Status Report

LSR0602+3910 — The Brightest Brown Dwarf in the Sky?

By SpaceRef Editor
January 16, 2003
Filed under , ,

Astrophysics, abstract

From: Samir Salim <[email protected]>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 03:47:54 GMT (58kb)

LSR0602+3910 — The Brightest Brown Dwarf in the Sky?

Samir Salim,
Sebastien Lepine,
R. Michael Rich,
Michael M. Shara

Comments: submitted to ApJL

We report the discovery of LSR0602+3910, an L dwarf of class L1. The object
was initially identified by Lepine et al. (2002) as a new high proper motion
star lying close to the Galactic plane. Its 2MASS J-K_s=1.43 is consistent with
an L dwarf, which we now confirm spectroscopically. This is currently the
brightest known L dwarf (K_s=10.86). 2MASS0746+20 is nominally brighter, but is
actually a binary system. We see no indication that LSR0602+3910 is a binary,
but high-resolution imaging will be required to confirm this. We have a
probable detection of lithium absorption, which would make LSR0602+3910 a brown
dwarf, the brightest yet found. Spectroscopic and photometric distance
estimates agree very well, placing LSR0602+3910 very near the Sun, at
d=10.6+-0.8 pc, and among the ten closest L dwarfs. It is the nearest L dwarf
with any signs of lithium absorption. LSR0602+3910 was most likely missed in
previous searches because it lies close to the plane, the region that most
searches avoided. We estimate that some 40% of bright L dwarfs are missed
because of this selection effect.

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