Release Images

Release No.: 2013-23
For Release: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 10:00am

Coldest Brown Dwarfs Blur Lines between Stars and Planets

free-floating brown dwarf

This artist's conception portrays a free-floating brown dwarf, or failed star. A new study shows that several of these objects are warmer than previously thought with temperatures about 250-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

brown dwarfs discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

The locations of brown dwarfs discovered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, and mapped by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, are shown here in this diagram. The view is from a vantage point about 100 light-years away from the sun, looking back towards the constellation Orion.

At this distance our sun is barely visible as a speck of light. The vastly fainter brown dwarfs would not even be visible in this view. The red lines all link back to the location of the sun.

NASA/JPL-Caltech