Friday, September 25, 2015

Radio Emission and Orbital Motion of M Dwarf-Brown Dwarf Binary Scholz's Star

Radio Emission and Orbital Motion from the Close-Encounter Star-Brown Dwarf Binary WISE J072003.20-084651.2


Burgasser et al


We report the detection of radio emission and orbital motion from the nearby star-brown dwarf binary WISE J072003.20-084651.2AB. Radio observations across the 4.5-6.5 GHz band with the Very Large Array identify at the position of the system quiescent emission with a flux density of 15±3 μJy, and a highly-polarized radio source that underwent a 2-3 min burst with peak flux density 300±90 μJy. The latter emission is likely a low-level magnetic flare similar to optical flares previously observed for this source. No outbursts were detected in separate narrow-band Hα monitoring observations. We report new high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic observations that confirm the presence of a co-moving T5.5 secondary and provide the first indications of three-dimensional orbital motion. We used these data to revise our estimates for the orbital period (4.1+2.7−1.3 yr) and tightly constrain the orbital inclination to be nearly edge-on (93.6\deg+1.6deg−1.4deg), although robust measures of the component and system masses will require further monitoring. The inferred orbital motion does not change the high likelihood that this radio-emitting very low-mass binary made a close pass to the Sun in the past 100 kyr.

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