Brown dwarfs are sub-stellar objects which are too low in mass to sustain hydrogen-1 fusion reactions in their cores, which is characteristic of stars on the main sequence. Brown dwarfs have fully convective surfaces and interiors, with no chemical differentiation by depth. Brown dwarfs occupy the mass range between that of large gas giant planets and the lowest-mass stars; this upper limit is between 75 and 80 Jupiter masses (MJ). Currently there is some debate as to what criterion to use to define the separation between a brown dwarf and a giant planet at very low brown dwarf masses (~13 MJ ), and whether brown dwarfs are required to have experienced fusion at some point in their history. In any event, brown dwarfs heavier than 13 MJ do fuse deuterium and those above ~65 MJ also fuse lithium. Some planets are known to orbit brown dwarfs: 2M1207b, MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb, and 2MASS J044144b.
- 1 History
- 2 Theory
- 3 Observations
- 4 Planets around brown dwarfs
- 5 Notable brown dwarfs
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Brown dwarfs, a term coined by Jill Tarter in 1975, were originally called black dwarfs, a classification for dark substellar objects floating freely in space which were too low in mass to sustain stable hydrogen fusion (the term black dwarf currently refers to a white dwarf that has cooled down so that it no longer emits significant heat or visible light). Alternative names have been proposed, including planetar and substar.
Early theories concerning the nature of the lowest-mass stars and the hydrogen-burning limit suggested that objects with a mass less than 0.07 solar masses for Population I objects or objects with a mass less than 0.09 solar masses for Population II objects would never go through normal stellar evolution and would become a completely degenerate star (Kumar 1963). The role of deuterium-burning down to 0.012 solar masses and the impact of dust formation in the cool outer atmospheres of brown dwarfs was understood by the late 1980s. They would, however, be hard to find in the sky, as they would emit almost no light. Their strongest emissions would be in the infrared (IR) spectrum, and ground-based IR detectors were too imprecise at that time to readily identify any brown dwarfs.
Since those earlier times, numerous searches involving various methods have been conducted to find these objects. Some of those methods included multi-color imaging surveys around field stars, imaging surveys for faint companions to main sequence dwarfs and white dwarfs, surveys of young star clusters, and radial velocity monitoring for close companions.
For many years, efforts to discover brown dwarfs were frustrating and searches to find them seemed fruitless. In 1988, however, University of California, Los Angeles professors Eric Becklin and Ben Zuckerman identified a faint companion to GD 165 in an infrared search of white dwarfs. The spectrum of GD 165B was very red and enigmatic, showing none of the features expected of a low-mass red dwarf star. It became clear that GD 165B would need to be classified as a much cooler object than the latest M dwarfs then known. GD 165B remained unique for almost a decade until the advent of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) when Davy Kirkpatrick, out of the California Institute of Technology, and others discovered many objects with similar colors and spectral features.
Today, GD 165B is recognized as the prototype of a class of objects now called "L dwarfs". While the discovery of the coolest dwarf was highly significant at the time, it was debated whether GD 165B would be classified as a brown dwarf or simply a very low-mass star, since observationally, it is very difficult to distinguish between the two.
Soon after the discovery of GD 165B, other brown dwarf candidates were reported. Most failed to live up to their candidacy, however, and with further checks for substellar nature, such as the lithium test, many turned out to be stellar objects and not true brown dwarfs. When still young, up to a billion years (a gigayear) old, brown dwarfs can have temperatures and luminosities similar to some stars, so other distinguishing characteristics are necessary, such as the presence of lithium. Stars will burn lithium in a little over 100 Myr, at most, while most brown dwarfs will never acquire high enough core temperatures to do so. Thus, the detection of lithium in the atmosphere of a candidate object ensures its status as a brown dwarf.
In 1995 the study of brown dwarfs changed dramatically with the discovery of three incontrovertible substellar objects, some of which were identified by the presence of the 670.8 nm lithium line. The most notable of these objects was Gliese 229B, which was found to have a temperature and luminosity well below the stellar range. Remarkably, its near-infrared spectrum clearly exhibited a methane absorption band at 2 micrometres, a feature that had previously only been observed in gas giant atmospheres and the atmosphere of Saturn's moon, Titan. Methane absorption is not expected at the temperatures of main-sequence stars. This discovery helped to establish yet another spectral class even cooler than L dwarfs known as "T dwarfs" for which Gl 229B is the prototype.
Since 1995, when the first brown dwarf was confirmed by Chilean astronomer María Teresa Ruiz, over a thousand have been identified. Brown dwarfs close to Earth include Epsilon Indi Ba and Bb, a pair of dwarfs gravitationally bound to a sunlike star, around 12 light-years from the Sun.
The standard mechanism for star birth is through the gravitational collapse of a cold interstellar cloud of gas and dust. As the cloud contracts it heats up from the release of gravitational potential energy. Early in the process the contracting gas quickly radiates away much of the energy, allowing the collapse to continue. Eventually, the central region becomes sufficiently dense to trap radiation. Consequently, the central temperature and density of the collapsed cloud increases dramatically with time, slowing the contraction, until the conditions are hot and dense enough for thermonuclear reactions to occur in the core of the protostar. For most stars, gas and radiation pressure generated by the thermonuclear fusion reactions within the core of the star will support it against any further gravitational contraction. Hydrostatic equilibrium is reached and the star will spend most of its lifetime fusing hydrogen into helium as a main-sequence star.
If, however, the mass of the protostar is less than about 0.08 solar mass, normal hydrogen thermonuclear fusion reactions will not ignite in the core. Gravitational contraction does not heat the small protostar very effectively, and before the temperature in the core can increase enough to trigger fusion, the density reaches the point where electrons become closely packed enough to create quantum electron degeneracy pressure. According to the brown dwarf interior models, typical conditions in the core for density, temperature and pressure are expected to be the following:
Further gravitational contraction is prevented and the result is a "failed star", or brown dwarf that simply cools off by radiating away its internal thermal energy.
Distinguishing high-mass brown dwarfs from low-mass stars
Lithium: Lithium is generally present in brown dwarfs and not in low-mass stars. Stars, which achieve the high temperature necessary for fusing hydrogen, rapidly deplete their lithium. This occurs by a collision of Lithium-7 and a proton producing two Helium-4 nuclei. The temperature necessary for this reaction is just below the temperature necessary for hydrogen fusion. Convection in low-mass stars ensures that lithium in the whole volume of the star is depleted. Therefore, the presence of the lithium line in a candidate brown dwarf's spectrum is a strong indicator that it is indeed substellar. The use of lithium to distinguish candidate brown dwarfs from low-mass stars is commonly referred to as the lithium test, and was pioneered by Rafael Rebolo, Eduardo Martin and Antonio Magazzu.
- However, lithium is also seen in very young stars, which have not yet had enough time to burn it all. Heavier stars like our sun can retain lithium in their outer atmospheres, which never get hot enough for lithium depletion, but those are distinguishable from brown dwarfs by their size.
- Contrariwise, brown dwarfs at the high end of their mass range can be hot enough to deplete their lithium when they are young. Dwarfs of mass greater than 65 Jupiter masses can burn off their lithium by the time they are half a billion years old[Kulkarni], thus this test is not perfect.
Methane: Unlike stars, older brown dwarfs are sometimes cool enough that over very long periods of time their atmospheres can gather observable quantities of methane. Dwarfs confirmed in this fashion include Gliese 229B.
Luminosity: Main sequence stars cool, but eventually reach a minimum luminosity which they can sustain through steady fusion. This varies from star to star, but is generally at least 0.01% the luminosity of our Sun. Brown dwarfs cool and darken steadily over their lifetimes: sufficiently old brown dwarfs will be too faint to be detectable.
Iron rain as part of atmospheric convection processes is possible only with brown dwarfs, and not with small stars. The spectroscopy research into iron rain is still ongoing–and not all brown dwarfs will always have this atmospheric anomaly.
Distinguishing low-mass brown dwarfs from high-mass planets
A remarkable property of brown dwarfs is that they are all roughly the same radius as Jupiter. At the high end of their mass range (60–90 Jupiter masses), the volume of a brown dwarf is governed primarily by electron degeneracy pressure, as it is in white dwarfs; at the low end of the range (10 Jupiter masses), their volume is governed primarily by Coulomb pressure, as it is in planets. The net result is that the radii of brown dwarfs vary by only 10–15% over the range of possible masses. This can make distinguishing them from planets difficult.
In addition, many brown dwarfs undergo no fusion; those at the low end of the mass range (under 13 Jupiter masses) are never hot enough to fuse even deuterium, and even those at the high end of the mass range (over 60 Jupiter masses) cool quickly enough that they no longer undergo fusion after a period of time on the order of 10 million years. However, there are ways to distinguish dwarfs from planets:
Mass, if over 10 Jupiter masses, means a body is unlikely to be a planet.
X-ray and infrared spectra are telltale signs. Some brown dwarfs emit X-rays; and all "warm" dwarfs continue to glow tellingly in the red and infrared spectra until they cool to planetlike temperatures (under 1000 K).
Gas giant planets have some of the characteristics of brown dwarfs. For example, Jupiter and Saturn are both made primarily of hydrogen and helium, like the Sun. Saturn is nearly as large as Jupiter, despite having only 30% the mass. Three of the giants in our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune) emit more heat than they receive from the Sun. And all four giant planets have their own "planetary systems"—their moons. Brown dwarfs form independently, like stars, but lack sufficient mass to "ignite" as stars do. Like all stars, they can occur singly or in close proximity to other stars. Some orbit stars and can, like planets, have eccentric orbits.
Currently, the International Astronomical Union considers an object with a mass above the limiting mass for thermonuclear fusion of deuterium (currently calculated to be 13 Jupiter masses for objects of solar metallicity) to be a brown dwarf, whereas an object under that mass (and orbiting a star or stellar remnant) is considered a planet.
The 13 Jupiter-mass cutoff is a rule of thumb rather than something of precise physical significance. Larger objects will burn most of their deuterium and smaller ones will burn only a little, and the 13 Jupiter mass value is somewhere in between. The amount of deuterium burnt also depends not only on mass but on the composition of the planet, on the amount of helium and deuterium present. The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia includes objects up to 25 Jupiter masses, and the Exoplanet Data Explorer up to 24 Jupiter masses. Objects below 13 Jupiter-mass are sometimes studied under the label "sub-brown dwarf".
Classification of brown dwarfs
Spectral class M
There are brown dwarfs with a spectral class of M6.5 or later. They are also called Late-M dwarfs.
Spectral class L
The defining characteristic of spectral class M, the coolest type in the long-standing classical stellar sequence, is an optical spectrum dominated by absorption bands of titanium(II) oxide (TiO) and vanadium(II) oxide (VO) molecules. However, GD 165B, the cool companion to the white dwarf GD 165, had none of the hallmark TiO features of M dwarfs. The subsequent identification of many field counterparts to GD 165B ultimately led Kirkpatrick and others to the definition of a new spectral class, the L dwarfs, defined in the red optical region not by weakening metal-oxide bands (TiO, VO), but strong metal hydride bands (FeH, CrH, MgH, CaH) and prominent alkali metal lines (Na I, K I, Cs I, Rb I). As of 2011[update], over 600 L dwarfs have been identified, most by wide-field surveys: the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), the Deep Near Infrared Survey of the Southern Sky (DENIS), and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).
Spectral class T
As GD 165B is the prototype of the L dwarfs, Gliese 229B is the prototype of a second new spectral class, the T dwarfs. Whereas near-infrared (NIR) spectra of L dwarfs show strong absorption bands of H2O and carbon monoxide (CO), the NIR spectrum of Gliese 229B is dominated by absorption bands from methane (CH4), features that were only found in the giant planets of the solar system and Titan. CH4, H2O, and molecular hydrogen (H2) collision-induced absorption (CIA) give Gliese 229B blue near-infrared colors. Its steeply sloped red optical spectrum also lacks the FeH and CrH bands that characterize L dwarfs and instead is influenced by exceptionally broad absorption features from the alkali metals Na and K. These differences led Kirkpatrick to propose the T spectral class for objects exhibiting H- and K-band CH4 absorption. As of 2011[update], 207 T dwarfs are now known. NIR classification schemes for T dwarfs have recently been developed by Adam Burgasser and Tom Geballe. Theory suggests that L dwarfs are a mixture of very low-mass stars and sub-stellar objects (brown dwarfs), whereas the T dwarf class is composed entirely of brown dwarfs. Because of the absorption of sodium and potassium in the green part of the spectrum of T dwarfs, the actual appearance of T dwarfs to human visual perception is estimated to be not brown, but the color of magenta coal tar dye.
Spectral class Y
Class Y dwarfs are expected to be much cooler than T-dwarfs. They have been modelled, though there is no well-defined spectral sequence yet with prototypes.
- Y: < 500 K, ultra-cool brown dwarfs
In 2009, the coolest known brown dwarfs had estimated effective temperatures between 500 and 600 K, and have been assigned the spectral class T9. Three examples are the brown dwarfs CFBDS J005910.90-011401.3, ULAS J133553.45+113005.2, and ULAS J003402.77−005206.7. The spectra of these objects display absorption around 1.55 micrometers. Delorme et al. have suggested that this feature is due to absorption from ammonia and that this should be taken as indicating the T-Y transition, making these objects of type Y0. However, the feature is difficult to distinguish from absorption by water and methane, and other authors have stated that the assignment of class Y0 is premature.
In April 2010, two newly discovered ultracool brown subdwarfs (UGPS 0722-05 and SDWFS 1433+35) were proposed as prototypes for spectral class Y0.
In February 2011, Luhman et al. reported the discovery of a ~300 K, 7 Jupiter mass brown dwarf companion to a nearby white dwarf. Though of 'planetary' mass, Rodriguez et al. suggest it is unlikely to have formed in the same manner as planets.
Shortly after that, Liu et al. published an account of a "very cold" (~370 K) brown dwarf orbiting another very low mass brown dwarf and noted that "[g]iven its low luminosity, atypical colors and cold temperature, CFBDS J1458+10B is a promising candidate for the hypothesized Y spectral class."
In August, 2011, scientists using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) have discovered six "Y dwarfs"—star-like bodies with temperatures as cool as the human body.
So far, WISE data have revealed 100 new brown dwarfs. Of these, six are classified as cool Y's. One of the Y dwarfs, called WISE 1828+2650, is the record holder for the coldest brown dwarf with an estimated atmospheric temperature cooler than room temperature, or less than 298 K (25°C, 80°F ). It emits no visible light at all, making it resemble a planet rather than a star. 
Spectral and atmospheric properties of brown dwarfs
The majority of flux emitted by L and T dwarfs is in the 1 to 2.5 micrometre near-infrared range. Low and decreasing temperatures through the late M, L, and T dwarf sequence result in a rich near-infrared spectrum containing a wide variety of features, from relatively narrow lines of neutral atomic species to broad molecular bands, all of which have different dependencies on temperature, gravity, and metallicity. Furthermore, these low temperature conditions favor condensation out of the gas state and the formation of grains.
Typical atmospheres of known brown dwarfs range in temperature from 2200 down to 750 K. Compared to stars, which warm themselves with steady internal fusion, brown dwarfs cool quickly over time; more massive dwarfs cool slower than less massive ones.
Coronagraphs have recently been used to detect faint objects orbiting bright visible stars, including Gliese 229B.
Sensitive telescopes equipped with charge-coupled devices (CCDs) have been used to search distant star clusters for faint objects, including Teide 1.
Wide-field searches have identified individual faint objects, such as Kelu-1 (30 ly away)
- 1995: First brown dwarf verified. Teide 1, an M8 object in the Pleiades cluster, is picked out with a CCD in the Spanish Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.
- First methane brown dwarf verified. Gliese 229B is discovered orbiting red dwarf Gliese 229A (20 ly away) using an adaptive optics coronagraph to sharpen images from the 60 inch (1.5 m) reflecting telescope at Palomar Observatory on Southern California's Mt. Palomar; followup infrared spectroscopy made with their 200 inch (5 m) Hale telescope shows an abundance of methane.
- 1998: First X-ray-emitting brown dwarf found. Cha Halpha 1, an M8 object in the Chamaeleon I dark cloud, is determined to be an X-ray source, similar to convective late-type stars.
- December 15, 1999: First X-ray flare detected from a brown dwarf. A team at the University of California monitoring LP 944-20 (60 Jupiter masses, 16 ly away) via the Chandra X-ray Observatory, catches a 2-hour flare.
- 27 July 2000: First radio emission (in flare and quiescence) detected from a brown dwarf. A team of students at the Very Large Array reported their observations of LP 944-20 in the 15 March 2001 issue of the journal Nature.
Brown dwarf as an X-ray source
X-ray flares detected from brown dwarfs since late 1999 suggest changing magnetic fields within them, similar to those in very low-mass stars.
With no strong central nuclear energy source, the interior of a brown dwarf is in a rapid boiling, or convective state. When combined with the rapid rotation that most brown dwarfs exhibit, convection sets up conditions for the development of a strong, tangled magnetic field near the surface. The flare observed by Chandra from LP 944-20 could have its origin in the turbulent magnetized hot material beneath the brown dwarf's surface. A sub-surface flare could conduct heat to the atmosphere, allowing electric currents to flow and produce an X-ray flare, like a stroke of lightning. The absence of X-rays from LP 944-20 during the non flaring period is also a significant result. It sets the lowest observational limit on steady X-ray power produced by a brown dwarf star, and shows that coronas cease to exist as the surface temperature of a brown dwarf cools below about 2500°C and becomes electrically neutral.
Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have detected X-rays from a low-mass brown dwarf in a multiple star system. This is the first time that a brown dwarf this close to its parent star(s) (Sun-like stars TWA 5A) has been resolved in X-rays. "Our Chandra data show that the X-rays originate from the brown dwarf's coronal plasma which is some 3 million degrees Celsius", said Yohko Tsuboi of Chuo University in Tokyo. "This brown dwarf is as bright as the Sun today in X-ray light, while it is fifty times less massive than the Sun", said Tsuboi. "This observation, thus, raises the possibility that even massive planets might emit X-rays by themselves during their youth!"
Recent observations of known brown dwarf candidates have revealed a pattern of brightening and dimming of infrared emissions that suggests relatively cool, opaque cloud patterns obscuring a hot interior that is stirred by extreme winds. The weather on such bodies is thought to be extremely violent, comparable to but far exceeding Jupiter's famous storms.
The brown dwarf Cha 110913-773444, located 500 light years away in the constellation Chamaeleon, may be in the process of forming a mini solar system. Astronomers from Pennsylvania State University have detected what they believe to be a disk of gas and dust similar to the one hypothesized to have formed our own solar system. Cha 110913-773444 is the smallest brown dwarf found to date (8 Jupiter masses), and if it formed a solar system, it would be the smallest known object to have one. Their findings were published in the December 10, 2005 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Planets around brown dwarfs
The planetary-mass objects 2M1207b, GQ Lupi b and 2MASS J044144 that are orbiting brown-dwarfs, may have formed by cloud collapse rather than accretion and so may be sub-brown dwarfs rather than planets.
Disks around brown dwarfs have been found to have many of the same features as disks around stars; therefore, it is expected that there will be accretion-formed planets around brown dwarfs. Given the small mass of brown dwarf disks, most planets will be terrestrial planets rather than gas giants. If a giant planet orbits a brown dwarf across our line of sight then since they have approximately the same diameter this would give a large signal for detection by transit. The accretion zone for planets around a brown dwarf is very close to the brown dwarf itself, so tidal forces would have a strong effect.
Notable brown dwarfs
- WD 0137-349 B: first confirmed brown dwarf to have survived the primary's red giant phase.
- In 1984 it was postulated by some astronomers that the Sun may be orbited by an undetected brown dwarf (sometimes referred to as Nemesis) which could interact with the Oort cloud just as passing stars can. But this dated theory has fallen out of favor.
Table of Firsts Brown Dwarfs Title Brown Dwarf Name Spectral Type RA/Dec Constellation Notes First discovered Teide Pleiades 1 M8 3h47m18.0s +24°22'31" Taurus Imaged in 1989 and 1994 First imaged with coronography Gliese 229 B T6.5 06h10m34.62s -21°51'52.1" Lepus Discovered 1994 First with planemo 2MASSW J1207334-393254 M8 12h07m33.47s -39°32'54.0" Centaurus First with a planetary mass in orbit about it 2M1207 First with a dust disk First with bipolar outflow First field type (solitary) Teide 1 M8 3h47m18.0s +24°22'31" Taurus 1995 First as a companion to a normal star Gliese 229 B T6.5 06h10m34.62s -21°51'52.1" Lepus 1995 First spectroscopic binary brown dwarf PPL 15 A, B  M6.5 Taurus Basri and Martin 1999 First binary brown dwarf of T Type Epsilon Indi Ba, Bb  T1 + T6 Indus Distance: 3.626pc First trinary brown dwarf DENIS-P J020529.0-115925 A/B/C L5, L8 and T0 02h05m29.40s -11°59'29.7" Cetus Delfosse et al. 1997, mentions First halo brown dwarf 2MASS J05325346+8246465 sdL7 05h32m53.46s +82°46'46.5" Gemini Adam J. Burgasser, et al. 2003 First Late-M spectra Teide 1 M8 3h47m18.0s +24°22'31" Taurus 1995 First L spectra First T spectra Gliese 229 B T6.5 06h10m34.62s -21°51'52.1" Lepus 1995 Latest T spectrum ULAS J0034-00 T9  Cetus 2007 First Y spectrum CFBDS0059 - pending. This is also classified as a T9 dwarf, due to its close resemblance to other T dwarfs ~Y0 2008 First X-ray-emitting Cha Halpha 1 M8 Chamaeleon 1998 First X-ray flare LP 944-20 M9V 03h39m35.22s -35°25'44.1" Fornax 1999 First radio emission (in flare and quiescence) LP 944-20 M9V 03h39m35.22s -35°25'44.1" Fornax 2000 Table of Extremes Brown Dwarfs Title Brown Dwarf Name Spectral Type RA/Dec Constellation Notes Oldest Youngest Heaviest Metal-rich Metal-poor 2MASS J05325346+8246465 sdL7 05h32m53.46s +82°46'46.5" Gemini distance is ~10–30pc, metallicity is 0.1–0.01ZSol Lightest Largest Smallest Furthest Nearest WISE 1541-2250 Y Distance: 9 ly Nearest binary Epsilon Indi Ba, Bb  T1 + T6 Indus Distance: 12 ly Brightest Dimmest 2MASS J09393548-2448279 Hottest Coolest WISE 1828+2650 Y Temperature 300 K Most dense COROT-3b  Transiting brown dwarf COROT-3b has 22 MJ with a diameter 1.01±0.07 times that of Jupiter. This makes it twice as dense as the metal platinum. Least dense
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- ^ ESA Portal - Exoplanet hunt update
- S. S. Kumar, Low-Luminosity Stars. Gordon and Breach, London, 1969—an early overview paper on brown dwarfs
- The Columbia Encyclopedia
- A current list of L and T dwarfs
- A geological definition of brown dwarfs, contrasted with stars and planets (via Berkeley)
- Neill Reid's pages at the Space Telescope Science Institute:
- First X-ray from brown dwarf observed, Spaceref.com, 2000
- Brown Dwarfs and ultracool dwarfs (late-M, L, T) - D. Montes, UCM
- Wild Weather: Iron Rain on Failed Stars - scientists are investigating astonishing weather patterns on brown dwarfs, Space.com, 2006
- NASA Brown dwarf detectives - Detailed information in a simplified sense.
- Brown Dwarfs - Website with general information about brown dwarfs (has many detailed and colorful artist's impressions).
- Cha Halpha 1 stats and history
- A census of observed brown dwarfs (not all confirmed), ca 1998
- Epsilon Indi Ba and Bb, a pair of brown dwarfs 12 ly away
- Luhman et al., Discovery of a Planetary-Mass Brown Dwarf with a Circumstellar Disk
- Discovery Narrows the Gap Between Planets and Brown Dwarfs, 2007
- Y-Spectral class for Ultra-Cool Dwarfs, N.R.Deacon and N.C.Hambly, 2006
Formation · Pre–main sequence · Main sequence · Horizontal branch · Asymptotic giant branch · Dredge-up · Instability strip · Red clump · PG1159 star · Mira variable · Planetary nebula · Protoplanetary nebula · Luminous red nova · Luminous blue variable · Wolf–Rayet star · Supernova impostor · Supernova · Hypernova · Hertzsprung–Russell diagram · Color–color diagram
Protostars Luminosity class Spectral classification Remnants Failed and
Nucleosynthesis Structure Properties Star systems Earth-centric
Star names · Arabic names · Chinese names · Most massive · Least massive · Largest · Brightest (Historical) · Most luminous · Nearest (Nearest bright) · Stars with exoplanets · Brown dwarfs · Planetary nebulae · Novae · Notable supernovae · Supernova remnants · Supernova candidates · Timeline of stellar astronomy
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brown dwarf — brown′ dwarf′ n. astron. a cold, dark star that is too small to initiate the nuclear reactions that generate heat and light … From formal English to slang
brown dwarf — n. a hypothetical celestial object consisting of a body of gas that gives off a small amount of radiation but lacks sufficient mass to initiate the nuclear fusion that characterizes true stars … English World dictionary
brown dwarf — Astron. a cold, dark star that is too small to initiate the nuclear reactions that generate heat and light. * * * Astronomical object intermediate in mass between a planet and a star. Sometimes described as failed stars, brown dwarfs are believed … Universalium
brown dwarf — /braʊn ˈdwɔf/ (say brown dwawf) noun an astronomical body which is not of sufficient mass and temperature to produce hydrogen fusion and become a star: *Astronomers found weather similar to that on Jupiter in the atmospheres of brown dwarfs –… … Australian English dictionary
brown dwarf — noun Date: 1978 a celestial object that is much smaller than a normal star and has insufficient mass to sustain nuclear fusion but that is hot enough to radiate energy especially at infrared wavelengths … New Collegiate Dictionary
brown dwarf — noun A star that is typically about the volume of the planet Jupiter, which has mass approaching that of a star, but insufficient to ignite its elements and cause it to burn as a true star, except that of deuterium … Wiktionary
brown dwarf — noun Astronomy a celestial object which is intermediate in size between a giant planet and a small star, believed to emit mainly infrared radiation … English new terms dictionary
Brown Dwarf — Bodies that are much larger than planets, but are too small to carry out continuous nuclear fusion in their cores, so they can t become stars … The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology
brown dwarf — noun : a celestial object that is much smaller than a normal star and has insufficient mass for nuclear fusion to begin but that is hot enough to radiate energy especially at infrared wavelengths … Useful english dictionary
Brown-dwarf desert — A brown dwarf desert is an orbital distance around a star at which brown dwarfs cannot exist as binary stars. [cite book | title = Planet Formation: Theory, Observations, and Experiments | author = Hubert Klahr and Wolfgang Brandner | publisher … Wikipedia