Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The unseen companion of HD114762: a probable brown dwarf

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Harrington, R. S. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 1–12 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  2. van de Kamp, P. Space Sci. Rev. 25, 211–327 (1986).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. McAlister, H. A. A. Rev. Astr. Astrophys. 23, 59–87 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ianna, P. A., Rohde, J. R. & McCarthy D. W. Jr Astr. J. 95, 1226–1230 (1988).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. McCarthy, D. W. Jr, Probst, R. G. & Low, F. J. Astrophys. J. 290, L9–L13 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Perrier, C. & Mariotti, J.-M. Astrophys. J. 312, L27–L30 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Zuckerman, B. & Becklin, E. E. Nature 330, 138–140 (1987).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Becklin, E. E. & Zuckerman, B. Nature 336, 656–658 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Forrest, W. J., Skrutskie, M. F. & Shure, M. Astrophys. J. 330, L119–L123 (1988).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Campbell, B., Walker, G. A. & Yang, S. Astrophys. J. 331, 902–921 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Marcy, G. W. & Moore, D. Astrophys. J. (in the press).

  12. Marcy, G. W. & Benitz, K. J. Astrophys. J. (tn the press).

  13. Mayor, M. & Maurice, E. in IAU Coll. 88, Stellar Radial Velocities (eds Philip, A. G. D. & Latham, D. W.) 299–309 (Davis, Schenectady, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Latham, D. W. in IAU Coll. 88, Stellar Radial Velocities (eds Philip, A. G. D. & Latham, D. W.) 21–34 (Davis, Schenectady, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Mayor, M. in IAU Coll. 88, Stellar Radial Velocities (eds Philip, A. G. D. & Latham, D. W.) 35–48 (L. Davis Press, Schenectady, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Peterson, R. C. & Carney, B. W. Astrophys. J. 231, 762–780 (1979).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Laird, J. B. Carney, B. W. & Latham, D. W. Astr. J. 95, 1843–1875 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Latham, D. W., Andersen, J., Geary, J. C., Stefanik, R. P. & Rodrigues, O. in Fiber Optics in Astronomy, Astr. Soc. Pacif. Conf. Ser. Vol. 3 (ed. Barden, S. C.) 269–276 (1988).

    Google Scholar 

  19. Mazeh, T., Kemp, J. C., Leibowitz, E. M., Meningher, H. & Mendelson, H. Astrophys. J. 317, 824–829 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Rufener, F. Catalogue of stars measured in the Geneva Observatory photometric system 4th Edn (Observatoire de Genève, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  21. Deming, D., Espenak, F., Jennings, D. E. & Brault, J. W. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 58–65 (Cambridge Univ. Press. 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  22. Tarter, J. C. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 121–138 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  23. D'Antona, F. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 148–159 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  24. Nelson, L. A., Rappaport, S. A. & Joss, P. C. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 177–189 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  25. Stevenson, D. J. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 218–232 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986).

    Google Scholar 

  26. Boss, A. P. in Astrophysics of Brown Dwarfs (eds Kafatos, M. C., Harrington, R. S. & Maran, S. P.) 206–211 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1986)

    Google Scholar 

  27. McClure, R. D., Griffin, R. F., Fletcher, J. M., Harris, H. C. & Mayor, M. Publs. astr. Soc. Pacif. 97, 740–744 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Brown, R. A. presented at the Joint Workshop of the National Acad. Sci. and the Acad. Sci. of the USSR on Planetary Science, Moscow (January 1989).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Latham, D., Mazeh, T., Stefanik, R. et al. The unseen companion of HD114762: a probable brown dwarf. Nature 339, 38–40 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1038/339038a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

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

This article is cited by

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing