A team of international scientists has discovered an aurora light display outside our solar system for the first time. Though its glow is similar to that of the Northern Lights, it is 10,000 times more powerful than the Northern Lights. The aurora light display was spotted using the Hale and Keck optical telescopes, and the Very Large Array radio telescope around a brown dwarf 18 light years away.
The aurora lights a brown dwarf
Dr Stuart Littlefair of the University of Sheffield and co-author of the study, said it was the first confirmed citing of this spectacular phenomenon. Astronomers refer to brown dwarfs as “failed stars,” meaning they are bigger than a planet but too small to become a star. But the latest discovery indicates that brown dwarfs are more similar to planets than stars. Dr Littlefair said it’s time we think of brown dwarfs as “beefed-up planets” instead of failed stars.
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We already know that brown dwarfs have cloudy atmospheres like planets. And the new study shows