Wise brown dwarf binaries: The discovery of a T5+T5 and A T8.5+T9 system

Christopher R. Gelino, J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Michael C. Cushing, Peter R. Eisenhardt, Roger L. Griffith, Amanda K. Mainzer, Kenneth A. Marsh, Michael F. Skrutskie, Edward L. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The multiplicity properties of brown dwarfs are critical empirical constraints for formation theories, while multiples themselves provide unique opportunities to test evolutionary and atmospheric models and examine empirical trends. Studies using high-resolution imaging cannot only uncover faint companions, but they can also be used to determine dynamical masses through long-term monitoring of binary systems. We have begun a search for the coolest brown dwarfs using preliminary processing of data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and have confirmed many of the candidates as late-type T dwarfs. In order to search for companions to these objects, we are conducting observations using the Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system on Keck II. Here we present the first results of that search, including a T5 binary with nearly equal mass components and a faint companion to a T8.5 dwarf with an estimated spectral type of T9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume142
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • binaries
  • fundamental parameters - stars
  • general - brown dwarfs - stars
  • individual (WISEPA J045853.90+643452.6
  • low-mass
  • WISEPA J075003.78+272544.8
  • WISEPA J132233.67-234017.0
  • WISEPA J161441.46+173935.3
  • WISEPA J161705.75+180714.0
  • WISEPA J162725.64+325524.1
  • WISEPA J165311.05+444423.0
  • WISEPA J174124.27+255319.6
  • WISEPA J184124.73+700038.0) -stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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