skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Wide cool and ultracool companions to nearby stars from Pan-STARRS 1

We present the discovery of 57 wide (>5'') separation, low-mass (stellar and substellar) companions to stars in the solar neighborhood identified from Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) data and the spectral classification of 31 previously known companions. Our companions represent a selective subsample of promising candidates and span a range in spectral type of K7-L9 with the addition of one DA white dwarf. These were identified primarily from a dedicated common proper motion search around nearby stars, along with a few as serendipitous discoveries from our Pan-STARRS 1 brown dwarf search. Our discoveries include 23 new L dwarf companions and one known L dwarf not previously identified as a companion. The primary stars around which we searched for companions come from a list of bright stars with well-measured parallaxes and large proper motions from the Hipparcos catalog (8583 stars, mostly A-K dwarfs) and fainter stars from other proper motion catalogs (79170 stars, mostly M dwarfs). We examine the likelihood that our companions are chance alignments between unrelated stars and conclude that this is unlikely for the majority of the objects that we have followed-up spectroscopically. We also examine the entire population of ultracool (>M7) dwarf companions and conclude that while some aremore » loosely bound, most are unlikely to be disrupted over the course of ∼10 Gyr. Our search increases the number of ultracool M dwarf companions wider than 300 AU by 88% and increases the number of L dwarf companions in the same separation range by 82%. Finally, we resolve our new L dwarf companion to HIP 6407 into a tight (0.''13, 7.4 AU) L1+T3 binary, making the system a hierarchical triple. Our search for these key benchmarks against which brown dwarf and exoplanet atmosphere models are tested has yielded the largest number of discoveries to date.« less
 [1] ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] more »; « less
  1. Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Koenigstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  2. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  3. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  4. Harlan J. Smith Fellow, Department of Astronomy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)
  5. Equatine Labs, 89 Antrim Street, #2, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
  6. Department of Physics, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE (United Kingdom)
  7. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i, 640 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)
  8. Princeton University Observatory, 4 Ivy Lane, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 792; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States