brown dwarf

Microlensing in practice

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, NASA’s Spitzer and Swift space telescopes joined forces to observe a microlensing event, when a distant star brightens due to the gravitational field of at least one foreground cosmic object. This…


A dwarf with an aurora

Aurorae—also known as the northern and southern lights—decorate the sky when energetic electrons hit Earth’s upper atmosphere. Now, as astronomers report online today in Nature, they’ve seen the same phenomenon on a dim sun located…


Brown dwarf a “black hole”?

The new SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to be orbiting the unusual double star V471 Tauri. SPHERE has given astronomers the best look…


Enstatite and corundum clouds

A peculiar example of a celestial body, known as a brown dwarf, with unusually red skies has been discovered by a team of astronomers from the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Astrophysics Research. Brown dwarfs…


Planet. No, brown dwarf. No, in between!

An object discovered by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto (U of T) nearly 500 light years away from the Sun may challenge traditional understandings about how planets and stars form. The object is located…


No Picture

Don’t burp too hard

Astronomers have watched as a black hole woke up from a decades-long slumber to feed on a low-mass object – either a brown dwarf or a giant planet – that strayed too close. A similar…


A Cool Kid

Stars can be cool. In more than one sense: Astronomers using the world’s largest radio telescope, at Arecibo, Puerto Rico, have discovered flaring radio emission from an ultra-cool star, not much warmer than the planet…