Brown dwarf stars... an unusual setting for a book or game?

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Hi all, here's a random thought for the day, triggered by a NASA report on the identification of sizeable numbers of brown dwarf stars (https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7727). The interest to me was that brown dwarfs are a kind of weird middle ground between stars and giant planets (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2019/nasa-s-webb-telescope-to-search-for-young-brown-dwarfs-and-rogue-planets).

They typically form like stars, out of a collapsing disc of gas, rather than planets, which form in the residue left after a star has formed. They cannot sustain fusion but do manage to have a reasonable temperature - anywhere from a little under 0 Centigrade to a few thousand degrees. Many are of a temperature which could comfortably sustain water clouds in an atmosphere, and surface water on the ground (whatever the ground might look like).

So my wild thought, partly harking back to Mission of Gravity, which we read together back in March last year, was to speculate what it might be like to live on such an object. I've thought about planets around red dwarfs before, which could make quite a comfortable home, but never about the possibility of actually living on a cool star. Of course, there might be conditions that would preclude the whole thing from the start, like radiation or whatever, but I wonder at what stage of development an intelligent being living there would begin to speculate that there home was a star rather than a planet?

Any thoughts?

Comments

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    Would a collapsing disk of gas even have a surface? Or would it be a liquid surface?
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    @Apocryphal said:
    Would a collapsing disk of gas even have a surface? Or would it be a liquid surface?

    With surface temperatures so low, I'm guessing that some at least would have a liquid surface. But probably internal heat keeps messing it up.

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    There'd be no surface. Brown dwarfs are between very large gas giants and stars. Just like there's no surface on Jupiter or the Sun, there'd be no surface on a brown dwarf.

    But there'd be plenty of scope for life in the warm clouds. The Algebraist by Iain Banks was mostly set among the (sentient) creatures living in the atmosphere of a gas giant.

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    I should have made Helkaraxe a brown dwarf instead of a rogue hot gas giant.

  • 1
    Yep. You’ll never get that one back.
  • 1

    @Apocryphal said:
    Yep. You’ll never get that one back.

    True! So true!

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