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A near-infrared spectroscopic detection of the brown dwarf in the post common envelope binary WD 0137-349


Burleigh, MR and Hogan, E and Dobbie, PD and Napiwotzki, R and Maxted, PFL, A near-infrared spectroscopic detection of the brown dwarf in the post common envelope binary WD 0137-349, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters , 372, (1) pp. L55-L59. ISSN 1745-3933 (2006) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation Copyright 2006 RAS.

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2006.00242.x


We present a near-infrared spectrum of the close, detached white dwarf + brown dwarf binary WD 0137-349, which directly reveals the substellar companion through an excess of flux longwards of ≈1.95 μm. We best match the data with a white dwarf + L8 composite model. For ages ∼1 Gyr, the spectral type of the cool secondary is in agreement with the mass determined by Maxted et al. from radial velocity measurements (0.053 ± 0.006 M⊙), and supports an evolutionary scenario in which the brown dwarf survived a previous phase of common envelope evolution which resulted in the formation of this close binary. The brown dwarf is the lowest mass companion to a white dwarf yet found, and the lowest mass object known to have survived a common envelope phase. At 1300 < Teff < 1400 K WD 0137-349B is also the coolest known companion to a white dwarf. At a separation a= 0.65 R⊙ the hemisphere of the brown dwarf facing the 16 500 K white dwarf is being heated through irradiation. We discuss the possible effects of this additional heating, with particular relevance to those other close binaries with substellar companions, the hot Jupiters. We propose future observations to investigate the likely temperature differences between the ‘day’ and ‘night’ sides of the brown dwarf.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, white dwarfs
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dobbie, PD (Dr Paul Dobbie)
ID Code:81089
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:49
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-11-22
Last Modified:2013-06-25

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