptune (1)!
If such a binary companion was located in our own solar system, then it would definitely be a Planet X-type object - albeit one weighing in at about 65 Jupiter masses. But this binary pairing, known as CWISE J0146−0508AB, doesn't even have a proper star to hold them together. This remarkable couple have retained their incredibly wide orbit around each other despite each having a relatively miniscule gravitational field (at least in comparison to other types of dwarf star). Even though there have been about 50 brown dwarf binaries identified to date, none stretches the orbital range as much as this pair.
The discovery builds upon data from the space-based Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), gathered by the "BackYard Worlds (BYW): Planet 9" citizen science project. This popular project has been busily seeking evidence of brown dwarf in our neighbourhood for a few years now. The current paper extends that work by reviewing the BYW brown dwarf candidates using higher resolution surveys than WISE, like Pan-STARRS or the Dark Energy Survey. The images from these surveys were more likely to differentiate a binary system from an unresolved light source. And so it proved in the case of CWISE J0146−0508AB (2).
"The reddish color of each component in the Pan-STARRS1 and DES images
indicates very red optical colors, typical of cold brown dwarfs" (2)
In their paper, the team from UCSD have determined that these brown dwarfs are not young objects. This makes the degree of separation from each other all the more amazing. Why haven't they been pulled apart from one another by the galactic tide, or any other number of external forces (like passing stars). That's an open question by now, but analysis of the the light emanating from each brown dwarf indicates a "conservative age range of 0.5–10 Gyr for this pair".
"...we determined component spectral types of L4 and L8 (blue), making CWISE J0146−0508AB one of only a few benchmark systems with a blue L dwarf. CWISE J0146−0508AB has a projected separation of ~129 au, making it the widest-separation brown dwarf pair found to date.
"...Such a wide separation for a brown dwarf binary may imply formation in a low-density star-forming region". (2)
In other words, there can't have been many other stars around early in their lifetimes, otherwise they would have been dragged away from one another early on. This finding indicates the potential longevity of very wide binary objects in loosely bound orbits. Extrapolated up to a star like the Sun and one can quite imagine a Nemesis-like object holding on throughout the lifetime of the solar system.
Written by Andy Lloyd, 20th February 2005
1) Keck Observatory "Astronomers Discover Widest Separation Of Brown Dwarf Pair To Date" 17 February 2022
2) Emma Softich et al. "CWISE J014611.20–050850.0AB: The Widest Known Brown Dwarf Binary in the Field", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 926(2): L12
OK – so you wanted discussion. I love to stir the pot, stand back and watch it simmer. J
Stars form in a Birkeland Current, Z-pinch event. Bodies such as these (L-dwarfs) are secondary remnants of a star-forming event, migrating to their location as a result of ejection forces from their creation location. These two bodies will remain stable throughout their lower energy phase, and then go dark, unless encountering external forces. They evidently are in deep space with no known object (external force) strong enough to create separation or destruction. They exist in a low-glow mode comparable to their initial charge and density through which they travel – a low plasma area. Plasma (erroneously labeled “gas”) exists in differing densities in all of space.
In the simplest of terms they could be compared to the accompanying, superfluous “sparks” scattering in all directions from the electric arc ignition of a welding rod – plasma in arc mode (stars). “Not young objects” and “degree of separation from each other” – as astronomers are discovering, there must be millions and millions of such bodies moving around in space which helps explain rogue and Exo-planets. Al C.
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ARE WE SURVIVORS?
There are cycles of energy in space emanating from the galactic core that are compatible with or a part of the cycles of electrical energy we see on earth. The solar activity cycle is caused by quasi-periodic power fluctuations in space as electric current flows along a spiraling Birkeland filament flowing past the sun. These spiraling filaments are part of the spiral arms of galaxies. "We don't know where the power comes from but within the visible universe we find magnetic fields linking galaxies, showing that the galaxies are threaded like beads on a string along cosmic power lines. The galaxies and stars within them are driven to rotate like the very simplest of electric motors." Donald Scott. Electric Universe. Page 61
Everywhere we look on earth, there is life, even at the bottom of the sea in volcano vents. And surely, intelligent life thrives among all those billions of galaxies, stars, and spiraling Birkeland currents charged and driven by electrical phenomena we are just beginning to understand. The life that has survived learned to live in space, not on planets. They survived because they were able to withdraw from turbulent solar systems dealing with planetary destruction and changing and dying suns. They survived because they were able to mine dead satellites instead of their vibrant and living home planets. We are part of that living, electrical energy swirling around our space environment. Our survival depends upon our ability to co-exist with each other, and that seems rather doubtful. But, I believe our species will thrive, with a little help from our friends.
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A quote from one of my sources:
1. “A large scale solar flare or coronal mass ejection (CME) could become magnetically trapped in the earth’s magnetosphere. The magnetosphere would then hold on to this fireball of radiation like a thermos bottle, allowing the moon and earth to be exposed for a duration of time long enough to ‘flash bake’ their surfaces.” Excerpt from Paul LaVolettes’ 1983 Ph.D. dissertation, “Galactic Explosion Cosmic Dust Invasions, and Climate Change.”
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Thunderbolts has some info on dwarfs--Lee:
For some time, astronomers have been carefully studying the young star system AB Aurigae which lies in the Taurus Molecular Cloud. The main star is just 5 million years old and is about 2.4 times the mass of our Sun. It's reasonable to expect it to have a larger protoplanetary disk than a star like the Sun. But it's forming massive planets and/or brown dwarfs way beyond what we are accustomed to seeing. AB Aurigae's very extensive dust disk (the red disk in the image below) has a gap in it indicating the presence of a probable (but unconfirmed) brown dwarf about 100 Astronomical Units (AU) out (1). It's possible that the star system has had a close encounter with a dense clump from the surrounding molecular cloud - adding an additional 'second generation' disk (2).
Image Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/Tang et al.
Astronomers have collected evidence that there's a second massive planet forming at twice Pluto's distance from the Sun, this time within the inner region occupied by two gaseous spiral arms (in blue, above). A clump of observed material around 93AU from the star is thought to be a nascent planet of several Jupiter masses (3). The way it's forming is suggestive of a gravitational collapse of material (similar to star-formation) rather than the classic accretion model of planet formation:
""This new discovery is strong evidence that some gas giant planets can form by the disk instability mechanism," says astrophysicist Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science, who did not participate in the research, but first proposed disk instability in 1997. "In the end, gravity is all that counts, as the leftovers of the star-formation process will end up being pulled together by gravity to form planets, one way or the other."" (4)
AB Aurigae may have more secrets to give up yet - there are signs of planets forming out as far as a whopping 580AU (3). The generally accepted concept that massive planets can only form at the sorts of distances our solar system gas giants form is being shredded.
Written by Andy Lloyd, 6th April 2022