16 votes
Accepted

How can a brown dwarf be more massive than a star?

Yes, it has to do something with metallicity. Brown dwarf SDSS J0104+1535 $\to 0.086\rm\, M_\odot\to[Fe/H]=-2.4$ Red dwarf EBLM J0555-57Ab $\to 0.081\rm\, M_\odot\to [Fe/H]=-0.24$ There is an article ...
User123's user avatar
  • 2,879
15 votes
Accepted

Is there more dark matter than we previously thought?

Probably nothing changes Several reasons for this: The study actually asserts (last paragraph of main text) that: The IMF variation also calls for an extensive revision of star formation rates and ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 4,544
14 votes

Is there any way for a planet orbiting a red dwarf in the habitable zone to not be tidally locked?

Leconte et al. (2015) suggested that the presence of an atmosphere could prevent or at least slow tidal locking. The star should exert two separate torques: one on the atmosphere and one on the solid ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 36.6k
12 votes

Is Barnard's star an M4 red dwarf or an M0? Why is it called an M4.0V?

It's M4V, not M0V. In principle, spectral classes can be further subdivided, particularly in the M class, because there are significant differences between an M4 and an M5 spectrum for instance. ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
11 votes
Accepted

Are Brown and Sub-Brown Dwarfs secretly more common than stars?

The answer to your first question is (now) fairly simple: No, brown dwarfs are not more common than red dwarfs. A crude approximation is that stars (which are indeed mostly red dwarfs) outnumber brown ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
  • 16.7k
9 votes
Accepted

Are red dwarfs really 30-100 times our Sun's density?

Red dwarfs, depending on your definition, can range from 2.5 to 150 times more dense than the Sun. What is the cause of this discrepancy? They give no calculations, so I can only guess. The article ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 514
9 votes
Accepted

Existence of planets larger than their host star?

The answer to the question depends on the exact definition of planet that is used. A possible example is the L dwarf 2M 0746+20 (2MASS J07464256+2000321) and its planet 2M 0746+20 b. The radius of ...
aventurin's user avatar
  • 744
8 votes
Accepted

Is there any way for a planet orbiting a red dwarf in the habitable zone to not be tidally locked?

Yes: It has a companion planet or an excessively large moon, with the two bodies orbiting their common center of mass (much like the Earth and the Moon). They could be tidally-locked to each other, ...
PMar's user avatar
  • 112
8 votes
Accepted

Would a red dwarf star resemble our own Sun at sunset to an observer on a nearby planet?

Your question may ulitmately be about the physiology of the eye, which is off-topic here. The spectrum of the Sun seen low on the horizon is quite different to the spectrum of an M-type red dwarf. The ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
8 votes

Is there more dark matter than we previously thought?

Barely, because the estimates of dark matter are not sensitive to the IMF, they use (a) the dynamics of objects in galaxies to estimate the total mass of that galaxy, (b) observations of kinematics in ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
8 votes

Why do red dwarf (M-type) stars give off such violent flares and CMEs, out of proportion to their size and temperature?

Magnetic activity in the form of magnetically powered flares, hot X-ray emitting coronal, UV-bright chromospheres and starspots is driven by an interior stellar dynamo. Whilst the details of how this ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
7 votes
Accepted

How do we know that 2MASS J0523-1403 is a red dwarf?

The brown dwarf "limit" is about $0.072 M_{\odot}$ at solar metallicity (e.g. Chabrier et al. 2000) and is composition dependent. It gets a little higher in metal-poor gas and a little lower ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
7 votes

Are Brown and Sub-Brown Dwarfs secretly more common than stars?

This is an important question to ask about the initial mass function of objects in the Galaxy - and the final answer hasn't been cast as it is a matter of research. Yet, observational data (e.g. see ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 19.4k
6 votes
Accepted

Will all of the gas in the universe be converted into red dwarf stars?

No. The reason is that gas recycling only recycles only about 40-50% of the gas in a sun-like star, leaving the rest as a white dwarf that slowly cools off. Heavier stars are even less effective in ...
Anders Sandberg's user avatar
6 votes

Is there any way for a planet orbiting a red dwarf in the habitable zone to not be tidally locked?

The more likely case is actually a spin-orbit resonance that is not 1:1 but a half odd multiple, like the 3:2 case of our own Mercury. Having eccentricity in the orbit encourages this situation. I’...
JDługosz's user avatar
  • 1,000
6 votes
Accepted

How do I understand a brown dwarf with a M-type spectrum?

The spectral type of an object is almost entirely determined by the temperature of its photosphere. ie Saying something is type M3.5 is just a measure of its surface temperature. An M3.5 brown dwarf ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
6 votes

Do red dwarf stars get dimmer over time, the opposite of most other main sequence stars?

This image from Red Dwarfs and the End of the Main Sequence shows the evolution of a $0.1\,M_\odot$ star: The x-axis is the effective temperature of the star (cooler on the right as usual), and the y-...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
6 votes

Why do red dwarf (M-type) stars give off such violent flares and CMEs, out of proportion to their size and temperature?

You would think that M-type dwarfs would be among the more magnetically stable stars due to their low temperature and mass, but they aren't. This is because such low-mass red dwarf stars are ...
4NT4R3S's user avatar
  • 899
4 votes
Accepted

The colour of blue dwarf stars

I emailed the authors of the paper, asking whether blue dwarf stars could "become hot enough to pass the thresholds for Type B or Type O" and one of them replied: "We use the term 'blue' to ...
Astrid_Redfern's user avatar
4 votes

Are red dwarfs really 30-100 times our Sun's density?

This is a brief letter to Nature from 1946, containing no quantitative justification of the density estimate In 1946, whilst the radius of some of the nearest red dwarfs could be estimated from their ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
4 votes

Comparing orbits between a planet and Red Dwarf

earth like planet orbiting around a sun like star (365 days) red dwarf on an elliptical orbit around the star that passes close to the planet (1896.59 days, eccentricity 0.866) If we work in AU and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.8k
4 votes
Accepted

Are there any hot jupiters orbiting red dwarfs?

I found one "hot Jupiter" in the Kepler data (Kepler 45b). The star is a M dwarf with an effective temperature of 3820K. The planet has an estimated mass of 160.5 M(Earth) and radius of 10.76 R(Earth)....
Jack R. Woods's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Red dwarf variation in Luminosity

The creator seems to be referring to flare stars. Flares may be magnetic in origin, like various manifestations of the Sun's magnetic field. These flares can be quit luminous across the ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 36.6k
4 votes

Existence of planets larger than their host star?

Beyond red dwarfs, another possibility is that of a planet orbiting a type B subdwarf star. Some features of such stars: Composed almost entirely of helium Thought to be formed through the merger ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 4,155
4 votes

How would you calculate the "day" on a planet orbiting a red dwarf that is a companion to a larger star?

While the situation is not exactly the same, the complexity is similar to calculating when the Moon is visible from a point on Earth. Just as the Earth rotates once a day (or 23hr56 min), and the moon ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
3 votes
Accepted

At what distance does Proxima Centauri become visible to the naked eye?

"Back of an envelope" calculation: Proxima Centauri has an apparent magnitude of about $11$. The faintest objects visible to the unaided eye have magnitudes about $6.5$. So we need to decrease ...
gandalf61's user avatar
  • 657
3 votes
Accepted

What if a white dwarf is less massive than her partner?

If they are close enough to exchange mass, the Red dwarf will always lose mass to the white dwarf. That doesn't mean there won't be some exchange going back the other way, but the white dwarf will ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 24k

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