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Planet-Like Object May Have Started Like a Star

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 05:23AM

When you were young, did you have an idea of what your adult life would be like? Is that what you actually achieved? For one stellar object, it changed quite a bit between its youth and adult lives, as researchers at the Carnegie Institution have discovered something that looks like a planet, but may have been like a star at first.

WISE J0304-2705 is an object classed as a Y dwarf, which is the coolest stellar temperature class, with a temperature between 100 ºC and 150 ºC. As that puts the object between Earth and Venus, that may not seem very odd, but after analyzing its spectrum, the researchers discovered that its age makes it one of the oldest objects in the galaxy. This would suggest then that when it was younger, in its first 20 million years of life, it likely was around 2800 ºC, which is as warm as red dwarf stars. At 100 million years old, it should have been around 1500 ºC, which is cool enough for silicate clouds to form, and at one billion years old, methane and water vapor would have dominated this 1000 ºC object. Now it is barely warm enough to even boil water.

Source: Carnegie Institution

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