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A possible brown dwarf companion to Gliese 569
Forrest, W. J.; Shure, Mark; Skrutskie, M. F.
AA(Rochester, University; C. E. K. Mees Observatory, NY), AB(Rochester, University; C. E. K. Mees Observatory, NY), AC(Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 330, July 15, 1988, p. L119-L123. Research supported by the National Geographic Society and NASA. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Brown Dwarf Stars, Companion Stars, Infrared Stars, M Stars, Chromosphere, H Alpha Line, Main Sequence Stars, Spectral Energy Distribution, Stellar Atmospheres, Stellar Spectra
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A faint cool companion to Gliese 569, discovered during an IR imaging survey of nearby stars, may be the lowest-mass stellar object yet found. The companion is somewhat cooler in its 1.65-3.75-micron energy distribution than the coolest known main-sequence stars, indicating a low mass. Despite its lower temperature, it is more luminous than similar extremely low-mass stars, suggesting that it is either a young low-mass star evolving toward the main sequence or a cooling substellar brown dwarf. The primary star has emission lines and a low space velocity and exhibits flaring, all of which imply youth for this system. Observations of Gliese 569 and its companion over a period of 2 yr confirm the common proper motion expected of a true binary. The 5-arcsec apparent separation (50 AU) implies an orbital period of roughly 500 yr, which will permit an eventual direct determination of the mass of the companion.

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