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An active M8.5 dwarf wide companion to the M4/DA binary LHS4039/LHS4040

  • Scholz, R. -D.
  • Lodieu, N.
  • Ibata, R.
  • Bienaymé, O.
  • Irwin, M.
  • McCaughrean, M. J.
  • Schwope, A.
Published Article
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2003
Submission Date
Oct 01, 2003
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.07252.x
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Low-mass and brown dwarfs have recently been found as wide companions to many nearby stars, formerly believed to be single. Wide binaries are usually found as common proper motion pairs. Sometimes, more than two objects share the same large proper motion, identifying them as nearby systems. We have found a third, low-mass component to a known wide binary at a distance of about 21pc, consisting of a red and a white dwarf (LHS4039 and LHS4040; about 150AU separation). The new companion, APMPMJ2354-3316C separated by about 2200AU, was classified as M8.5 dwarf. In recent spectroscopic observations it shows a very strong $H_{\alpha}$ emission line and blue continuum. Comparing this event to flares in late-type M dwarfs, we find some similarity with LHS2397a, a nearby M8 dwarf which is so far the only known example of a low-mass star with a tight brown dwarf companion (separation of less than 4AU). The level of the activity as measured by $L_{H_{\alpha}}/L_{bol}$ is comparable to that of the M9.5 dwarf 2MASSWJ0149+29 both during the flare and in quiescence.

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