Science and Exploration

Citizen Science Discovers A Co-moving Brown Dwarf System

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
November 24, 2019
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Citizen Science Discovers A Co-moving Brown Dwarf System
The finder chart for the W2150AB system taken from the WISEVIEW website (Caselden et al. 2018). To see the animated motion between available WISE epochs visit the URL and use coordinates RA,DEC=327.576919, -75.34805934. The color choice combines WISE W1 and W2 images where ”orange” sources are strong W2 and weak W1 detections.

We report the discovery of WISE2150-7520AB (W2150AB): a widely separated (~ 341 AU) very low mass L1 + T8 co-moving system.
The system consists of the previously known L1 primary 2MASS J21501592-7520367 and a newly discovered T8 secondary found at position 21:50:18.99 -75:20:54.6 (MJD=57947) using Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) data via the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project. We present Spitzer ch1 and ch2 photometry (ch1-ch2= 1.41 +/-0.04 mag) of the secondary and FIRE prism spectra of both components.

The sources show no peculiar spectral or photometric signatures indicating that each component is likely field age. Using all observed data and the Gaia DR2 parallax of 41.3593 +/- 0.2799 mas for W2150A we deduce fundamental parameters of log(Lbol/Lsun)=-3.69 +/- 0.01, Teff=2118 +/- 62 K, and an estimated mass=72 +/- 12 MJup for the L1 and log(Lbol/Lsun)=-5.64 +/- 0.02, Teff=719 +/- 61 K, and an estimated mass=34 +/- 22 MJup for the T8. At a physical separation of ~341 AU this system has Ebin = 10^41 erg making it the lowest binding energy system of any pair with Mtot < 0.1 Msun not associated with a young cluster. It is equivalent in estimated mass ratio, Ebin, and physical separation to the ~ 2 Myr M7.25 + M8.25 binary brown dwarf 2MASS J11011926-7732383AB (2M1101AB) found in the Chameleon star forming region. W2150AB is the widest companion system yet observed in the field where the primary is an L dwarf or later. WISE2150-7520AB: A very low mass, wide co-moving brown dwarf system discovered through the citizen science project Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Jacqueline K. Faherty, Sam Goodman, Dan Caselden, Guillaume Colin, Marc J. Kuchner, Aaron M. Meisner, Jonathan Gagne', Adam C. Schneider, Eileen C. Gonzales, Daniella C. Bardalez Gagliuffi, Sarah E. Logsdon, Katelyn Allers, Adam J. Burgasser, The Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 Collaboration (Submitted on 11 Nov 2019) Comments: ApJ accepted October 2019. 18 pages, 8 Figures, two tables. All tabular data is available on a viewable/commentable google sheet here: this https URL Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP) Cite as: arXiv:1911.04600 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:1911.04600v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version) Submission history From: Jacqueline Faherty [v1] Mon, 11 Nov 2019 23:21:52 UTC (4,198 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.