10,000 Times More Powerful Aurora Spotted On Brown Dwarf

Aurora 10,000 times more powerful than the Northern Lights have been spotted lighting up the skies of a ‘failed star’ also known as the brown dwarf’s (an object that’s bigger than a planet yet too small to trigger the thermonuclear reactions that powers a star). The phenomena of aurora are a natural light display in the sky caused by cosmic*cosmic*
➤ (a) of or from or pertaining to or characteristic of the cosmos or universe
➤ (s) inconceivably extended in space or time
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rays, solar winds, and magnetospheric plasma interacting with the upper atmosphere.

This is the first time that the phenomena of aurora has been spotted outside our solar system on a brown dwarf that is 18.5 light years away. The aurora’s that occur at the brown dwarf are powered by little-known dynamo*dynamo*
➤ (n) generator consisting of a coil (the armature) that rotates between the poles of an electromagnet (the field magnet) causing a current to flow in the armature
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process that is also known to generate the phenomenon on Jupiter. It is unlike the display one can see on earth. The astronomers have made this discovery possible by combining radio and optical observations of the object.

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Dr. Struart Littlefair of Britain said, “brown dwarfs span the gap between stars and planets and these results are yet more evidence that we need to think of brown dwarfs as beefed-up planets, rather than ‘failed stars’. We already know that brown dwarfs have cloudy atmospheres – like planets – although the clouds in brown dwarfs are made of minerals that form rocks on Earth now we know brown dwarfs host powerful auroras too.”

Till now the brightest known auroras came from Jupiter, but the newly discovered auroras have been considered greatly brighter than that of Jupiter’s. This could be because of the brown dwarf’s magnetic field is 200 times stronger than that of Jupiter.

The finding about the auroras has been detailed in The Journal of Nature, July 30th issue.