An international team of scientists led by Carnegie Institution’s Serge Dieterich has demonstrated that brown dwarfs, objects which are unable to sustain stable nuclear fusion of hydrogen, can be more massive than thought previously.

To shine bright, stars need the energy derived from the fusion of hydrogen atoms deep in their interiors. If too small, hydrogen fusion can’t occur, so the object cools, darkens, and turns into something called a brown dwarf.

Many astronomers are trying to determine the mass, temperature, and brightness of objects on both sides of this divide.

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