HST NICMOS imaging of the planetary-mass companion to the young brown dwarf 2MASSW J1207334-393254

Inseok Song, G. Schneider, B. Zuckerman, J. Farihi, E. E. Becklin, M. S. Bessell, P. Lowrance, B. A. Macintosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiband (0.9-1.6 μm) images of the TW Hydrae association (TWA) brown dwarf 2MASSW J1207334-393254 (also known as 2M 1207) and its candidate planetary-mass companion (2M 1207b) were obtained on 2004 August 28 and 2005 April 26 with HST NICMOS. The images from these two epochs unequivocally confirm the two objects as a common proper motion pair (16.0 σ confidence). A new measurement of the proper motion of 2M 1207 implies a distance to the system of 59 ± 7 pc and a projected separation of 46 ± 5 AU. The NICMOS and previously published VLT photometry of 2M 1207b, extending overall from 0.9 to 3.8 μm, are fully consistent with an object of a few Jupiter masses at the canonical age of a TWA member (∼8 Myr) based on evolutionary models of young giant planets. These observations provide information on the physical nature of 2M 1207b and unambiguously establish that the first direct image of a planetary-mass companion in orbit around a self-luminous body, other than our Sun, has been secured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-729
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume652
Issue number1 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2006

Keywords

  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: individual (2MASSW J1207334-393254)
  • Stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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