Stars vs brown dwarves

Sky at Night Magazine - - BULLETIN - carnegi­

A new study sug­gests that brown dwarves could be larger than pre­vi­ously thought pos­si­ble. The re­search will help sci­en­tists pin down the line sep­a­rat­ing stars from brown dwarves.

Brown dwarves and stars be­gin their lives the same way. If they have enough mass they will fuse hy­dro­gen atoms to­gether, pro­duc­ing heat and light. Be­low a cer­tain mass fu­sion doesn’t hap­pen and they in­stead be­come brown dwarves.

The mass needed to trig­ger fu­sion is not known ex­actly, but cur­rent the­o­ries pre­dict it lies be­tween 70 to 73 times the mass of Jupiter. How­ever, a team of re­searchers has now found a brown dwarf that is 75 Jupiter masses in size.

“We showed that the heav­i­est brown dwarves and the light­est stars may only have slight dif­fer­ences in mass. But de­spite this, they are des­tined for dif­fer­ent lives – one rac­ing to dim and cool, the other shin­ing for bil­lions of years,” says Serge Di­eterich from the Carnegie In­sti­tute for Science, who led the study.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween a star and a brown dwarf may not be as mas­sive as pre­vi­ously thought

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.