AAS 197, January 2001
Session 11. Extrasolar Planets and Very Low Mass Stars
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[11.12] An Extremely Red Object in the Field of HD 155826

C. Lisse (STSci), V. Gorjian (NASA-JPL), A. B. Schultz (CSC/STSci), Y. Fernandez (University of Hawaii), S. Peschke (ESA), D. Christian (CSC/STSci), M. Ressler (NASA-JPL), D. Backman (F & M College/NASA-Ames), C. Kaminski, B. Golisch (NASA-IRTF), G. Djorgovski (Caltech)

We have discovered an extremely red object located 7 arcsec southwest (P.A. 233 deg) of the bright binary system HD~155826. Originally reported by IRAS as one source detected at 12-100 \mum, within the error ellipse of HD~155826, two bright point sources were found in infrared images obtained with the NSFCAM and MIRLIN cameras at the IRTF and confirmed by the LWS camera on Keck I.

HD~155826 is easily detected in the NSFCAM z, J, H, and K images, but there is no apparent counterpart for the new source down to mag ~14th at Gunn z, J, nor is an object found in the Aladin sky catalogue. The detection of the second, bright red source explains the confusing K-(IRAS 12\mum) colors originally assigned to HD~155826 as a possible Vega-like system. While 7" corresponds to 140 AU at the distance of HD~155826, as the field is within 12 deg. of the Galactic center and \approx7' from the Galactic plane, it is very possible that the two sources are associated by confusion only.

>From the lack of an optical counterpart and the bright mid-IR flux, we suspect the object to be either a highly reddened carbon star with a thick shell or an embedded protostar. Our next major step will be to distinguish between these two possibilities by measuring the 5-20\mum SED with medium to high spectral resolution to search for the strong 8-10\mum absorption due to SiC found in extreme carbon stars.

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