World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Substellar object

Article Id: WHEBN0013313000
Reproduction Date:

Title: Substellar object  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aldebaran, Brown dwarf, Wolf 359, Outline of astronomy
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Substellar object


A substellar object, sometimes called a substar, is an astronomical object whose mass is smaller than the smallest mass, approximately 0.08 solar masses, at which a star can sustain hydrogen fusion. This definition includes brown dwarfs, former stars similar to EF Eridani B, and can also include objects of planetary mass, regardless of their formation mechanism and whether or not they are associated with a primary star.[2][3][4][5]

Assuming that a substellar object has a composition similar to the Sun's and at least the mass of Jupiter (approximately 10−3 solar masses), its radius will be comparable to that of Jupiter (approximately 0.1 solar radii). This is because the center of such a substellar object just below the hydrogen-burning limit is quite degenerate, with a density of ≈103 g/cm3, but this degeneracy lessens with decreasing mass until, at the mass of Jupiter, a substellar object has a central density less than 10 g/cm3. The density decrease balances the mass decrease, keeping the radius approximately constant.[6]

A substellar object with mass just below the hydrogen-fusing limit may ignite hydrogen fusion temporarily at its center, but although this will provide some energy, it will not be enough to overcome the object's ongoing gravitational contraction; likewise, although an object with mass above approximately 0.013 solar masses will be able to fuse deuterium for a time, this source of energy will be exhausted in approximately 106 to 108 years. Apart from these sources, the radiation of an isolated substellar object comes only from the release of its gravitational potential energy, which causes it to gradually cool and shrink. A substellar object in orbit about a star will shrink more slowly as it is kept warm by the star, evolving towards an equilibrium state where it emits as much energy as it receives from the star.[7]

See also

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.