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Discovery of a Companion at the L/T Transition with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

Loutrel, N. P. and Luhman, K. L. and Lowrance, P. J. and Bochanski, J. J. (2011) Discovery of a Companion at the L/T Transition with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. Astrophysical Journal, 739 (2). Art. No. 81. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We report the discovery of a substellar companion to the nearby solar-type star HD 46588 (F7V, 17.9 pc, τ ~ 3 Gyr). HD 46588 B was found through a survey for common proper motion companions to nearby stars using data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). It has an angular separation of 79".2 from its primary, which corresponds to a projected physical separation of 1420 AU. We have measured a spectral type of L9 for this object based on near-infrared spectroscopy performed with TripleSpec at Palomar Observatory. We estimate a mass of 0.064^(+0.008)_(-0.019) M_☉ from a comparison of its luminosity to the values predicted by theoretical evolutionary models for the age of the primary. Because of its companionship to a well-studied star, HD 46588 B is one of the few known brown dwarfs at the L/T transition for which both age and distance estimates are available. Thus, it offers new constraints on the properties of brown dwarfs during this brief evolutionary phase. The discovery of HD 46588 B also illustrates the value of the WISE for identifying brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood via their proper motions.

Item Type:Article
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Lowrance, P. J.0000-0001-8014-0270
Additional Information:© 2011 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 June 14; accepted 2011 July 9; published 2011 September 12. We thank Michael Cushing for assistance with reducing the TripleSpec data and Sandy Leggett for her helpful referee report. K. L., N. L., and J. B. acknowledge support from grant AST-0544588 from the National Science Foundation. This publication makes use of data products from the following resources: the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the SpeX Prism Spectral Libraries, maintained by Adam Burgasser at; the M, L, and T dwarf compendium housed at and maintained by Chris Gelino, Davy Kirkpatrick, and Adam Burgasser. The Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.
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Subject Keywords:binaries: visual; brown dwarfs; infrared: stars; proper motions; stars: individual (HD 46588, 2MASS J06462756+7935045, WISEP J064627.10+793457.8)
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 97.80.Di; 97.10.Ri; 98.70.Lt; 97.20.Vs; 97.10.Wn; 97.10.Cv
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111007-100755994
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Official Citation:Discovery of a Companion at the L/T Transition with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer N. P. Loutrel et al. 2011 ApJ 739 81
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27122
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:07 Oct 2011 20:13
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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