» Home > In the News

Red and Brown Dwarf stars under the microscope

16 December 2013

Tim Cullen returns to the fray with a post on red and brown dwarf stars and the gas giants – which is worth reading and thinking about. The link is at http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/12/14/main-sequence-red-dwarfs-and-g…

He begins with an image taken from cameras onboard NASAs Cassini spacecraft which captured the Earth and the Moon looking for all the world like a couple of white dwarfs (where he left off a few days ago). Red dwarfs are small and cool stars, all with masses less than that of our Sun, and have calculated temperatures less than 4000K. Red dwarfs are low in luminosity and can't be seen by the naked eye – but they are far and away the commonest kind of star in the Milky Way galaxy. He makes the point that gas giants such as Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune resemble brown dwarfs – and therefore red dwarfs. The gas giants are also mainly made of hydrogen and helium – like the Sun. They also emit more heat than they receive from the Sun – and they have their own moon systems. Hence, brown dwarfs form like stars but lack sufficient mass to ignite as stars do. They can occur singly or in close proximity to other stars.

Please go to the link for the full argument. It involves fussion reaction at the core – and outgassing. Therefore, the idea of expanding planets and gas giants, and stars. He explains the expanding earth model as driven by a fussion reaction in the inner core, in a series of spurts and spasms, separated by long periods of quiescence. Its an interesting idea.

Skip to content