HIP 38939B: A new benchmark T dwarf in the galactic plane discovered with Pan-STARRS1

Niall R. Deacon, Michael C. Liu, Eugene A. Magnier, Brendan P. Bowler, Joshua Redstone, Bertrand Goldman, W. S. Burgett, K. C. Chambers, H. Flewelling, N. Kaiser, J. S. Morgan, P. A. Price, W. E. Sweeney, J. L. Tonry, R. J. Wainscoat, C. Waters

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    We report the discovery of a wide brown dwarf companion to the mildly metal-poor ([Fe/H] = -0.24), low Galactic latitude (b = 188) K4V star HIP 38939. The companion was discovered by its common proper motion with the primary and its red optical (Pan-STARRS1) and blue infrared (Two Micron All Sky Survey) colors. It has a projected separation of 1630 AU and a near-infrared spectral type of T4.5. As such it is one of only three known companions to a main-sequence star which have early/mid T spectral types of (the others being HN Peg B and ε Indi B). Using chromospheric activity we estimate an age for the primary of 900±1900 600Myr. This value is also in agreement with the age derived from the star's weak ROSAT detection. Comparison with evolutionary models for this age range indicates that HIP 38939B falls in the mass range 38 ± 20 M Jup with an effective temperature range of 1090 ± 60K. Fitting our spectrum with atmospheric models gives a best-fitting temperature of 1100K. We include our object in an analysis of the population of benchmark T dwarfs and find that while older atmospheric models appeared to overpredict the temperature of the coolest objects compared to evolutionary models, more recent atmospheric models provide better agreement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number94
    JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2012


    • brown dwarfs
    • stars: low-mass
    • surveys


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