Skip to main content
  Cornell University

MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: Discovery of a Substellar Companion to the Nearby Debris Disk Host HR 2562

Article:  Konopacky, QM; Rameau, J; Duchene, G; Filippazzo, JC; Godfrey, PAG; Marois, C; Nielsen, EL; Pueyo, L; Rafikov, RR; Rice, EL; Wang, JJ; Ammons, SM; Bailey, VP; Barman, TS; Bulger, J; Bruzzone, S; Chilcote, JK; Cotten, T; Dawson, RI; De Rosa, RJ; Doyon, R; Esposito, TM; Fitzgerald, MP; Follette, KB; Goodsell, S; Graham, JR; Greenbaum, AZ; Hibon, P; Hung, LW; Ingraham, P; Kalas, P; Lafreniere, D; Larkin, JE; Macintosh, BA; Maire, J; Marchis, F; Marley, MS; Matthews, BC; Metchev, S; Millar-Blanchaer, MA; Oppenheimer, R; Palmer, DW; Patience, J; Perrin, MD; Poyneer, LA; Rajan, A; Rantakyro, FT; Savransky, D; Schneider, AC; Sivaramakrishnan, A; Song, I; Soummer, R; Thomas, S; Wallace, JK; Ward-Duong, K; Wiktorowicz, SJ; Wolff, SG; “Discovery of a Substellar Companion to the Nearby Debris Disk Host HR 2562”, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 829(1)


Abstract:  We present the discovery of a brown dwarf companion to the debris disk host star HR 2562. This object, discovered with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), has a projected separation of 20.3 +/- 0.3 au (0″.618 +/- 0″.004) from the star. With the high astrometric precision afforded by GPI, we have confirmed, to more than 5 sigma, the common proper motion of HR 2562B with the star, with only a month-long time baseline between observations. Spectral data in the J-, H-, and K-bands show a morphological similarity to L/T transition objects. We assign a spectral type of L7 +/- 3 to HR 2562B. and derive a luminosity of log(L-bol/L-circle dot) = -4.62 +/- 0.12, corresponding to a mass of 30 +/- 15 M-Jup from evolutionary models at an estimated age of the system of 300-900 Myr. Although the uncertainty in the age of the host star is significant, the spectra and photometry exhibit several indications of youth for HR 2562B. The source has a position angle that is consistent with an orbit in the same plane as the debris disk recently resolved with Herschel. Additionally, it appears to be interior to the debris disk. Though the extent of the inner hole is currently too uncertain to place limits on the mass of HR 2562B, future observations of the disk with higher spatial resolution may be able to provide mass constraints.

This is the first brown-dwarf-mass object found to reside in the inner hole of a debris disk, offering the opportunity to search for evidence of formation above the deuterium burning limit in a circumstellar disk.

Funding Acknowledgement: Fonds de Recherche du Quebec; NSF [AST-1518332, AST-1411868, AST-141378, AST-1211568, DGE-1232825, AST-1313132]; NASA [NNX15AD95G/NEXSS, NNX15AC89G, NNX14AJ80G]; U.S. Department of Energy [DE-AC52-07NA27344]

Funding Text: The authors thank Richard Gray for his clarifying points on spectral classification. We also thank Adam Burgasser and Daniella Bardalez-Gagliuffi for helpful discussions. We also thank the anonymous referee whose comments improved this manuscript. This research has benefited from the SpeX Prism Library and SpeX Prism Library Analysis Toolkit, maintained by Adam Burgasser at, from the BANYAN II web tool at, and from the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. This work is based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the NSF (United States), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the australian Research Council (Australia), Ministerio da Ciencia, Tecnologia e Inovacao (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnologia e Innovacion Productiva (Argentina). J.R., R.D. and D.L. acknowledge support from the Fonds de Recherche du Quebec. This work was supported by NSF grants AST-1518332 (R.J.D.R., J.R.G., J.J.W., T.M.E., P.K)., AST-1411868 (B.M., A.R., K.W.D.), AST-141378 (G.D.), AST-1211568 (P.A.G., E.L.R.), DGE-1232825 (A.Z.G.), and AST-1313132 (J.F.C., E.L.R.). This work was supported by NASA grants NNX15AD95G/NEXSS and NNX15AC89G (R.J.D.R., J.R.G., P.K., J.J.W., T.M.E.), and NNX14AJ80G (E.L.N., S.C.B., B.M., F.M., M.P.). Portions of this work were performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 (S.M.A., L.P., D.P.).

Skip to toolbar