NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0102

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0102


PI: Kevin Luhman, Penn State University, kluhman@astro.psu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA

CoI: Kamen Todorov, Penn State University

Title: Confirmation of a Young Low-mass Quadruple in Taurus

Abstract: We recently discovered a planetary-mass companion (5-10 M_\rm Jup, \rho=0.1\arcsec) to a young brown dwarf in the Taurus star- forming region through imaging with HST+WFPC2 and NIRI+ALTAIR. In the NIRI images, we serendipitously detected an additional possible substellar companion to a nearby (\rho=12\arcsec) young low-mass star. These four objects may comprise the first known quadruple system in which 3 members are substellar. If so, then its hierarchical configuration would suggest that the fragmentation of molecular cloud cores (i.e., the process that makes binary stars) can produce companions below 10 M_\rm Jup. We propose to verify the companionship of the new candidate found with NIRI by repeating our previous NIRI observations and measuring its proper motion relative to those of the other 3 objects.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0102

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