Interferometric Identification of a Pre–Brown Dwarf

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6090, pp. 69-72
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222602

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


It is not known whether brown dwarfs [stellar-like objects with masses less than the hydrogen-burning limit, 0.075 solar mass (M)] are formed in the same way as solar-type stars or by some other process. Here we report the clear-cut identification of a self-gravitating condensation of gas and dust with a mass in the brown-dwarf regime, made through millimeter interferometric observations. The level of thermal millimeter continuum emission detected from this object indicates a mass ~0.02 to 0.03 M, whereas the small radius, <460 astronomical units, and narrow spectral lines imply a dynamical mass of 0.015 to 0.02 M. The identification of such a pre–brown dwarf core supports models according to which brown dwarfs are formed in the same manner as hydrogen-burning stars.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science

Editor's Blog