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Space Science

Do 'Ultracool' Brown Dwarfs Surround Us? 224

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the itsatrap dept.
astroengine writes "The recent discovery of two very cool 'T-class' brown dwarfs in our cosmic neighborhood has prompted speculation that there may be many more ultracool 'failed stars' nearby (abstract). Not only are these objects themselves very interesting to study, should there be many such brown dwarfs spanning interstellar space. Perhaps they could be used as 'stepping stones' to the stars."
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Do 'Ultracool' Brown Dwarfs Surround Us?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2011 @10:11AM (#36799618)

    Yeah, sure. Because when you're on a 100 year cruise to colonize Sirius the thing you really want to do
    with your intertia is slow down and stop at your local brown dwarf to pick up a pack of Coke and some cigs.

  • Re:Racist (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rhaban (987410) on Monday July 18, 2011 @10:17AM (#36799682)

    I can't believe how racist slashdot has become. They may be ultra cool, but calling them brown is inciting hate. African American little people is the PC term.

    African American little people with sunglasses.
    You can't be ultracool without sunglasses.

  • by ledow (319597) on Monday July 18, 2011 @10:35AM (#36799846) Homepage

    P.S. we infer most of the mass of the universe through the movement of things we can observe (because all mass bends space-time) - and we get a pretty god-damn accurate picture of what MUST be in it's local neighbourhood for it to act like it does. The fact we can't see the mass itself is neither here nor there - we're literally looking at how a galaxy (BILLIONS OF STARS!) behaves and inferring how much it and it's surroundings must weigh in order to act like that. There's about 170 billion galaxies to look at.

    On those scales, extra planets and a few missing stars don't even factor into the error ranges because they are so inconsequential. Hell a couple of extra galaxies doesn't even register.

  • Re:Slingshot? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rubycodez (864176) on Monday July 18, 2011 @11:07AM (#36800196)
    Information may be what is traded. But self-replicating mining and factory machines can bring ship building and fuel mining costs to essentially zero. Then the only cost is time of assembly and time of transit. Maybe there is something physical that would be worth it.

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." -- Alexander Graham Bell