Fr.: naine brune
A star-like object whose mass is too small to sustain → hydrogen fusion in its interior and become a star. Brown dwarfs are → substellar objects and occupy an intermediate regime between those of stars and giant planets. With a mass less than 0.08 times that of the Sun (about 80 → Jupiter masses), nuclear reactions in the core of brown dwarfs are limited to the transformation of → deuterium into 3He. The reason is that the cores of these objects are supported against → gravitational collapse by electron → degeneracy pressure (at early spectral types) and → Coulomb pressure (at later spectral types). Brown dwarfs, as ever cooling objects, will have late M dwarf spectral types within a few Myrs of their formation and gradually evolve as L, T and Y dwarfs → brown dwarf cooling. As late-M and early-L dwarfs, they overlap in temperature with the cool end of the stellar → main sequence (→ M dwarf, → L dwarf, → T dwarf, → Y dwarf). In contrast to the OBAFGKM sequence, the M-L-T-Y sequence is an evolutionary one. These objects were first postulated by Kumar (1963, ApJ 137, 1121 & 1126) and Hayashi & Nakano (1963, Prog. Theor.Phys. 30, 460).
The term brown dwarf was first used by Jill Tarter in her 1975 PhD thesis; → brown; → dwarf.
brown dwarf cooling
sardeš-e kutule-ye qahve-yi
Fr.: refroidissement de naine brune
The process whereby a → brown dwarf cools over time after the → deuterium burning phase, which lasts a few 107 years. The → effective temperature and luminosity decrease depending on the mass, age, and → metallicity. Even though massive brown dwarfs may start out with star-like luminosity (≥ 10-3→ solar luminosities), they progressively fade with age to the point where, after 0.5 Gyr all → substellar objects are less luminous than the dimmest, lowest mass stars. More explicitly, brown dwarfs may start as star-like objects hotter than 2200 K, with → M dwarf spectral types, and, as they get older, pass through the later and cooler L, T, and Y spectral types (→ L dwarf, → T dwarf, → Y dwarf).
brown dwarf desert
kavir-e kutulehâ-ye qahvei
Fr.: désert des naines brunes
The observational result indicating a deficit in the frequency of → brown dwarf companions to Sun-like stars, either relative to the frequency of less massive planetary companions or relative to the frequency of more massive stellar companions. However, this desert exists mainly for low-separation brown dwarfs detected using orbital velocity surveys. No brown dwarf desert is noticed at wide separations (J. E. Gizis et al. 2001, ApJ 551, L163).