Brown Is Not a Color: Introduction of the Term ‘Brown Dwarf’

Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 401)


This contribution provides a very brief, personal comment on the remarkable past five decades of progress in our understanding of small-mass objects that try, but do not succeed in stably fusing hydrogen. This article describes the origin of the term ‘brown dwarf’ as introduced by me in 1975.


Initial Mass Function Brown Dwarf Lawrence Livermore Laboratory American Astronomical Society Spitzer Space Telescope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I want to acknowledge the assistance that Viki Joergens has provided in preparing this text. Without her persistent prodding and editorial skills, my words would never have found their way into this anniversary volume. It is a privilege to have my thoughts associated (by proximity) with the fascinating research that now accompanies what was, within my lifetime, previously undetectable.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SETI InstituteMountain ViewUSA

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