Discovery of a High Proper Motion L Dwarf Binary: 2MASS J15200224-4422419AB

March 2007 • 2007ApJ...658..557B

Authors • Burgasser, Adam J. • Looper, Dagny L. • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy • Liu, Michael C.

Abstract • We report the discovery of the wide L1.5+L4.5 binary 2MASS J15200224-4422419AB, identified during spectroscopic follow-up of high proper motion sources selected from the Two Micron All Sky Survey. This source was independently identified by Kendall et al. in the SuperCOSMOS Sky Survey. Resolved JHK photometry and low-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy demonstrate that this system is composed of two well-separated (1.174''+/-0.016'') L dwarfs. Component classifications are derived using both spectral ratios and comparison to the near-infrared spectra of previously classified field L dwarfs. Physical association for the pair is deduced from the large common proper motion of the components (μ=0.73''+/-0.03'' yr-1) and their similar spectrophotometric distances (19+/-2 pc). The projected separation of the binary, 22+/-2 AU, is consistent with maximum separation/total system-mass trends for very low mass binaries. The 2MASS J1520-4422 system exhibits both large tangential (66+/-7 km s-1) and radial velocities (-70+/-18 km s-1), and its motion in the local standard of rest suggests that it is an old member of the Galactic disk population. This system joins a growing list of well-separated (>0.5"), very low mass binaries, and is an excellent target for resolved optical spectroscopy to constrain its age, as well as trace activity/rotation trends near the hydrogen-burning limit.


IPAC Authors


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist