Sunday, September 04, 2005

One Hundred Billion Failed Stars

For every star shining in our galaxy there's another one that didn't make it. Astronomers at Arizona State University working from Hubble Space Telescope infrared data have discovered the Milky Way has as many brown dwarf bodies as it does stars -- 100,000,000,000 of them and every one without enough mass to begin nuclear fusion, the process that makes the stars shine. These dark bodies weigh anywhere between 13 to 75 times as much as Jupiter, so their combined mass isn't enough to account for all of the galaxy's so-called missing matter by a long shot.

Here's's article announcing the discovery.

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