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Starts With A Bang

Starts With A Bang Podcast #65 — Ultracool Dwarfs

Image credit: ESO.

The smallest and faintest stars of all, even the failed stars that didn’t make it, are hiding some fascinating secrets.


You might have thought that if we were going to find life anywhere in the Universe, our best bet would be to look at stars like our Sun, on account of the tremendous success of Earth. It’s a good bet, for sure, but did you know that the Sun is brighter and more massive than 95% of stars in the Universe? And that down at the low-mass end of the spectrum, the most common type of objects out there are ultracool dwarfs: low-mass red dwarfs and even brown dwarfs? They have rocky planets around them and could be our first candidate Earth-sized worlds for direct imaging, and are incredible scientific objects of study all on their own.

What do you want to know about them? I’m so pleased to welcome PhD candidate Anna Hughes onto the Starts With A Bang! podcast, and to share her knowledge and wisdom and enthusiasm with all of you. Here’s how we start 2021 with a bang, and I hope you enjoy it!


Starts With A Bang is written by Ethan Siegel, Ph.D., author of Beyond The Galaxy, and Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive.


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