- Astronomers Catch Rare Eclipse Of A Double Brown Dwarf System (Keck Observatory)
In another case of surveys finding the hard to find, a new paper in Nature by Triaud and company identifies a binary system made of two brown dwarf stars in the SPECULOOS survey, which is designed to find potentially habitable planets. While this system isn’t likely to have life, it is nonetheless super cool. Literally… these stars have failed and are just barely glowing through the combination of heat from compressed gas and residual hit from brief burning of heavy hydrogen. This particular system is super interesting because the stars are precisely aligned to eclipse one another, which allows us to measure their size and mass accurately, giving us some of our best data on the nature of these tiny hard to find not-quite-stars. This system got follow up from the 8-m VLT. They found the system also has a 3 brown dwarf companion, making this brown dwarfs all the way down.