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Transiting Brown Dwarfs from TESS

24 Jun 2020, 16:00 UTC
Transiting Brown Dwarfs from TESS
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Editor’s note: Astrobites is a graduate-student-run organization that digests astrophysical literature for undergraduate students. As part of the partnership between the AAS and astrobites, we occasionally repost astrobites content here at AAS Nova. We hope you enjoy this post from astrobites; the original can be viewed at astrobites.org.
Title: Two intermediate-mass transiting brown dwarfs from the TESS mission
Authors: Theron W. Carmichael et al.
First Author’s Institution: Harvard University
Status: Accepted to AJ
Brown dwarfs are objects with masses 13–80 times the mass of Jupiter but roughly the same radius (0.7–1.4 Jupiter radii). The lower mass limit separates them from planets: unlike planets, brown dwarf cores are massive enough to fuse deuterium. On the other hand, if they get too massive (80 Jupiter masses) then their cores start to fuse hydrogen and they become a main sequence star.
Similarly to a planet, when a brown dwarf passes in front of its host star, it causes a dip in the star’s light curve. This allows us to detect brown dwarfs with missions like the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
Brown Dwarf Desert
Because of their Jupiter-like radius and larger mass, brown dwarf transits should be as easy to detect as giant ...

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