Discovery of the first white dwarf + T dwarf binary system and the use of white dwarfs as age calibrators

Avril Day-Jones, D.J. Pinfield, M. Ruiz, H. Beaumont, J. Gallardo, A. Gianninas, P. Bergeron, Ralf Napiwotzki, J.S. Jenkins, B. Burningham, Z.H. Zhang, H.R.A. Jones, D. Murray, Silvia Catalan, Joana Ines Gomes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present the discovery of the first white dwarf + T dwarf binary system. Systems containing a white dwarf and a brown dwarf are rare but can be used to place constraints on the age of the binary, making them valuable benchmark systems. It is currently not possible to calculate brown dwarf ages from models alone and white dwarfs provide an opportunity to aid the calibration of these models. We describe our program to identify such benchmark binary systems in the latest releases of UKIDSS/SDSS and review the level of constraints currently provided by benchmark objects. Finally we describe the niche age space that white dwarf + brown dwarf binary systems can provide and look at how many more systems may be identified in future surveys, such as VISTA and WISE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th European White Dwarf Workshop
EditorsK Werner, T Rauch
Place of PublicationMELVILLE
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics (AIP)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-0-7354-0823-4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event17th European White Dwarf Workshop - Tubingen
Duration: 16 Aug 201020 Aug 2010

Publication series

NameAIP Conf Procs
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics


Conference17th European White Dwarf Workshop


  • white dwarfs
  • binary stars
  • spectroscopy


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