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Brown dwarf in Pleiades, illustration

Brown dwarf in Pleiades, illustration

F021/5186

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Illustration of a brown dwarf in the Pleiades star cluster. Pleiades (or Seven Sisters) is a young open cluster of several dozen hot, middle-aged stars. It is about 130 parsecs away in Taurus. In the 1990s, astronomers discovered several brown dwarfs within the cluster, as illustrated in this picture. Brown dwarfs are objects which form like stars, but which do not fuse hydrogen into helium like true stars. Some, however, do undergo deuterium burning. They are mid-way in mass between large planets and small stars.

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