Andrews, Scotland, heads a project called Substellar Objects
in Nearby Young Clusters, and will use infrared data from JWST to study a stellar nursery - NGC 1333 in the constellation of Perseus - about 1,000 light-years away that is home to an unusually high number of brown dwarfs, some of which are not much heavier than Jupiter.
Brown dwarfs are "failed stars," relatively lightweight substellar objects
that commonly are thought to be born like stars--within a dense, heavy blob of material embedded within a giant, cold, dark, molecular cloud that collapses under the weight of its own gravity to give birth to a fiery new baby star.
Eventually, these discs become unstable and fragment to form low-mass stars and substellar objects
, like brown dwarfs and planets," he added.
2) Substellar objects
with true masses above the limiting mass for thermonuclear fusion of deuterium are 'brown dwarfs', no matter how they formed or where they are located.
Another brown-dwarf duo is shedding light on the atmospheres of these substellar objects
Several other confirmed substellar objects
have been found recently.
Instead, the group relied on evolutionary models that calculate how substellar objects
should cool and fade over time.
Nevertheless, the search for substellar objects
had clearly succeeded at last.
Such direct measurements will enable astronomers to test the cooling models that are used to derive masses of substellar objects
indirectly, based on the objects' ages and luminosities.
These results, along with the recent discovery of a young binary brown dwarf (see page 22), bolster the view that substellar objects
form in the same manner as stars and are not ejected embryos.
Such a nearby trophy offers astronomers "a new benchmark in the study of substellar objects
, amenable to a wide range of detailed atmospheric and chemical observations," write its discoverers in a paper to appear in Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Some stellar specialists conclude that for now we are better off referring to these bodies as brown dwarfs, substellar objects
that lack the mass to sustain hydrogen fusion in their cores.