Cloud Bands on the Surface of Luhman

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A group of international astrophysicists have identified Jupiter-like cloud bands on the closest brown dwarf.


  • A group of astronomers have identified band-like clouds on the surface of Luhman 16A similar to Jupiter and Saturn.
  • They have used the idea of polarimetry technique, that the light emitted by a cloudy brown dwarf or reflected off an extrasolar planet, will be polarized.
  • This is the first time the scientists used the polarimetry technique to determine the exoclouds.
  • The new study of Luhman 16A is special as the researchers have found the actual structure of the clouds.
  • The study helps in understanding the pressure, temperature and climate on the surface of the celestial body.
  • Astronomers used Very Large Telescope at European Southern Observatory, Chile.

Luhman 16

  • Luhman 16 is the third closest system of the Sun after Alpha Centauri and Barnard’s star. It is a binary star system.
  • Luhman 16 is at a distance of about 6.5 light-years from the Sun.
  • Luhman 16 A and Luhman 16B is referred to as a pair of brown dwarf and orbit each other casting a dim light.
  • Brown dwarfs are called failed stars as they are too small and unable to sustain the fusion of hydrogen to produce energy. They typically have 13-18 times the mass of Jupiter.
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