Radio Emission and Orbital Motion from the Close-encounter Star-Brown Dwarf Binary WISE J072003.20-084651.2

December 2015 • 2015AJ....150..180B

Authors • Burgasser, Adam J. • Melis, Carl • Todd, Jacob • Gelino, Christopher R. • Hallinan, Gregg • Bardalez Gagliuffi, Daniella

Abstract • We report the detection of radio emission and orbital motion from the nearby star-brown dwarf binary WISE J072003.20-084651.2AB. Radio observations across the 4.5-6.5 GHz band with the Very Large Array identify at the position of the system quiescent emission with a flux density of 15 ± 3 μJy, and a highly polarized radio source that underwent a 2-3 minute burst with peak flux density 300 ± 90 μJy. The latter emission is likely a low-level magnetic flare similar to optical flares previously observed for this source. No outbursts were detected in separate narrow-band Hα monitoring observations. We report new high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic observations that confirm the presence of a co-moving T5.5 secondary and provide the first indications of three-dimensional orbital motion. We used these data to revise our estimates for the orbital period (4.1{}-1.3+2.7 year) and tightly constrain the orbital inclination to be nearly edge-on (93.°6+1.°6-1.°4), although robust measures of the component and system masses will require further monitoring. The inferred orbital motion does not change the high likelihood that this radio-emitting very low-mass binary made a close pass to the Sun in the past 100 kyr.

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.


IPAC Authors

Chris Gelino

Associate Scientist