Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 398, L29-33 (2003/2-2)
ε Indi B: A new benchmark T dwarf.
SCHOLZ R.-D., McCAUGHREAN M.J., LODIEU N. and KUHLBRODT B.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have identified a new early T dwarf only 3.6pc from the Sun, as a common proper motion companion (separation 1459AU) to the K5V star ε Indi (HD 209100). As such, ε Indi B is one of the highest proper motion sources outside the solar system (∼4.7arcsec/yr), part of one of the twenty nearest stellar systems, and the nearest brown dwarf to the Sun. Optical photometry obtained from the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey was combined with approximate infrared photometry from the 2MASS Quicklook survey data release, yielding colours for the source typical of early T dwarfs. Follow-up infrared spectroscopy using the ESO NTT and SOFI confirmed its spectral type to be T2.5±0.5. With Ks=11.2m, ε Indi B is 1.7mag brighter than any previously known T dwarf and 4 mag brighter than the typical object in its class, making it highly amenable to detailed study. Also, as a companion to a bright nearby star, it has a precisely known distance (3.626±0.009pc) and relatively well-known age (0.8-2Gyr), allowing us to estimate its luminosity as logL/L☉=-4.67, its effective temperature as 1260K, and its mass as ∼40-60MJup. ε Indi B represents an important addition to the census of the Solar neighbourhood and, equally importantly, a new benchmark object in our understanding of substellar objects.
astrometry and celestial mechanics: astrometry - astronomical data base: surveys - stars: late-type - stars: low mass, dwarfs brown
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