Unpaired Brown Dwarfs

Video Player

Video Versions

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Video imagery:

  • Artist's concept, brown dwarf companion: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
  • Webb NIRCam image of brown dwarfs in IC 348: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Kevin Luhman (PSU), Catarina Alves de Oliveira (ESA)
  • Artist's concept of a brown dwarf: NASA, ESA, Joseph Olmsted (STScI) 

Music from Music for Non-Profits

A grid of photographs of celestial bodies moves up. A white line moves down and another across. Text, News from the universe. The text is above an image of Jupiter. 
April 1, 2024, Unpaired Brown Dwarfs. Illustration. A red sphere in the corner and a bright star in the background. 
Text, A new survey with the Hubble Space Telescope indicates that as pairs of brown dwarfs age, they grow apart. 
The red sphere, partially in shadow, with light and dark streaks, moves towards the center, 
Text, Brown dwarfs form like stars from clouds of cosmic dust and gas, but they never gain enough mass to sustain nuclear fusion and "shine" like a star. 
Three squares labeled 1, 2 and 3 around points of light. Two are in the first square. 
Text, Like stars, young brown dwarfs have been found in pairs. 
The striated red sphere shines brightly. 
Text, However, a new Hubble survey of older brown dwarfs in our local cosmic neighborhood did not find any pairs. 
A band of stars spreads across the sky behind the red sphere. 
Text, Scientists think that because of their low mass, brown dwarf pairs are often torn apart by the gravitational pull of passing massive stars. 
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD.