Cool dwarfs


ASTRONOMERS have glimpsed a new type of celestial object—smaller and cooler than most brown dwarfs but larger than giant planets. Two of these “methane dwarfs” were found using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which systematically maps the night sky. With a surface temperature of 900 K, the first of the objects is “probably too cool to be called a star”, says Xaiohui Fan of Princeton University, New Jersey, at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Chicago last week. A second, nearly identical object was found by astronomers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore,
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