Discovery of a Low-Mass Brown Dwarf Companion of the Young Nearby Star G 196-3

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Science  13 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5392, pp. 1309-1312
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5392.1309

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A substellar-mass object in orbit at about 300 astronomical units from the young low-mass star G 196-3 was detected by direct imaging. Optical and infrared photometry and low- and intermediate-resolution spectroscopy of the faint companion, hereafter referred to as G 196-3B, confirm its cool atmosphere and allow its mass to be estimated at 25−10 +15 Jupiter masses. The separation between the objects and their mass ratio suggest the fragmentation of a collapsing cloud as the most likely origin for G 196-3B, but alternatively it could have originated from a protoplanetary disc that has been dissipated. Whatever the formation process was, the young age of the primary star (about 100 million years) demonstrates that substellar companions can form on short time scales.

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