A group of scientists from NASA has discovered a group of low-mass brown dwarf planets in the Orion Nebula with water in their atmosphere.
The group of scientists documented their findings in a press release from NASA where they revealed that the population of brown dwarfs is the largest known to researchers. In addition to the brown dwarfs, the group of scientists discovered three giant planet in the area.
Brown dwarfs are often referred to as failed stars as the cores of brown dwarfs never heat up enough so that they go through nuclear fusion required for forming a fully functional star. Instead of showcasing characteristics of a fully functional star, brown dwarfs have extremely low mass and low light which make them nearly impossible to spot in the universe.
As a result of this, scientists use water in Brown Dwarfs’ atmosphere as a key identifier. Talking about this process, Massimo Robberto from the Space Telescope institute in Baltimore said, “Water is a signature of substellar objects. It’s an amazing and very clear mark. As the masses get smaller, the stars become redder and fainter, and you need to view them in the infrared. And in infrared light, the most prominent feature is water.”
The Orion Nebula is one of the most intriguing places for astronomers for research as it is located just 1,500 light-years away from Earth. Thanks to abundance of stars in Nebula, it is visible from earth due to its brightness.