Clouds of Sand
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
· Brown dwarf illustration: NASA/JPL-Caltech
· Illustration of four brown dwarfs with a range of temperatures and cloud formation: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted
Science review: Dr. Brandon Lawton
Education review: Jim Manning
Music from Music for Non-Profits
Images of various constellations, galaxies, stars and planets move past us. Text, News from the Universe.
We center on a photo of a brown dwarf planet with irregular stripes of fiery orange. Text, August 12, 2022, Clouds of Sand, Illustration.
Most of Earth's clouds are water clouds, but that is not the case for all worlds.
Sparse white stars glow around the planet. Text, Brown dwarfs, celestial bodies that fall in between stars and planets, provide an opportunity to learn about silicate cloud formation.
Scientists re-analyzed observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of more than 100 brown dwarfs suspected of having silicate clouds.
All brown dwarfs in the Spitzer data had temperatures between 1,900 to 3,100 degrees Fahrenheit, matching predictions for silicate clouds.
Four brown dwarfs appear in a row, each a different color. One yellow, one yellow orange, one black orange, and one mostly solid red. Text, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will follow up on Spitzer's work and confirm these types of clouds on distant worlds.
This news was brought to you in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.