Latest Brown dwarf Stories

2008-12-10 14:08:57

It's a tie! The new record-holder for dimmest known star-like object in the universe goes to twin "failed" stars, or brown dwarfs, each of which shines feebly with only one millionth the light of our sun. Previously, astronomers thought the pair of dim bulbs was just one typical, faint brown dwarf with no record-smashing titles. But when NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed the brown dwarf with its heat-seeking infrared vision, it was able to accurately measure the object's extreme...

2008-12-03 09:25:00

Astronomers have uncovered strong evidence that brown dwarfs form like stars. Using the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array (SMA), they detected molecules of carbon monoxide shooting outward from the object known as ISO-Oph 102. Such molecular outflows typically are seen coming from young stars or protostars. However, this object has an estimated mass of 60 Jupiters, meaning it is too small to be a star. Astronomers have classified it as a brown dwarf. Brown dwarfs are on the dividing line...

2008-10-06 09:05:00

COROT has discovered a massive planet-sized object orbiting its parent star closely, unlike anything ever spotted before. It is so exotic, that scientists are unsure as to whether this oddity is actually a planet or a failed star. The object, named COROT-exo-3b, is about the size of Jupiter, but packs more than 20 times the mass. It takes only 4 days and 6 hours to orbit its parent star, which is slightly larger than the Sun. COROT-exo-3b was found as the satellite observed the drop in the...

2008-09-15 18:35:00

A Canadian team of scientists have made an unprecedented discovery: an image of a planet outside of Earth's Solar System which appears to be circling a star like the sun. The newly discovered planet lies about 500 light-years from Earth and has a mass of about eight times that of Jupiter. It is the first discovered to be orbiting a star rather than brown dwarfs, which are dim. The star, appears to be similar to our Sun, but may be somewhat younger, experts said.  Distance between the...

2008-05-01 12:29:26

Discovery helps solve riddle of where the carbon white dwarfs come from, and what happens to their hydrogen and helium University of Texas at Austin astronomers Michael H. Montgomery and Kurtis A. Williams, along with graduate student Steven DeGennaro, have predicted and confirmed the existence of a new type of variable star, with the help of the 2.1-meter Otto Struve Telescope at McDonald Observatory. The discovery is announced in today's issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters. This research...

2008-04-10 09:35:00

An international team led by French and Canadian astronomers has just discovered the coldest brown dwarf ever observed. Their results will soon be published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. This new finding was made possible by the performance of telescopes worldwide*: Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and Gemini North Telescope, both located in Hawaii, and the ESO/NTT located in Chile.The brown dwarf is named CFBDS J005910.83-011401.3 (it will be called CFBDS0059 in the following). Its...

2008-04-01 11:05:00

Scientists working at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies have found a clutch of jets from newborn brown dwarfs. In her talk on Tuesday 1 April at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Belfast, postdoctoral researcher Dr Emma Whelan will announce the discovery of more jets from these intriguing objects, bringing the total to 4.New stars form in cold clouds of gas and dust. These so-called stellar nurseries are not only home to forming stars (protostars) but also harbor forming brown...

2008-03-26 13:40:00

Astrophysicists observe a circumstellar disk with telltale signs of planet formationScientists are one step closer to understanding how new planets form, thanks to research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and carried out by a team of astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History.Ben R. Oppenheimer, assistant curator in the museum's Department of Astrophysics, and his colleagues have used the Lyot Project coronograph attached to a U.S. Air Force telescope on Maui,...

2007-06-19 11:42:08

Observing the image of a faint object that lies close to a star is a demanding task as the object is generally hidden in the glare of the star. Characterising this object, by taking spectra, is an even harder challenge. Still, thanks to ingenious scientists and a new ESO imaging spectrograph, this is now feasible, paving the way to an eldorado of many new thrilling discoveries. These very high contrast observations are fundamental for directly imaging unknown extra-solar planets (i.e. planets...

2007-05-17 14:40:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows infant stars "hatching" in the head of Orion, the famous hunter constellation visible from northern hemispheres during winter nights. Astronomers suspect that shockwaves from a 3-million-year-old explosion of a massive star may have initiated this newfound birth. The region featured in the Spitzer image is called Barnard 30. It is located approximately 1,300 light-years away and sits on the right side of Orion's head, just north of the...

Word of the Day
  • A blustering, bullying fellow; a pot-valiant braggart; a bully.
This word is named for Draw-Can-Sir, a character in George Villiers' 17th century play The Rehearsal.