Punching above its weight, a brown dwarf launches a parsec-scale jet

May 18, 2017
The HH 1165 jet launched by a brown dwarf in the outer periphery of the sigma Ori cluster. Traced by emission from singly ionized sulfur, which appears green in the image, the jet extends 0.7 light years (equivalent to 0.2 parsecs) northwest of the brown dwarf. Credit: National Optical Observatory

Astronomers using the SOAR telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory report the discovery of a spectacular extended jet from a young brown dwarf. With masses too low to sustain hydrogen fusion in their interiors, brown dwarfs occupy the mass range between stars and giant planets. While young stars are commonly found to launch jets that extend over a light year or more, this is the first jet with a similar extent detected from a brown dwarf. The result lends new insight into how substellar objects form.

Intrinsically faint, have been more elusive and difficult to study than . Although they are often portrayed as exotic creatures as a result, brown dwarfs are actually far more numerous in our Galaxy than stars like the Sun.

The discovery, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, supports the emerging picture that brown dwarfs form similarly to stars.

The image shows the jet, HH 1165, launched by the brown dwarf Mayrit 1701117 in the outer periphery of the 3 million year old sigma Ori cluster. Traced by emission from singly ionized sulfur, which appears green in the image, the jet extends 0.7 light years (equivalent to 0.2 parsecs) northwest of the brown dwarf. The emission knots along the jet reveal that the loss is time variable, probably a result of episodic accretion onto the brown dwarf. The red nebulosity southeast of the brown dwarf is a reflection nebula that traces the outflow cavity in the direction of the counterjet.

While outflows have been detected previously from young brown dwarfs, the earlier detections were of "microjets" 10 times smaller in extent. "Our result shows that brown dwarfs can launch parsec-scale jets similar to those from young stars," explains Basmah Riaz, who led the study.

The SOAR Telescope at sunset on Cerro Pachón, Chile. Image Credit: Cesar Briceño. Credit: CTIO-SOAR

The image, taken with the SOAR telescope using the SOAR Adaptive Optics Module, was obtained in several hours of integration time. As described by co-author Cesar Briceno: "We could see the surprisingly extended jet emission after the first 30 minutes of integration. It was a real 'Wow' moment!"

For some time, astronomers have suspected that brown dwarfs form much like stars. Like stars, brown dwarfs are known to be surrounded by disks at birth and to build up their masses by accretion from molecular cloud cores. The current discovery goes a step further and shows that, like stars, brown dwarfs launch powerful jets and that they build up their mass through an unsteady, episodic process.

"The HH 1165 jet shows all the familiar hallmarks of outflows from stars: emission knots, a cavity with reflection nebulosity, and bow shocks at the ends of the flow. It checks all the boxes quite convincingly," commented co-author Emma Whelan.

While it may seem counterintuitive that mass loss (in a jet) is an integral part of how an object grows or gains mass, this situation may arise because of excess angular . When spinning skaters pull in their arms, they spin faster as a result of conservation of angular momentum. Similarly, when large, slowly rotating molecular cloud cores collapse, they may spin up too fast to squeeze down to the much smaller sizes of stars.

Riaz speculates that indeed "Molecular cloud cores have much more angular momentum than can be contained by stars or brown dwarfs. So the system needs to lose angular momentum for the object to grow in mass. By removing angular momentum from the system, jets help solve the ' problem' faced by stars as well as brown dwarfs."

To test this hypothesis, the team is on the hunt for more extended jets from brown dwarfs, to understand how commonly they occur.

Explore further: Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object

More information: First large scale Herbig-Haro jet driven by a proto-brown dwarf. Astrophysical Journal, arxiv.org/abs/1705.01170

Related Stories

Astronomers identify purest, most massive brown dwarf

March 24, 2017

An international team of astronomers has identified a record breaking brown dwarf (a star too small for nuclear fusion) with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known. The object, known as SDSS J0104+1535, is ...

The missing brown dwarfs

April 8, 2016

When re-analysing catalogued and updated observational data of brown dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood, astronomers from Potsdam have found that a significant number of nearby brown dwarfs should still be out there, awaiting ...

Brown dwarfs hiding in plain sight in our solar neighborhood

September 6, 2016

Cool brown dwarfs are a hot topic in astronomy right now. Smaller than stars and bigger than giant planets, they hold promise for helping us understand both stellar evolution and planet formation. New work from a team including ...

A brown dwarf joins the jet-set

May 23, 2007

Jets of matter have been discovered around a very low mass 'failed star', mimicking a process seen in young stars. This suggests that these 'brown dwarfs' form in a similar manner to normal stars but also that outflows are ...

Recommended for you

Dawn mission extended at Ceres

October 20, 2017

NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before ...

20 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Chris_Reeve
1.9 / 5 (9) May 18, 2017
Re: "While young stars are commonly found to launch jets that extend over a light year or more, this is the first jet with a similar extent detected from a brown dwarf."

Realize that what has actually been observed -- by Herschel, in particular -- is multiple young stars forming along branching filaments (much like ball lightning forming along a terrestrial lightning bolt).

So, is it really appropriate to simply assume that it is the stars which form the jets? If that were the case, one would imagine that the jets/filaments would not so coincidentally connect up together, no?
RealityCheck
2.1 / 5 (7) May 18, 2017
@Chris_Reeve.
Realize that what has actually been observed -- by Herschel, in particular -- is multiple young stars forming along branching filaments (much like ball lightning forming along a terrestrial lightning bolt).

So, is it really appropriate to simply assume that it is the stars which form the jets? If that were the case, one would imagine that the jets/filaments would not so coincidentally connect up together, no?
All the above article is talking about is a 'piddling sized' polar jet from a 'Brown Dwarf' feature. There is not enough material in that 'jet stream' (at any one point) to form 'stars' or any other massive 'ball' node 'objects' along the jet. What you are seeing is the known 'nodal resonance' and 'self-pinching' features arising in any 'stream' of plasmic material. Only AGN polar jets have mass enough to produce 'localized nodal' stellar/massive features. Be careful not to extrapolate Plasma Universe 'views' beyond 'domain of applicability', ok? :)
FineStructureConstant
5 / 5 (10) May 19, 2017
Be careful not to extrapolate Plasma Universe 'views' beyond 'domain of applicability', ok? :)
Pot, kettle...
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (6) May 19, 2017
@FSC.
Be careful not to extrapolate Plasma Universe 'views' beyond 'domain of applicability', ok?
Pot, kettle...
You've become an ego-tripping troll now, FSC? You just ignore 'inconvenient' reality in order to try and 'save face' (because mainstream discovery/reviews have recently been confirming I am the one more in keeping with the objective reality; whereas you/your 'gang' of incompetent 'just believe orthodoxy' trolls keep 'believing' BB/Inflation etc etc myths are 'objective realities'). Did you not learn anything from your Bicep2 'just believe crap' fiasco, FSC? Will you take ego-tripping nastiness/denial to your grave just because I have been the one correct on many fronts all along while you trolled and insulted me? Wake up, FSC; to your personal/confirmation BIASES, before you die nasty/ignorant of objective reality; 'in denial' that BB/Inflation/Exotic-DM etc HACKS 'passed' an 'incestuous' 'peer review' system which BETRAYED reality-based Science Method.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (6) May 19, 2017
PS @ FSC.

The link below highlights many of the things you have ignored/denied and/or misunderstood about me/my years of pointing out developing insights/science during your years of unheeding/insulting kneejerking wastes of time and intellect. Please go read the article fully. It is from a small astronomical/cosmological observational team of researchers who ACTUALLY DO scrupulously apply the OBJECTIVE Scientific Method principles; which latter I ALSO have been applying since age 9; and which you/gang here, and majority of mainstream 'professional/hack contributors/papers' and 'peer reviewers' at large, seem to have dispensed with long ago, and still are in many cases to judge from your continuing 'denial' and insults against perfectly correct science insights/contributors here/elsewhere!

https://aeon.co/i...k-matter

They cover many (not all) of the points/flaws/insights etc I've been pointing out for YOUR benefit. :)
FineStructureConstant
May 19, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
RNP
5 / 5 (8) May 20, 2017
@RealityCheck
Have you actually read the article you link?

Pavel Kroupa believes in a MONDian explanation for the DM effect. He does not claim, as you do, that the effect does not exist.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 20, 2017
@FSC.
Blah, blah, blah, STFU.
That is the catch-cry of the climate change deniers, mate! Why appropriate such biased subjective, reality-denial 'attitude' when there is the objective reality-seeking scientific method to follow? How can you maintain your 'fiction' that you are at all interested in actual real honest science while you are patently doing everything to ignore/troll anything/anyone who tries to point out the scientific issues as they are not as you 'want' them to be according to your ego/biases, FSC? Wake up to your biased ego and start actually reading/learning objectively, irrespective of who posts it. Good luck, FSC. :)
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 20, 2017
@RNP.
@RealityCheck
Have you actually read the article you link?
Obviously I have. Have you, RNP?
Pavel Kroupa believes in a MONDian explanation for the DM effect. He does not claim, as you do, that the effect does not exist.
See how your 'reading confirmation bias' is strong in you, RNP? If you have been actually reading/understand my posts you would have known that I acknowledge the 'orbital regime' anomalies, and have pointed out the causes of them; which causes do NOT include the alleged 'exotic' DM 'interpretations' now being increasingly falsified by recent mainstream discovery/reviews in astro/cosmo observations/data.

Moreover, the linked article also acknowledges the 'orbital regime' anomalies, just as I do. But MOND merely 'adjusts' the Newtonian' Maths-based algorithms for calculating the gravitational strengths versus radial distance in certain cases.

So NEITHER THEY NOR I acknowledge alleged 'exotic' DM as the cause/source of 'anomalies'. Ok? :)
RNP
5 / 5 (6) May 21, 2017
@RealityCheck
Your dishonesty is showing again. You have *repeatedly* claimed:

"new discoveries of ORDINARY matter in HUGE quantities EVERYWHERE and in all sorts of states and all sorts of scales/distributions, implies that NO 'dark Energy' OR 'exotic dark matter' are needed AT ALL to explain motions/lensings observed"

or

"Time to stop the personal feuds/arguments based on OLD assumptions/arguments which recent astro discoveries/reviews have made OBSOLETE due to the NOW-SEEN but ORDINARY Baryonic/Fermionic matter within, between galaxies/clusters/superclusters at all scales"

or

"There is enough visible matter and more-to-be-found matter to explain the GR/Non-Keplerian behaviour"

These claims are in *direct* conflict with Kroupa's article which indicates that normal baryonic physics can *NOT* explain the observations. The quotes above also prove that you have *not* been extolling MOND all along, so your suggestion that Kroupa agrees with you is again dishonest.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 21, 2017
@RNP.

Seriously mate, what is wrong with your reading comprehension (besides obvious 'reading confirmation bias')? You confused/conflated separate issues into 'melange' of self-confusion bearing no relation to reality. Get it straight:

- Both they and I acknowledge observational 'anomalies' involved;

- Both they and I DO agree 'exotic' DM is NOT the 'cause/explanation' of observed 'anomalies';

- HOWEVER, they and I DISAGREE on actual cause/explanation for agreed observed 'anomalies' (THEY prefer MOND, but I NEVER HAVE);

- We DISAGREE that MOND is the answer;

- We DO AGREE 'exotic' DM is NOT the 'answer'.

So, RNP, please be try to distinguish/understand properly the subtle but important points; so as NOT to confuse/conflate by lax or 'confirmation biased' reading which 'morphs' it all into your 'straw men'.

My point has ALWAYS been: Increasingly discovered Ordinary 'stuff'; PLUS 'correctly applying' GR to NON-Keplerian orbital/distribution regimes. Ok, RNP? :)
RNP
5 / 5 (6) May 22, 2017
@Realitycheck
There is nothing wrong with my reading comprehension. However, confusion is bound to arise when someone quotes an article saying it agrees with what he's been saying "all along", but then, when pinned down, says he actually disagrees with the *central premise* of the article and he was only talking about a detail or two. I would also like to see your comments regarding these "anomalies" and can not find them on phys.org. Can you supply a link? (I'm betting not).

Your continued insistence that normal baryonic physics can explain the dynamics of galaxies and galaxy clusters without being able to provide a shred of real evidence is yet another form of dishonesty.

Discussion over.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) May 22, 2017
Why appropriate such biased subjective, reality-denial 'attitude' when there is the objective reality-seeking scientific method to follow?

Since you don't follow it yourself - why are you asking him to?

How can you maintain your 'fiction' that you are at all interested in actual real honest science while you are patently doing everything to ignore/troll anything/anyone who tries to point out the scientific issues

That's the thing: you're not doing that. You're just crying "it's wrong", but whenever someone asks you to actually provide a cogent argument why you think it's wrong you duck and weasel and hop over to another thread to endlessly repeat this cycle.

You know what we call someone who does that? Yep. A troll.

So go troll some other site. You never contribute anything. You're a complete waste of bandwith and oxygen.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
@RNP.
However, confusion is bound to arise when someone quotes an article saying it agrees with what he's been saying "all along", but then, when pinned down, says he actually disagrees with the *central premise* of the article and he was only talking about a detail or two. I would also like to see your comments regarding these "anomalies" and can not find them on phys.org. Can you supply a link? (I'm betting not).
RNP, I still suspect you're 'a nice guy' at heart, and so don't mean to be so combative and self-serving when you conveniently (albeit unwittingly) ignore the context and issues which we have been differing about that carry into this discussion between us now. The point in this case was YOUR claim/interpretation of what I pointed out (for @FineStructureConstant) re the linked article; namely: the linked article covered MANY of MY longstanding points against 'exotic' DM, etc; on which they TOO disagreed with mainstream on! Read again my POST/CONTEXT:

cont...
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
cont... @RNP.

Read again my PS to FSC alluding to many of MY past points/disagreements (re 'exotic' DM etc; which they DO agree with ME on; NOT on MOND; which I NEVER agree about, since it 'explains' nothing, but merely mathematically adjusts equations/terms etc to fit observed 'rotation curve parameters/anomalies'). So CORRECT CONTEXT:
PS @ FSC.

The link below highlights many of the things you have ignored/denied and/or misunderstood about me/my years of pointing out developing insights/science during your years of unheeding/insulting kneejerking wastes of time and intellect. Please go read the article fully. It is from a small astronomical/cosmological observational team of researchers who ACTUALLY DO scrupulously apply the OBJECTIVE Scientific Method principles;...

https://aeon.co/i...k-matter

They cover many (not all) of the points/flaws/insights etc I've been pointing out for YOUR benefit.
So we good now, RNP? :)
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
@antialias.
How can you maintain your 'fiction' that you are at all interested in actual real honest science while you are patently doing everything to ignore/troll anything/anyone who tries to point out the scientific issues
That's the thing: you're not doing that.
Let's see, @antialias. YOU/gang FELL hook-line-and-sinker for that Bicep2 crap because you 'just believed authority/source', against the reality obvious to me (who did NOT fall for that Bicep2 crap and tried to warn YOU/gang NOT to 'just believe' it). Yet you STILL have the DISHONESTY to impugne MY honesty/objectivity? Despite mainstream increasingly confirming ME correct on what I HAVE pointed out for YOU/gang? I post CORRECT science/insights, but YOU/gang TROLLED, LIED, SABOTAGED, IGNORED it all. YET YOU/gang keep pretending 'it never happened'! Like you keep pretending YOUR/gang's pathetic Bicep2 (and BB/Inflation/'exotic' DM etc) FIASCOS 'never happened'!

Do you ever learn, @antialias?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) May 22, 2017
ho did NOT fall for that Bicep2 crap

Let's recap: You say basically *everything* repoted on phys.org is wrong. So you lucked out. Bravo.

You just guess with a shotgun approach and when you hit once in a blue moon you say 'looka here'.
Guess what? That ain't particularly impressive. (to put it nicely. It's actually rather moronic to think this achieves...what exactly?)
Particularly since you can't produce any reason why you said it was wrong (despite claiming many reasons - but whenever you get pressed on producing one you duck and weasel. Like now.)

If you think that approach gives you any cred...oh boy...you are fooling yourself so hard it's unbelievable. If anything it destroys any cred you ever thought you had.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 22, 2017
@anti.
the reality obvious to me (who did NOT fall for that Bicep2 crap)
You say basically *everything* repoted on phys.org is wrong. So you lucked out.
There you go, lying/tolling again, @anti. Do you even realize you're doing it? Ego is your 'master'; get it under control, @anti.

Anyway, I point out errors/correctness BOTH as the case may be.

But YOU/gang MISS IT ALL due to 'confirmation bias', personal bias, ego-tripping 'blinders', making stupid/malicious tactics/attacks in LIEU of ACTUALLY READING/LISTENING OBJECTIVELY. But you haven't been objective, so you missed it all; and pretend 'it never happened'; and keep attacking/trolling/lying to 'save face' against me (who urged you/gang to be objective/fair in dealing with others here, especially those posting correct science/insights/reminders for YOU/gang).

Not "scattergun"; it's CONSISTENT cross-discipline reminders/insights, on MANY fronts. Mainstream confirming TOO MANY for it to be "lucked out". :)
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (6) May 23, 2017
Duck. Weasel. Rinse Repeat.

We've all looked up and down physorg for any post of yours where you actually posted the reason. Nothing doing.
It should be easy for you to restate the numbers you calculated - right? But instead you will again duck and weasel.

You're like Trump: All bravado but behind the curtain is just a gnome with a megaphone. (Actually you're less than Trump - and that's quite the achievement. He at least gets away with it for a while...you haven't had a single taker in all the time you've posted here. So again: you're achieveing exactly...what? Social masochism? )

Me...lying? Don't have to. I just have to reference all your (and my) posts. Seems pretty obvious (if nothing else from the ratings) who's lying, here.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) May 23, 2017
@anti.

The "numbers" mean nothing (worse, GIGO) if PREVIOUS METHODOLOGY/THEORY/INTERPRETATIONS etc were FLAWED. So drop your "give me numbers" strawman, hey?

Get it yet, @anti?

The REAL PROBLEM: Previous unscientific/metaphysical NOTIONS/SPECULATIVE on which 'interpretations' were BASED; were NOT 'scientifically sound' from the get-go.

Mainstream NOW confirming MY points made about previous naive/erroneous 'myths' built into BB/Inflation/exoticDM etc 'interpretations of observations narratives'.

Egs:

- Penrose recently SELF-CORRECTED and bravely/honestly renounced BB notion/metaphysics/claims.

- Steinhardt et al recently SELF-CORRECTED and bravely/honestly renounced INFLATION notion/metaphysics/claims.

- And NOW a TRULY OBJECTIVE astronomical observations group ALSO confirmed me correct on many points I have LONG posted for your edification (see link earlier to FSC/RNP).

So it's YOU "ducking, weaving, lying" IN DENIAL of ALL THAT, @antialias. Stop it. :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.