Post common envelope binary WD 0137-349

WD 0137-349

Image creditDigital Drew Space Art’s photostream as featured by Universe Today.

The WD 0137-349 system is an odd ultra close binary approximately 200 light years away. The smaller but more massive component is a small massive white dwarf, formerly the core region of a normal star. The larger component is a close low mass brown dwarf which orbits its white dwarf companion in a tight two hour orbit. It glows with dull reddish color, and largely from this angle the brown dwarf is illuminated by the white dwarf.

This binary, discovered in 2006, is proof of the survival of a brown dwarf companion through engulfment during the red giant phase. The brown dwarf has been detected in the near-infrared. The period is 116 minutes. An even shorter period binary, NLTT 5306, has been discovered very recently. Wider, spatially resolved binaries consisting of a white dwarf and a proven substellar companion are known, but rare. Unresolved L dwarf companions to white dwarfs are also few in number. Prior to the discovery of the Y dwarf companion to WD 0806-661 to which I drew attention a few days ago, one wide T dwarf companion is also in the literature, the companion to the high proper motion white dwarf LSPM 1459+0857. Lastly, one interacting white dwarf binary with a substellar secondary has been confirmed spectroscopically using the 8 meter Gemini instrument, SDSS 1212.

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One Response to “Post common envelope binary WD 0137-349”

  1. […] and form a very tight pair with one white dwarf, and one more normal star. [Such pairs are known as post common envelope binaries]. One such stellar pair is called V471 Tauri. It is a member of the Hyades star cluster in […]

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