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Home Brown dwarfs are more massive than planets but not quite as massive as stars. Generally speaking, they have between 13 and 80 times the mass of Jupiter. A brown dwarf becomes a star if its core pressure gets high enough to start nuclear fusion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech) Brown dwarfs are more massive than planets but not quite as massive as stars. Generally speaking, they have between 13 and 80 times the mass of Jupiter. A brown dwarf becomes a star if its core pressure gets high enough to start nuclear fusion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Brown dwarfs are more massive than planets but not quite as massive as stars. Generally speaking, they have between 13 and 80 times the mass of Jupiter. A brown dwarf becomes a star if its core pressure gets high enough to start nuclear fusion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Brown dwarfs are more massive than planets but not quite as massive as stars. Generally speaking, they have between 13 and 80 times the mass of Jupiter. A brown dwarf becomes a star if its core pressure gets high enough to start nuclear fusion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Brown dwarfs are more massive than planets but not quite as massive as stars. Generally speaking, they have between 13 and 80 times the mass of Jupiter. A brown dwarf becomes a star if its core pressure gets high enough to start nuclear fusion. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept shows a brown dwarf, an object that is at least 13 times the mass of Jupiter but not massive enough to begin nuclear fusion in its core, which is the defining characteristic of a star. Scientist using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope recently made the first ever direct measurement of wind on a brown dwarf. (NASA)