Friday, October 7, 2016

Gliese 29B: a Brown Dwarf in a 1,880 Year Orbit


Chini et al


Gliese 29 is a 7 to 8 Gyr old, southern Population I turnoff star with a large proper motion of 1″/yr. Using recent direct imaging observations with the 0.8 m Infrared Imaging System (IRIS) of the Universitätssternwarte Bochum near Cerro Armazones in Chile, we demonstrate that the faint source 2MASS J00402651–5927168 at a projected angular separation ρ = 6.″35 is a common-proper-motion companion to Gl 29. Provided this source is not part of a further subsystem, the IRIS J - and Ks-band photometry either implies a spectral type of about L2, based on its absolute magnitude, or an approximate mass MB ≃ 0.077 M⊙, suggesting that it may even be a brown dwarf. Assuming a face-on circular orbit this faint companion orbits Gl 29 in 1880 years.

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