Pair of eclipsing brown dwarfs



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Description This is an artist's concept of a pair of eclipsing brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are mysterious celestial objects that fall somewhere between the smallest stars and the largest planets. They have always been viewed by astronomers as a critical link in the understanding of how both stars and planets form. One problem has been that brown dwarfs are hard to find and so have defied nearly all attempts to accurately assess their size. But now astronomers, have discovered a pair of young brown dwarfs in mutual orbit. This has enabled scientists to weigh and measure the diameters of brown dwarfs for the first time. The new observations confirm the theoretical prediction that brown dwarfs start out as star-sized objects, but shrink and cool and become increasingly planet sized as they age. Before now, the only brown dwarf whose mass had been directly measured was much older and dimmer.
Date 2006(2006)
Source http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/star/2006/11/
Author NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)
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Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

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