Brown Dwarf Exoplanet Identified
Brown dwarfs are often referred to as “failed stars,” but that moniker may have to be slightly modified to reflect one brown dwarf’s ability of birthing planets — a very star-like trait.
Mysterious brown dwarfs have fascinated astronomers for decades, but only now are we able to observe them in any detail and truly understand their nature. Generally speaking, brown dwarfs are thought to form in a similar way to stars. However, they didn’t accrue enough mass from their stellar nursery to ignite fusion in their cores. Although there is some low-level fusion activity of deuterium and lithium in the cores of brown dwarfs, they certainly cannot fuse hydrogen (the “gold standard” of any self-respecting star) and can only be detected by their infrared emissions.