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Crash Course Astronomy #28 - Brown Dwarfts

What do you call a massive body that is too big to be a planet but too small to be a star? Well, you call them “brown dwarfs.” Phil Plait offers his insights.


Iron droplet clouds and hot silicates in the atmosphere of lone planetary mass object PSO J318.5-22

Deep multi-colour image from the Pan-STARRS1 telescope of the free-floating planet PSO J318.5-22, in the constellation of Capricornus. The exoplanet, or low mass brown dwarf, is extremely cold and faint, about 100 billion times fainter in optical light than the planet Venus. 639 more words


A new T2 dwarf within 15 pc, WISE J2121-6239

Images: NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive. These near-infrared (2MASS) images clearly show the object, now identified as WISE J212100.87-623921.6. It was discovered as part of a new study of high proper motion sources from the WISE survey, published today ( 556 more words


Too Big to be a Planet, Too Small To be a Star

In space clouds of dust and gas are pulled together by the force of gravity. The particles all contact towards a central point. As it does so, gravitational potential energy is converted into thermal energy, heat, causing the core to heat up. 607 more words


Formation of brown dwarfs like stars

An impression of a young brown dwarf. Evidence appears to be mounting that the star formation process also produces brown dwarfs by the same mechanism, i.e. 853 more words