Mid-Infrared high-contrast imaging of HD 114174 B: An apparent age discrepancy in a "sIRIUS-LIKE" binary system

Christopher T. Matthews, Justin R. Crepp, Andrew Skemer, Philip M. Hinz, Alexandros Gianninas, Mukremin Kilic, Michael Skrutskie, Vanessa P. Bailey, Denis Defrere, Jarron Leisenring, Simone Esposito, Alfio Puglisi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We present new observations of the faint "Sirius-like" companion discovered to orbit HD 114174. Previous attempts to image HD 114174 B at mid-infrared wavelengths using NIRC2 at Keck have resulted in a non-detection. Our new L′-band observations taken with the Large Binocular Telescope and L/M-band InfraRed Camera recover the companion (ΔL = 10.15 ± 0.15 mag, ρ = 0.″675 ± 0.″016) with a high signal-to-noise ratio (10σ). This measurement represents the deepest L′ high-contrast imaging detection at subarcsecond separations to date, including extrasolar planets. We confirm that HD 114174 B has near-infrared colors consistent with the interpretation of a cool white dwarf (WD; J-L′ = 0.76 ± 0.19 mag, K-L′ = 0.64 ± 0.20). New model fits to the object's spectral energy distribution indicate a temperature T eff = 4260 ± 360 K, surface gravity log g = 7.94 ± 0.03, a cooling age tc 7.8 Gyr, and mass M = 0.54 ± 0.01 M . We find that the cooling ages given by theoretical atmospheric models do not agree with the age of HD 114174 A derived from both isochronological and gyrochronological analyses. We speculate on possible scenarios to explain the apparent age discrepancy between the primary and secondary. HD 114174 B is a nearby benchmark WD that will ultimately enable a dynamical mass estimate through continued Doppler and astrometric monitoring. Efforts to characterize its physical properties in detail will test theoretical atmospheric models and improve our understanding of WD evolution, cooling, and progenitor masses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL25
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2014


  • astrometry
  • binaries: visual
  • instrumentation: adaptive optics
  • stars: imaging
  • white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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