Resolved Spectroscopy of a Brown Dwarf Binary at the T Dwarf/Y Dwarf Transition

January 2012 • 2012ApJ...745...26B

Authors • Burgasser, Adam J. • Gelino, Christopher R. • Cushing, Michael C. • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy

Abstract • We report resolved near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic observations of the T8.5 binary WISEP J045853.90+643452.6AB obtained with Keck/NIRC2, Keck/OSIRIS, and the Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system. These data confirm common proper and radial motion for the two components, and we see the first indications of orbital motion (mostly radial) for this system. H-band spectroscopy identifies both components as very late type brown dwarfs with strong H2O and CH4 absorption. The spectrum of WISE J0458+6434B also exhibits a compelling signature of NH3 absorption over 1.52-1.54 μm when compared to the T9 dwarf UGPS J072227.51-054031.2. Comparison to T8-Y0 spectral standards and H-band spectral indices indicate classifications of T8.5 and T9.5 for these two components, approaching the boundary between the T dwarf and Y dwarf spectral classes.

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, and made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.


IPAC Authors

Chris Gelino

Associate Scientist


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist