Advertisement

New Light on Dark Stars

Red Dwarfs, Low-Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs

  • I. Neill Reid
  • Suzanne L. Hawley

Part of the Astronomy and Planetary Sciences book series (PRAXIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 1-35
  3. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 37-82
  4. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 127-162
  5. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 163-208
  6. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 209-250
  7. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 251-300
  8. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 301-340
  9. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 341-389
  10. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 391-419
  11. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 421-449
  12. I. Neill Reid, Suzanne L. Hawley
    Pages 451-451
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 453-470

About this book

Introduction

Perhaps the most common question that a child asks when he or she sees the night sky from a dark site for the first time is: 'How many stars are there?' This happens to be a question which has exercised the intellectual skills of many astronomers over the course of most of the last century, including, for the last two decades, one of the authors of this text. Until recently, the most accurate answer was 'We are not certain, but there is a good chance that almost all of them are M dwarfs. ' Within the last three years, results from new sky-surveys - particularly the first deep surveys at near­ infrared wavelengths - have provided a breakthrough in this subject, solidifying our census of the lowest-mass stars and identifying large numbers of the hitherto almost mythical substellar-mass brown dwarfs. These extremely low-luminosity objects are the central subjects of this book, and the subtitle should be interpreted accordingly. The expression 'low-mass stars' carries a wide range of meanings in the astronomical literature, but is most frequently taken to refer to objects with masses comparable with that of the Sun - F and G dwarfs, and their red giant descendants. While this definition is eminently reasonable for the average extragalactic astronomer, our discussion centres on M dwarfs, with masses of no more than 60% that of the Sun, and extends to 'failed stars' - objects with insufficient mass to ignite central hydrogen fusion.

Keywords

Galaxy astronomy astrophysics star stellar

Authors and affiliations

  • I. Neill Reid
    • 1
  • Suzanne L. Hawley
    • 2
  1. 1.Formerly of Edinburgh UniversityEdinburghScotland
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Aerospace