Florida-Nasa observed new aspects of weather patterns on brown dwarfs for the first time, which gives insight into some of the remaining mysteries surrounding the celestial object.

A new model for explaining how clouds move and change shape in brown dwarfs - which are dim objects often referred to as 'failed stars' - revealed atmospheric bands and waves.

Using Nasa's SpitzerTelescope, researchers found giant waves are the cause of the previously unexplained brightness variations and large-scale movement of particles in brown dwarfs' atmospheres that change the thickness of the silicate clouds. 'This is the first time we have seen atmospheric bands and waves in brown dwarfs,' said lead author Daniel Apai, associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Brown dwarfs have hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust, and it was recently realized these giant clouds can move and become thicker or thinner surprisingly rapidly, even in less than an Earth day.

The new research finally gives a reason why, showing that the bands and waves cause such events.

The researchers came to the conclusion by comparing the waves found on brown dwarfs to those found on other celestial bodies, specifically planets.

They found the distribution and motions of the clouds on brown dwarfs are similar to those seen on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Both brown dwarfs and Neptune have clouds that follow banded paths.

Observations of Neptune from Nasa's Kepler spacecraft, operating in its K2 mission, were important in this comparison between the planet and brown dwarfs.

'The atmospheric winds of brown dwarfs seem to be more like Jupiter's familiar regular pattern of belts and zones than the chaotic atmospheric boiling seen on the Sun and many other stars,' said study co-author Mark Marley at Nasa's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.

'This is the first time we have seen atmospheric bands and waves in brown dwarfs,' said lead author Daniel Apai, associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Brown dwarfs have hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust, and it was recently realized these giant clouds can move and become thicker or thinner surprisingly rapidly, even in less than an Earth day.

The new research finally gives a reason why, showing that the bands and waves cause such events.

The researchers came to the conclusion by comparing the waves found on brown dwarfs to those found on other celestial bodies, specifically planets.

They found the distribution and motions of the clouds on brown dwarfs are similar to those seen on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Both brown dwarfs and Neptune have clouds that follow banded paths.

Observations of Neptune from Nasa's Kepler spacecraft, operating in its K2 mission, were important in this comparison between the planet and brown dwarfs.

'The atmospheric winds of brown dwarfs seem to be more like Jupiter's familiar regular pattern of belts and zones than the chaotic atmospheric boiling seen on the Sun and many other stars,' said study co-author Mark Marley at NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.