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Astronomers Examine The Nature Of A Mysterious Remote Object In The Universe

First Posted: Mar 15, 2017 04:02 AM EDT
Astronomers Find A Mysterious, Highly Metallic Isolated Object In Space, Larger Than Jupiter
The mysterious object referred to as CFBDSIR 2149-0403 could probably be a young planetary-mass object or a high-metallicity low-mass brown dwarf, according to researchers.
(Photo : Universe Updates/YouTube screenshot)

The astronomers are now examining the true nature of a mysterious object referred to as CFBDSIR J214947.2-040308.9 or CFBDSIR 2149-0403. They presuppose that the object could be a young isolated planetary-mass object or a high-metallicity low-mass brown dwarf.

The results of the investigation were published in a paper on arXiv.org on March 2, 2017. The mysterious object was detected in 2012. It is about 100 lightyears away and seemed to be the closest rogue planet, which is a planet that has been removed from the star system revolving the full galaxy, according to Science Alert.

The object was categorized then as a rare T-type isolated planetary-mass candidate. On the other hand, there was no evidence that the object was formed as a planet and a low-mass brown dwarf.

With this, an investigation was conducted. The scientists used the Very Large Telescope's (VLT) X-Shooter spectrograph and Hawk-I near-infrared imager. They also utilized the WIRCam imager at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to fully identify the nature of CFBDSIR 2149-0403.

Philippe Delorme of the Grenoble Alpes University in France told Phys.org that the X-Shooter data made possible the investigation of the physical properties of this mysterious object. The data collected are necessary for the study to acquire the parallax of the object and the Spitzer photometry. He further explained that they aided them to know the bolometric flux of the object and the restrictions that are almost independent of atmosphere model assumptions.

The new investigation indicated that the mysterious object is probably either a young isolated planetary-mass with about two and 13 Jupiter masses object the late-T spectral type or a metallicity enhanced brown dwarf that has a mass between two to 40 Jupiter masses. Delorme concluded that CFBDSIR 2149-0403 is a typical sub-stellar object that is either a "free-floating planet" or a rare high-metallicity brown dwarf or a combination of both.

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