Benchmark ultra-cool dwarfs in widely separated binary systems
1 Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshrie, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK
2 Department of Astronomy, Universidad de Chile, Casilla postal 36D, Santiago, Chile
a e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ultra-cool dwarfs as wide companions to subgiants, giants, white dwarfs and main sequence stars can be very good benchmark objects, for which we can infer physical properties with minimal reference to theoretical models, through association with the primary stars. We have searched for benchmark ultra-cool dwarfs in widely separated binary systems using SDSS, UKIDSS, and 2MASS. We then estimate spectral types using SDSS spectroscopy and multi-band colors, place constraints on distance, and perform proper motions calculations for all candidates which have sufficient epoch baseline coverage. Analysis of the proper motion and distance constraints show that eight of our ultra-cool dwarfs are members of widely separated binary systems. Another L3.5 dwarf, SDSS 0832, is shown to be a companion to the bright K3 giant η Cancri. Such primaries can provide age and metallicity constraints for any companion objects, yielding excellent benchmark objects. This is the first wide ultra-cool dwarf + giant binary system identified.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011