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Two Planet-like Brown Dwarfs Discovered


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Text, News From The Universe. August 11, 2020
Two Planet-like Brown Dwarfs Discovered
Image shows Relative Size of a brown Dwarf. Jupiter is the smallest, then a Brown Dwarf, then a low mass star, and finally the Sun is many times larger than all three.
Text, Brown dwarfs have some features like planets and some like stars, though they are not massive enough to undergo hydrogen fusion like stars.
A citizen-science collaboration has discovered two very planet-like brown dwarfs among the Milky Way's oldest stars.
Citizen scientists combed through data from NASA's NEOWISE mission to identify the brown dwarfs, and professional astronomers followed up to confirm.

The brown dwarfs are roughly 10 billion years old and have very little iron, which is unusual.
Astronomers study brown dwarfs like these to gain clues about exoplanets, which may form in similar ways.
Metal-poor brown dwarfs like these may point the way to metal-poor exoplanets and the planetary systems of ancient, metal-poor stars.
This news was brought to you in part by IPAC in Pasadena, CA