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  • Infrared observation reduces interference from light pollution so astronomers can see these objects. Artist rendering of a brown dwarf.

Lick Observatory astronomers are searching for brown dwarfs and other low-mass companions to known stars.

Low-mass companion stars are too small and dim to be imaged using conventional cameras, which rely on visible light. Because of the development of the Gemini Infrared Imaging Camera, built at the UCLA Infrared Imaging Detector Lab, low-mass companions have recently been observed for the first time.

Since the new field of infrared observation reduces interference from both ground-based light pollution and cosmic dust, the Gemini IR Imaging Camera is also useful for many other types of current and future research.