Strange Brown Dwarfs Star in 'Cosmic Orphans' Webcast Tonight: Watch Live
An artist's conception of a free-floating brown dwarf, or failed star.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will broadcast a live show on the misfit stars known as brown dwarfs tonight (Jan. 16) and you can watch the science talk live online.

The astrophysics webcast will begin at 7:30 p.m. EST (0030 Jan. 17 GMT). The presentation, called "Cosmic Orphans," aims to discuss new insights into brown dwarfs. You can watch the brown dwarf webcast live here, or directly from CfA in Cambridge, Mass., here: http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/publicevents

"Not quite planet, not quite star, they are faintly glowing cosmic orphans traveling through the universe," CfA officials said of brown dwarfs. "In this first CfA webcast of 2014, Dr. Trent Dupuy will present new insights into these oddities that blur the lines between stars and planets." [Star Quiz: Test Your Stellar Smarts]

Dupuy's research at CfA is specifically aimed understanding how brown dwarfs form and evolve over time. His talk tonight, entitled "Cosmic Orphans," is the first of CfA's Observatory Nights talks for 2014.

Brown dwarfs are commonly referred to as failed stars because they appear to have many attributes of actual stars, but never sparked to life with nuclear fusion. They can range between 13 and 90 times the mass of Jupiter, and reach about one-tenth the mass of the sun.

Earlier this month, scientists using NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope found that violent storms of molten iron rain can occur on brown dwarfs.  

If you miss CfA's live broadcast on brown dwarfs tonight, the  Observatory Night talk will be posted to the center's YouTube channel next week: http://www.youtube.com/user/cfapress

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+.