Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Astronomers recently discovered brown dwarfs of only a few hundred degrees fahrenheit, which seems about the same temperature as some planets. So what is the difference between a brown dwarf and a planet?

Ewell Schirmer, Plano, Texas
RELATED TOPICS: BROWN DWARFS
Astronomers recently found brown dwarfs with surface temperatures of a few hundred degrees Fahrenheit.

This is an excellent question, and it’s one that even astronomers have a hard time agreeing on. There are three criteria that we consider when trying to distinguish among stars, giant planets, and brown dwarfs: how they formed, how massive they are, and what they look like.

Astronomy magazine subscribers can read the full answer for free. Just make sure you're registered with the website.

Already a subscriber? Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on Astronomy.com, please log in below.
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
BoxProductcovernov

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook

Loading...