Although storms are quite common on planets but less likely to happen on stars, astronomers discovered that a tiny star suffers from gigantic storm.
- The L-dwarf is a combination of star and planet
- Storms are common on planets but not on stars
- The storm is located in the polar region in the north of the cosmic object
There are many storms that roam on planet Earth as well as on other planets. For example, Jupiter has a very long storm called the Big Red Spot that exists on the planet for many years now. The storm is the most impressive one in our solar system but it looks like it might have competition. In another star system, astronomers have spotted a cool, small star that’s been disturbed by a storm for two years now.
The discovery is unusual as stars are not known for having storms. However, the star in discussion is a sort of cosmic mutant. This type of star is called L-dwarfs and besides their star characteristics they also have planet characteristics which make it impossible to define them as one or the other. The main reason for not belonging to either stars or planets is their size. Also known as “failed stars”, they are too big to be planets and too small to be stars. Their size is similar to Jupiter’s size but they can weigh a lot more than the mass of the planet.
The ones who are bigger in size can have low-level fusions in their cores which usually happen in stars. However, the fusions are not powerful enough to raise the temperature of the object. This is why the object’s atmosphere can become layered which makes it more similar to planets as the layers can form clouds or storms.
With the help of telescopes Kepler and Spitzer, astronomers have spotted a huge dark rotating patch on the L-dwarf. Although in the beginning they thought it to be a star spot, they soon realized it’s actually a phenomenon taking place in the object’s atmosphere, a dark storm happening near the north pole.
Similar in size with Jupiter, the object’s storm is also similar in size with Jupiter’s storm and it is believed that it lasted for at least two years. So far, astronomers don’t know whether the phenomenon is unique, as this is the first time they see it happening on a star. Moreover, they still have a lot of research to do in order to provide an explanation for the storm’s persistence. Hopefully we’ll be able to find out soon enough.
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