Tags » Brown Dwarf

The Fate of Top Down Planets

Avid readers may remember a few years ago I blogged about the statistics of objects formed by disc fragmentation. In our paper, we looked at tidal downsizing, to see if big fluffy disc fragments with masses bigger than Jupiter could form solid cores and lose their gas to become objects of Neptune, maybe even Earth masses.   610 more words


Our Five-Trillion-Mile Close Call: the Star(s) That Skimmed the Solar System

It’s like something out of a Hollywood film or a science fiction novel: a dark star sneaks up on Earth from just outside the Solar System, discovered too late to do anything about it (and really, what could we do?) and plows through the cloud of comets that surrounds the Sun like a haze of icy gnats, sending them flying everywhere… including on collision courses with Earth. 551 more words


The Strange Case Of The Missing Dwarf - New SPHERE Instrument Shows Its Power

Snow White hasn’t lost a dwarf, but science has, or rather, how new technology disproved a hypothesis.

The new SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to be orbiting the unusual double star V471 Tauri. 786 more words

Breaking News

Sedna, 2012 VP113, And the Lost Orb Planet X

Sedna, 2012 VP113, And the Lost Orb Called Planet X

Astronomers,  astrophysicists,  astrobiologists, geologists, and other scientists have long looked for a Super Earth as an answer to perturbations in the orbits of the outer Solar Sytem planets. 1,679 more words


on the Sizes of Stars

Stars are easy to understand.  The definition of a star is pretty clear: Stars are self-gravitating masses of gas* that sustain nuclear fusion in their cores.  689 more words


Water ice clouds discovered in distant brown dwarf

(Artist’s conception of brown dwarf WISE J085510.83-071442.5 – Photo Credit: Rob Gizis (CUNY BMCC/YouTube)

For the first time, astronomers have detected water ice clouds outside of our solar system in a newly discovered brown dwarf that’s believed to be as cold as the North Pole. 257 more words

Outside Our Solar System