A Search for Companions to Nearby Brown Dwarfs: the Binary DENIS-P J1228.2-1547
1999, Science 283, 1718
Hubble Space Telescope near infrared camera and multiobject spectrometer
(NICMOS) imaging observations of two nearby brown dwarfs, DENIS-P J1228.2-1547
and Kelu 1, show that the DENIS object is resolved into two components of
nearly equal brightness with a projected separation of 0.275 arcsec
(5 astronomical units for a distance of 18 parsecs). The binary system can
provide the first dynamical measurement if the masses of two brown dwarfs
in only a few years. Upper limits to the mass of any unseen companion in Kelu 1
yield a planet of 7 Jupiter masses and age 0.5 Gyr, that would have been
detected at a separation larger than 4 astronomical units. This example
demonstrates that giant planets could be detected by direct imaging if they
exist in Jupiter-like orbits around nearby young brown dwarfs.
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