The first clear evidence of the existence of a brown dwarf was published in 1995. The evidence consisted of observations from the large, ground-based telescopes on Mount Palomar, and an image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The brown dwarf, called Gliese 229B (GL229B), is a small companion to a cool, red star called Gliese 229. This binary star system is located 19 light-years from Earth. GL229B is estimated to be in the range of 20 to 50 times the mass of Jupiter; thus, GL229B is too massive and hot to be classified as a planet, but too small and cool to shine like a star.
The StarChild site is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/ GSFC.
StarChild Authors: The StarChild Team
StarChild Graphics & Music: Acknowledgments
StarChild Project Leader: Dr. Laura A. Whitlock
Responsible NASA Official: