Meet The Accident, neither star nor planet, but in between; NASA surprised by brown dwarf | Tech News

Meet The Accident, neither star nor planet, but in between; NASA surprised by brown dwarf

The Accident is not a star and it is definitely not a planet, it is indeed unique. NASA says The Accident is like no other object found in the Milky Way Galaxy.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 20:01 IST
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Star, planet, neither? This bizarre object, dubbed The Accident, in our Milky Way Galaxy defied NASA scientists efforts to describe it. (NASA)
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Star, planet, neither? This bizarre object, dubbed The Accident, in our Milky Way Galaxy defied NASA scientists efforts to describe it. (NASA)

There is a bizarre object, which is not a star or a planet, that is rushing through the Milky Way Galaxy, which has left NASA scientists shocked and baffled. They found it by chance and have been trying to figure out what exactly it is. However, first, how did they come to name it, of all things, The Accident? Well, it seems it was a chance encounter, an accident, if you will, that actually brought this bizarre object in space to their notice when it sort of crept into their photos while they were taking pictures of something else. In fact, this object, officially named by NASA as WISEA J153429.75-104303.3, is very much present in our Milky Way Galaxy and there may be more lurking there.

To add to the mystery surrounding the object, it defied NASA scientists efforts to describe it. Incredibly, it is not a star, and it is not a planet - it is something in between. What exactly is that? Something unique! It is being surmised that this is a failed star. A failed star is called a brown dwarf. Brown dwarfs sometimes do defy characterization and The Accident is the best example of it. The Accident doesn't resemble any of the just over 2,000 brown dwarfs that have been found in our galaxy so far.

In effect, brown dwarfs are objects in space that started out as a star, but failed to turn themselves on to become a star. There is no nuclear fusion going on in The Accident due to paucity of mass, unlike our very own Sun. The reason they failed to become a star is that they did not have enough mass to power up nuclear fusion.

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However, The Accident is very large in size, some 80 times the size of planet Jupiter. This bizarre brown dwarf is very hot and it will take millions of years to actually cool down.

NASA took to Twitter to say, "Brown dwarfs aren't quite stars and aren't quite planets. But the discovery of a brown dwarf with strange properties that scientists dubbed “The Accident” suggests there might be more of them lurking in our galaxy than previously thought."

NASA revealed that, "The Accident got its name after being discovered by sheer luck. It slipped past normal searches because it doesn't resemble any of the just over 2,000 brown dwarfs that have been found in our galaxy so far."

Davy Kirkpatrick, an astrophysicist at IPAC at Caltech in Pasadena, California said, "This object defied all our expectations.”

The Accident might be 10 billion to 13 billion years old – at least double the median age of other known brown dwarfs, says NASA.

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First Published Date: 04 Sep, 17:27 IST
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