With the aid of the James Webb Space Telescope, a global team of scientists has discovered a brand-new, faint, far-off, and cold brown dwarf (JWST). The recently found object, designated GLASS-JWST-BD1, is approximately 31 times as massive as Jupiter.
On July 29, a paper describing the discovery was published on arXiv.org.
Brown dwarfs are thought to be transitional objects between planets and stars. They are generally agreed to be substellar objects with masses between 13 and 80 Jupiter masses. Brown dwarfs of the T dwarf subtype have effective temperatures ranging from 500 to 1,500 K. They are the least bright and coolest substellar objects that have been found so far.
Studying T dwarfs may help astronomers better comprehend objects near the disputed planet/star divide, such as large exoplanets. There have been many brown dwarf discoveries to date, but there have only been 400 discoveries of T dwarfs. In light of this, a team of astronomers led by Mario Nonino of the Astronomical Observatory of Trieste in Italy concluded that the recently discovered brown dwarf most likely belonged to the T dwarf subtype. Abell 2744, a massive galaxy cluster, was studied using the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSPEC), Near-Infrared Imager, and Slitless Spectrograph as part of the JWST Early Release Science (ERS) program “Through the Looking GLASS” (GLASS-JWST) (NIRISS).
“In these JWST NIRCam images of the Early Release Science Abell 2744 parallel field, we reveal the accidental discovery of a late T-type brown dwarf candidate. The discovery was made possible by JWST’s sensitivity at 4 m wavelengths and the spectral energy distribution’s panchromatic 0.9-4.5 m coverage “In their report, the researchers said.
Most likely, the brown dwarf is 30 times the size of Jupiter.
According to the analysis, GLASS-JWST-BD1 has a mass of around 31.43 Jupiter masses and an effective temperature of about 600 K. It is estimated that this brown dwarf is 5 billion years old.
Comparisons with theoretical models suggest that GLASS-JWST-BD1 could be a late-type T dwarf. Its distance was determined to be between 1,850 and 2,350 light years when measured in a direction perpendicular to the galactic plane. According to the findings, this object belongs to the galactic population as a thick disc or halo object.
The scientists concluded that more research is required to determine whether GLASS-JWST-BD1 is a T-dwarf. Particularly needed are kinematic or chemical abundance data to understand more about the properties of this particle.
In their concluding remarks, the paper’s authors emphasized how this discovery demonstrates the JWST’s capacity to investigate distant low-mass Galactic stellar and substellar objects.
According to the researchers, the large estimated distance of GLASS-JWST-BD1 “confirms the power of JWST to probe the very low-mass end of the stellar and substellar mass function in the Galactic thick disk and halo, enabling exploration of metallicity dependence on low-mass star formation and the evolution of brown dwarf atmospheres.”