Astronomy: “the strange object discovered in our galaxy that confuses astronomers and astrophysicists”

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  • BBC News World

A photograph of the sky with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).  Infrared light has wavelengths longer than those visible to the human eye, and evidence of the crash was found through data from this image.

Image Credit, NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA

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A photograph of the sky with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Infrared light has wavelengths longer than those visible to the human eye, and evidence of the crash was found through data from this image.

They are not completely stars or completely planets, but something in between, and there may be more of them in our galaxy than previously thought.

So says a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal, which focuses on an “enigmatic” new brown dwarf, nicknamed “the accident”, because it was discovered by pure chance.

Brown dwarfs are objects too small to be stars and too large to be considered planets. They are sometimes called “failed stars”.

“This object defied all our expectations,” said Davy Kirkpatrick, co-author and astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

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