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Brown dwarf is locked in a destructive 2-hour orbit with a tiny star


Artist's impression of a brown dwarf binary.

Illustration of brown dwarfs, strange objects that are somewhere between a regular star and a planet in size, orbiting each other

NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

A tiny star and its companion, a “failed star” known as a brown dwarf, are locked in an incredibly tight orbit, rotating in a volume smaller than the sun.

Unless a star has collapsed into a white dwarf or a neutron star, it can only shrink its orbit around another star through a process called magnetic braking, where stellar winds strip material from its surface and carry away momentum. However, …



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