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PHL 5038: a spatially resolved white dwarf + brown dwarf binary

By P. R. Steele, Matthew R. Burleigh, Jay Farihi, B. T. Gaensicke, R. F. Jameson, P. D. Dobbie and Martin A. Barstow


A near-infrared excess is detected at the white dwarf PHL 5038 in UKIDSS photometry, consistent with the presence of a cool, substellar companion. We have obtained H- and K-grism spectra and images of PHL 5038 using NIRI on Gemini North. The target is spatially and spectrally resolved into two components: an 8000 K DA white dwarf, and a likely L8 brown dwarf companion, separated by $0.94\arcsec$. The spectral type of the secondary was determined using standard spectral indices for late L and T dwarfs. The projected orbital separation of the binary is 55 AU, so it becomes only the second known wide WD+dL binary to be found after GD 165AB. This object could potentially be used as a benchmark for testing substellar evolutionary models at intermediate to older ages

Topics: QB
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2216

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