The difference between a small star and a brown dwarf is fairly clear. If hydrogen fusion is taking place then the object is a dwarf star. If not, the object is a brown dwarf.
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However the line between a small brown dwarf and a large planet is far more vague. There is no exact cut-off between the two, and there is much debate between astronomers over what qualifies as a brown dwarf instead of a planet.
Many astronomers have adopted 13 Jupiter masses as the separation between planets and brown dwarfs. As this is the minimum mass required for deuterium fusion to take place.Classification
form. The brown dwarf becomes very similar
to Jupiter in both appearance and luminosity.
By this point, brown dwarfs are so faint they
become nearly undetectable by visual means,
depending on their distance from earth.
Knowing that the temperature required for hydrogen fusion is 10^7k we can solve for M where (Z/A)= 1 for hydrogen. Which results in a value of about 0.08 solar masses. This is the minimum mass required for a normal star to form.