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Newfound neighbor to solar system is a cool slacker

Nearby brown dwarf never became a star

The solar system is surrounded by a bunch of abject failures, a new discovery suggests. Astronomers have found the nearest known brown dwarf, or failed star, residing about 9 light-years from Earth.

That places this brown dwarf among the 10 closest stellar or substellar systems to the solar system, researchers report in an article posted online April 5 (http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.0317). Its temperature, about baking temp in a home oven, makes it the coolest brown dwarf known.

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