Planet X - a Brown Dwarf
tenth planet called Nibiru is what is called a “brown dwarf.” Often
portrayed as “failed stars,” brown dwarves are bigger than giant planets
like Jupiter, but their individual masses are less than 8 percent of the
sun’s mass so they can’t shine like a star. Brown dwarves are best viewed
in the infrared because surface heat is released as they slowly contract.
That’s why the infrared astronomical satellite IRAS is able to find
these things so well. Want to see a comparison of just how big a brown dwarf
is? See below for a photo. Note that it’s enormous, much bigger
than anything we have in our solar system. Think . . . elephant and mouse . .
. Planet X and Earth.
have found many types of objects in orbit around stars. These range from other
full-sized stars like our sun (binary star systems) to Jupiter sized planets
(never directly imaged but inferred from radial-velocity spectroscopy). The
relative sizes of these various types of bodies are shown above for
comparison. Even though a brown dwarf can be similar in diameter to a Jupiter
sized planet, brown dwarfs are 13-75 times more massive and they can appear on
the order of 100-1,000,000 times brighter than a Jupiter sized planet at
infrared wavelengths where they are studied with telescopes.
Credit: Gemini Observatory/Artwork by Jon Lomberg