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Originally posted by expatwhite
Surely that cant possibly be right
"Jupiter sized" ??? i always thought Jupiter wasnt far off being large enough to have become a sun (thanks Arthur C Clarke 2010). How can an object that large naff around the solar system without seriously wonkying up the orbits of stuff?
It cant be that big really can it?
With a mass only 93 times that of Jupiter, AB Doradus C, a companion to AB Doradus A, is the smallest known star undergoing nuclear fusion in its core. For stars with similar metallicity to the Sun, the theoretical minimum mass the star can have, and still undergo fusion at the core, is estimated to be about 75 times the mass of Jupiter. When the metallicity is very low, however, a recent study of the faintest stars found that the minimum star size seems to be about 8.3% of the solar mass, or about 87 times the mass of Jupiter. Smaller bodies are called brown dwarfs, which occupy a poorly defined grey area between stars and gas giants.
The combination of the radius and the mass of a star determines the surface gravity. Giant stars have a much lower surface gravity than main sequence stars, while the opposite is the case for degenerate, compact stars such as white dwarfs. The surface gravity can influence the appearance of a star's spectrum, with higher gravity causing a broadening of the absorption lines.
Distinguishing low mass brown dwarfs from high mass planets
A remarkable property of brown dwarfs is that they are all roughly the same radius as Jupiter. At the high end of their mass range (60-90 Jupiter masses), the volume of a brown dwarf is governed primarily by electron degeneracy pressure, as it is in white dwarfs; at the low end of the range (1-10 Jupiter masses), their volume is governed primarily by Coulomb pressure, as it is in planets. The net result is that the radii of brown dwarfs vary by only 10-15% over the range of possible masses. This can make distinguishing them from planets difficult.
In addition, many brown dwarfs undergo no fusion; those at the low end of the mass range (under 13 Jupiter masses) are never hot enough to fuse even deuterium, and even those at the high end of the mass range (over 60 Jupiter masses) cool quickly enough that they no longer undergo fusion after some time on the order of 10 million years. However, there are other ways to distinguish dwarfs from planets:
Density is a clear giveaway. Brown dwarfs are all about the same radius; so anything that size with over 10 Jupiter masses is unlikely to be a planet.
X-ray and infrared spectra are telltale signs. Some brown dwarfs emit X-rays; and all "warm" dwarfs continue to glow tellingly in the red and infrared spectra until they cool to planet like temperatures (under 1000 K).
Some astronomers believe that there is in fact no actual black-and-white line separating light brown dwarfs from heavy planets, and that rather there is a continuum. For example, Jupiter and Saturn are both made out of primarily hydrogen and helium, like the Sun. Saturn is nearly as large as Jupiter, despite having only 30% the mass. Three of the giants in our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune) emit more heat than they receive from the Sun. And all four giant planets have their own "planetary systems" -- their moons. In addition, it has been found that both planets and brown dwarfs can have eccentric orbits.
Currently, the International Astronomical Union considers objects with masses above the limiting mass for thermonuclear fusion of deuterium (currently calculated to be 13 Jupiter masses for objects of solar metallicity) to be a brown dwarf, whereas those objects under that mass (and orbiting stars or stellar remnants) are considered planets.
Originally posted by Truther
This is hopi indian prophicies, could this be the blue star there on about? you have to admit it does look blue also, if you see it from earth it looks blue..
Originally posted by LeoVirgo
and it seems that the brightness of it is somewhat of a guessing game day by day. Some links say that you can see it with the naked eye and some say you cant.
Originally posted by starsyren
So it'll be visible in the night sky in Britain...what about visibility in American skies? Any idea?
Originally posted by Rockpuck
The Article says it's also shedding 800 gallons of water a second, which to me seems odd... a comet with water?
Comets, trans-Neptunian objects or water-rich asteroids (protoplanets) from the outer reaches of the asteroid belt colliding with a pre-historic Earth may have brought water to the world's oceans. Measurements of the ratio of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and protium point to asteroids, since similar percentage impurities in carbon-rich chondrites were found to oceanic water, whereas previous measurement of the isotopes' concentrations in comets and trans-Neptunian objects correspond only slightly to water on the earth.