AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 61. Stars: Dwarfs and Companions
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[61.02] Recently discovered faint companions to nearby white dwarfs

J. Farihi, E.E. Becklin, B. Zuckerman (UCLA)

In an infrared, wide field, proper motion survey for low mass stellar and substellar companions to nearby white dwarfs, we have discovered at least 7 proper motion companions whose J magnitudes fall in the range 13 < J < 18. Of these 7 previously unknown objects, 4 appear to be likely white dwarfs, 2 likely M dwarfs and a red, enigmatic object which has so far eschewed classification. Of the 4 likely white dwarf companions, they all appear to be quite cool for white dwarfs and hence quite old. They are all fainter then their respective primaries by at least one magnitude at J and one companion is ~ 3 magnitudes fainter. The reddest object of the companions has J-K ~ 1.2 but appears clearly in all the optical bands of the POSS II plates. Possibilities for this object include a cool white dwarf + late L dwarf close binary or a dust enshrouded white dwarf. We are currently following up these companions with optical photometry and spectra in order to determine their true nature.

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

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