July 19th 2017
The brown dwarf 2MASS J04221413+1530525 shows linear polarization of its light which could be due to dust in its Jupiter-like atmosphere, or in the interstellar medium
Brown dwarfs, sometimes known as “failed stars”, fill the gap between low mass stars and giant gaseous planets. They are faint objects, difficult to study and, as such, some of their characteristics are not well known. An international team has searched for polarized light in a sample of brown dwarfs with the CAFOS instrument at Calar Alto observatory – a method which helps to know the properties of these objects –, and has found polarized light in one of them, although its poorly determined distance does not allow us to determine the exact cause of the polarization.