AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 46. Planetary Systems: Observations and Models
Poster, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[46.09] A T-dwarf Companion to HD150451AB

J.C. Carson, S.S. Eikenberry, B.B. Brandl (Cornell University), J.C. Wilson (University of Virginia), T.L. Hayward (Gemini Observatory)

We present strong evidence of an early-type methane brown dwarf companion to the binary system HD150451AB. We obtained J-band and K-band diffraction-limited images with the Palomar Adaptive Optics system (PALAO) and the PHARO camera on the Hale 5-meter telescope, revealing an object having infrared colors and luminosities consistent with an early-type T-dwarf. We also obtained high-resolution astrometry over two years, showing common proper motion and confirming the object as a true physical companion. We used differential methane band imaging with the Palomar Wide-field Infrared Camera (WIRC) to reveal methane absorption, confirming the T-dwarf nature of the object. We observed apparent variability in the methane depression with ~50%} amplitude over a ~72}-hour timescale. After Gliese 229B and Gliese 570D, HD150451C is only the third known methane binary companion to a normal star.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: carson@astro.cornell.edu

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