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Failing as a Cool Star

Failing as a Cool Star

Astrobiology Magazine article published July 14, 2004. At the 13th Cambridge Workshop on "Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun," Dr. Kevin L. Luhman (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) announced the discovery of a unique pair of newborn brown dwarfs in orbit around each other. Brown dwarfs were discovered in the mid-nineties as hybrid stellar objects: too small to ignite as stars, but too big to be planets. To reconcile the classification, astronomers have looked at newborn dwarfs less than a million years old to see if they might have paired up with a larger parent star. If so, some sort of slingshot mass might explain why the cool dwarfs fail to become stars.

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