CTOnews.com, December 14 (Xinhua)-- astronomers have been searching for the smallest star in the universe. A team of researchers from Pennsylvania State University used the world's most powerful space telescope, the James Webb Telescope, to discover the smallest brown dwarf star in the Perseus IC cluster, as well as two other "failed stars" (failed star).
According to CTOnews.com, brown dwarfs are called "failed stars" because they are not massive enough to trigger nuclear fusion and cannot glow as hot as real stars.
The researchers first used Weber's near-infrared camera (NIRCam) to identify possible candidates, and then used a miniature shutter array (NIRSpec) for follow-up observations. Eventually, they found three targets only three to eight times the mass of Jupiter, with a surface temperature of between 830 and 1500 degrees Celsius. Among them, the smallest one is only three to four times the mass of Jupiter, breaking the previous record.
Catarina Alves de Oliveira of the European Space Agency, lead researcher of the observation program, said: "according to the current model, it is quite easy to form huge planets in the disk structure around the star. But in this cluster, the object is unlikely to be formed in the disk structure, it is more like a star, and its mass is only 1x300 times that of the sun. How does star formation operate at such a small mass?"
The discovery of the Weber Telescope provides valuable new data for studying the formation of stars and planets and may help us better understand the evolution of the universe as a whole.
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