Discovery of a binary brown dwarf at 2 pc from the sun

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I am using multi-epoch astrometry from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to search for new members of the solar neighborhood via their high proper motions. Through this work, I have identified WISE J104915.57-531906.1 as a high proper motion object and have found additional detections in images from the Digitized Sky Survey, the Two Micron All-Sky Survey, and the Deep Near-Infrared Survey of the Southern Sky. I have measured a parallax of 0.″496 ± 0.″037 (2.0 ± 0.15 pc) from the astrometry in these surveys, making WISE J104915.57-531906.1 the third closest system to the Sun. During spectroscopic observations with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph at Gemini Observatory, an i-band acquisition image resolved it as a 1.″5 (3 AU) binary. A spectrum was collected for the primary, which I classify as L8 ± 1. The secondary is probably near the L/T transition as well given that it is only modestly fainter than the primary (Δi = 0.45 mag).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL1
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 10 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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