Asteroidscomets

Discovery of an M9.5 Candidate Brown Dwarf in the TW Hydrae Association: DENIS J124514.1-442907

November 2007 • 2007ApJ...669L..97L

Authors • Looper, Dagny L. • Burgasser, Adam J. • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy • Swift, Brandon J.

Abstract • We report the discovery of a fifth candidate substellar system in the ~5-10 Myr TW Hydrae association: DENIS J124514.1-442907. This object has a NIR spectrum remarkably similar to that of 2MASS J1139511-315921, a known TW Hydrae brown dwarf, with low surface gravity features such as a triangular-shaped H band, deep H2O absorption, weak alkali lines, and weak hydride bands. We find an optical spectral type of M9.5 and estimate a mass of <~24 MJup, assuming an age of ~5-10 Myr. While the measured proper motion for DENIS J124514.1-442907 is inconclusive as a test for membership, its position in the sky is coincident with the TW Hydrae association. A more accurate proper-motion measurement, higher resolution spectroscopy for radial velocity, and a parallax measurement are needed to derive the true space motion and to confirm its membership.

Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. This Letter includes data gathered with the 6.5 m Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile.

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Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist