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There is a Brown Dwarf Desert of Companions Orbiting Stars between 75 and 1000 AU

  • Chris McCarthy (a1), B. Zuckerman (a2) and E. E. Becklin (a2)

Abstract

We present results of the first large (> 100 stars) infrared coronographic search for substellar companions to nearby stars. The search consisted of two surveys of stars chosen for their youth and proximity to Earth: 1.) a 178 star infrared survey at Steward and Lick Observatories, with optical followup from Keck Observatory, capable of detecting companions with masses greater than 30M J , orbiting between about 75 and 300 AU, 2.) a 102 star survey using the Keck telescope, capable of detecting extrasolar brown dwarfs and planets typically more massive than 10 M J , orbiting between about 75 and 300 AU.

This research resulted in the discovery of one brown dwarf companion, zero planets and 23 double stars. The frequency of brown dwarf companions (of any mass) to G, K and M stars orbiting between 75 and 300 AU is measured to be 1 ± 1 %. The frequency of massive (> 30 M J ) brown dwarf companions is found to be 0.6 ± 0.6 %. The frequency of giant planets with masses larger than 10 M J , between 75 and 300 AU, is measured here for the first time to be no more than about 3 %.

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Copyright

References

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Butler, R.P., et al 2001, in “Planetary Systems in the Universe”, ASP Conference Series, Penny, A., Artimowicz, P., Lagrange, A-M. & Russel, S. eds.
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McCarthy, C., 2001. PhD Dissertation, U. C. Los Angeles.
McCarthy, C., Zuckerman, B., & Becklin, E., 2001, AJ, 121, 3259.

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