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Letters to Nature
Nature 336, 656 - 658 (15 December 1988); doi:10.1038/336656a0

A low-temperature companion to a white dwarf star

E. E. Becklin* & B. Zuckerman

*Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
Department of Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024, USA

We have discovered an infrared object located about 120 AU from the white dwarf GD165. With the exception of the possible brown dwarf companion to Giclas 29–38 which we reported last year1, the companion to GD165 is the coolest (2,100 K) dwarf star ever reported and, according to some theoretical models, it should be a sub-stellar brown dwarf with a mass between 0.06 and 0.08 solar masses. These results, together with newly discovered low-mass stellar companions to white dwarfs, change the investigation of very low-mass stars from the study of a few chance objects to that of a statistical distribution. In particular, it appears that very low-mass stars and perhaps even brown dwarfs could be quite common in our Galaxy.

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