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News Release 258 of 964

January 5, 2009 12:20 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2009-01

Brown Dwarfs Don't Hang Out With Stars

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 5, 2009: Brown dwarfs, objects that are less massive than stars but larger than planets, just got more elusive, based on studies of nearby multiple-star systems by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble found only two brown dwarfs as companions to normal stars. This means the so-called "brown dwarf desert" (the absence of brown dwarfs around solar-type stars) extends to the smallest stars in the universe. The results are being reported today at the 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Dieterich and T. Henry (Georgia State University), and M. Stumpf (MPIA, Germany)