A nearby young M dwarf with a wide, possibly planetary-mass companion

Niall Deacon, Joshua E. Schlieder, Simon J. Murphy

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We present the identification of two previously known young objects in the solar neighbourhood as a likely very wide binary. TYC 9486-927-1, an active, rapidly rotating early-M dwarf, and 2MASS J21265040-8140293, a low-gravity L3 dwarf previously identified as candidate members of the $\sim$45 Myr old Tucana Horologium association (TucHor). An updated proper motion measurement of the L3 secondary, and a detailed analysis of the pair's kinematics in the context of known nearby, young stars, reveals that they share common proper motion and are likely bound. New observations and analyses reveal the primary exhibits Li 6708~\AA~absorption consistent with M dwarfs younger than TucHor but older than the $\sim$10 Myr TW Hydra association yielding an age range of 10-45 Myr. A revised kinematic analysis suggests the space motions and positions of the pair are closer to, but not entirely in agreement with, the $\sim$24 Myr old $\beta$ Pictoris moving group. This revised 10-45 Myr age range yields a mass range of 11.6--15 M$_J$ for the secondary. It is thus likely 2MASS J21265040-8140293short is the widest orbit planetary mass object known ($>$4500AU) and its estimated mass, age, spectral type, and $T_{eff}$ are similar to the well-studied planet $\beta$ Pictoris b. Because of their extreme separation and youth, this low-mass pair provide an interesting case study for very wide binary formation and evolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3191-3199
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date23 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2016


  • astro-ph.EP
  • astro-ph.SR


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