Astron. J., 126, 1526-1554 (2003/September-0)
Multiplicity of nearby free-floating ultracool dwarfs: a Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 search for companions.
BOUY H., BRANDNER W., MARTIN E.L., DELFOSSE X., ALLARD F. and BASRI G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) observations of a sample of 134 ultracool objects (spectral types later than M7) coming from the Deep Near Infrared Survey (DENIS), Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), and Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), with distances estimated to range from 7 to 105 pc. Fifteen new ultracool binary candidates are reported here. Eleven known binaries are confirmed, and orbital motion is detected in some of them. We estimate that the closest binary systems in this sample have periods between 5 and 20 yr, and thus dynamical masses will be derived in the near future. For the calculation of binary frequency, we restrict ourselves to systems with distances less than 20 pc. After correction of the binaries bias, we find a ratio of visual binaries (at the HST limit of detection) of around 10%, and that ∼15% of the 26 objects within 20 pc are binary systems with separations between 1 and 8 AU. The observed frequency of ultracool binaries is similar to that of binaries with G-type primaries in the separation range from 2.1 to 140 AU. There is also a clear deficit of ultracool binaries with separations greater than 15 AU, and a possible tendency for the binaries to have mass ratios near unity. Most systems have indeed visual and near-infrared brightness ratios between 1 and 0.3. We discuss our results in the framework of current scenarios for the formation and evolution of free-floating brown dwarfs.
Stars: Binaries: General - Stars: Low-Mass, Brown Dwarfs
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<Available at CDS (J/AJ/126/1526): table1.dat>
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