AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 11 Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[11.11] The Search for L and T Dwarf Companions Around Nearby Stars

D.L. Looper, J.D. Kirkpatrick (IPAC/Caltech)

We are conducting a search for brown dwarf companions to stars in the nearby-solar neighborhood, extending out to 8 pc of the sun. Unlike lone brown dwarfs, those that are paired with nearby, luminous stars can have many shared characteristics inferred from the primary such as a common proper motion, age, and metallicity. At present, the list of known companions is quite small at fourteen known L dwarf companions and four known T dwarf companions. Their separations range from 19 AU (for Gl86) to 3600 AU (for Gl584C). Using the 2MASS database paired with the USNO-A catalog, we searched around primaries out to a physical separation of 10,000 AU, selecting candidates with no optical counterparts since L and T dwarfs have large red optical-near-IR colors. In some cases, this search radius was impractical due to the nearness of the primary where we had to canvas large pieces of the sky or due to low galactic latitudes with an inundation of background sources; in these cases the number of objects to investigate was pared down to the nearest 500 sources to the primary. In this poster, we present an update to this continuing brown dwarf companion search around stars in our solar neighborhood. We hope to uncover brown dwarf companions that can help contribute to the scarcity of available statistics for brown dwarf parameters and perhaps help populate the "brown dwarf desert" for widely separated companions.

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