Letter | Published:

The unseen companion of HD114762: a probable brown dwarf

Naturevolume 339pages3840 (1989) | Download Citation

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Abstract

BROWN dwarfs are substellar objects with too little mass to ignite hydrogen in their cores. Despite considerable effort to detect brown dwarfs astrometrically1–4, photometrically4–9, and spectroscopi-cally10–12, only a few good candidates have been discovered. Here we present spectroscopic evidence for a probable brown-dwarf companion to the solar-type star HD114762. This star undergoes periodic variations in radial velocity which we attribute to orbital motion resulting from the presence of an unseen companion. The rather short period of 84 days places the companion in an orbit similar to that of Mercury around the Sun, whereas the rather low velocity amplitude of about 0.6 km s-1 implies that the mass of the companion may be as low as 0.011 solar masses, or 11 Jupiter masses. This leads to the suggestion that the companion is probably a brown dwarf, and may even be a giant planet. However, because the inclination of the orbit to the line of sight is unknown, the mass of the companion may be considerably larger than this lower limit.

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Affiliations

  1. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, USA

    • David W. Latham
    •  & Robert P. Stefanik
  2. School of Physics and Astronomy, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Science, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, 69978, Israel

    • Tsevi Mazeh
  3. Observatoire de Geneve, Chemin des Maillettes 51, Ch-1290, Sauverny, Switzerland

    • Michel Mayor
    •  & Gilbert Burki

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https://doi.org/10.1038/339038a0

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