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K.G. Stassun (Vanderbilt University), R.D. Mathieu (Univ. Wisconsin), L.P.V. Vaz (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), J.A. Valenti (STScI), Y. Gomez (Vanderbilt University)
We have discovered a brown-dwarf eclipsing binary---the first of its kind---in the Orion Nebula Cluster. Combining multi-band photometric light curves with precise radial velocities from high-resolution infrared spectra obtained with Gemini/Phoenix, we directly measure the masses and radii of both brown dwarfs, as well as their temperatures and luminosities. These measurements, including the most accurate masses for brown dwarfs to date, are in generally good agreement with theoretical models of young brown dwarfs.
Surprisingly, the more massive brown dwarf in this system is found to be cooler than its lower-mass companion. This may indicate a younger age for the more massive brown dwarf, which would suggest that these brown dwarfs were not born together; multiple-body dynamical interactions may have been important in their formation.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.