Some of brown dwarfs generate the enought amount of heat to warm their atmosphere up to 300 K. This is a condition to liquid water and, possibly, organic life forms.

Is where are a some studies about life forms in BD atmosphere?

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    $\begingroup$ There's a problem of density. Liquid water is quite a bit denser than even very dense gas and to reach that density you'd have to be fairly deep inside the star, which would suggest much higher temperature. It's like the submarine on Jupiter problem. By the time density is equal to water, pressure and temperature are enormous. what-if.xkcd.com/138 Nice idea though, but liquid water is probably unlikely. Also, see here: nytimes.com/2002/08/06/science/… $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ You should make that an answer, @userLTK. $\endgroup$
    – pela
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Liquid water doesn't mean ocean. It could be a clouds... Microbes habitable clouds $\endgroup$
    – Y.N
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't mean to say it was impossible, only that liquid water is unlikely, but you're right, clouds with some liquid water is possible. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ I think any answer to this would have to be speculation. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 21:51

2 Answers 2


Although you might think that Y-dwarfs (brown dwarfs with temperatures $<500$ K) might become cool enough to support liquid water. In fact that does not happen. As discussed by Burrows et al. (2003) and Morley et al. (2014), in Y-dwarf atmospheres, when the temperature becomes low enough for water to condense out of the gas phase ($<375$K), it goes straight to water ice particles.

Thus, although water vapour will condense in clouds in a cold brown dwarf, it will be in the form of ice particles, and there is not expected to be liquid water in a brown dwarf atmosphere.


No. It would be really hard because although the coolest Brown dwarfs might be able to sustain water, they are made nearly completely of gas and that might by a problem. It would be very hard for water to exist on a brown dwarf, because if you were in the BD's "surface" the water would probably be in a gas phase due to the brown dwarf's low density there and pressure. But if it could exist as a pressurized water it probably still would be extremely hot, and unless the life form could survive that kind of temperatures it wouldn't exist.

Also, this is also very similar to life in gas giants. If it was to exist, it would need to be very small and not very dense. That way, it could still be part of the gases in the atmosphere and not sink.

  • $\begingroup$ Brown dwarfs have clouds. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, but should I include that in my answer? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 21:42

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