Brown dwarf stars

Just 6.5 light-years away, a pair of brown dwarf stars have been documented. The sun is less than ten minutes from earth, but our solar system extending to belts of comets and asteroids might have a diameter of a light-year.

Now we have discovered the closest star system discovered since 1916. WISE J104915.57-531906 is the third-closest star system to Earth after Alpha Centauri (4.4 light-years away) and Barnard’s star (6 light-years away). Brown dwarfs are often referred to as “failed stars” because they are too small and generate gravity shy of what is needed to produce the pressures needed to cause hydrogen fusion.

WISE is a designation for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, a kind of telescope used by scientists to survey the night sky. Scientists had thought there were larger quantities of brown dwarfs, but this WISE system has put real numbers on their postulates.