A brown dwarf was a stellar object that had characteristics of both a star and a planet.

Enterprise NX-01 wanted to investigate a brown planetary system in 2152 when the ship was infested by a symbiotic lifeform and the investigation was interrupted. (ENT: "Vox Sola")

According to Data in 2365, the abundance of dysprosium in a brown dwarf star was different than regular stars, when factored with terbium, holmium, erbium, and europium. (TNG: "Manhunt")

A brown dwarf, as described by the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 108), was a "celestial object similar to a star, but with insufficient mass to generate a star's powerful nuclear reactions. Because a brown dwarf might glow with only feeble infrared light, it can be difficult to detect across interstellar distances."

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