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PSYM-WIDE: A Survey for Large-separation Planetary-mass Companions to Late Spectral Type Members of Young Moving Groups

Naud, Marie-Eve et al., 2017, The Astronomical Journal, 154, 129 | View on ADS


We present the results of a direct imaging survey for very large separation (〉100 au), low-mass companions around 95 nearby young K5─L5 stars and brown dwarfs. They are high-likelihood candidates or confirmed members of the young (≲150 Myr) β Pictoris and AB Doradus moving groups (ABDMG) and the TW Hya, Tucana─Horologium, Columba, Carina, and Argus associations. Images in i\prime and z\prime filters were obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini South to search for companions down to an apparent magnitude of z\prime ∼ 22─24 at separations ≳20″ from the targets and in the remainder of the wide 5.′5 × 5.′5 GMOS field of view. This allowed us to probe the most distant region where planetary-mass companions could be gravitationally bound to the targets. This region was left largely unstudied by past high-contrast imaging surveys, which probed much closer-in separations. This survey led to the discovery of a planetary-mass (9─13 {M}{Jup}) companion at 2000 au from the M3V star GU Psc, a highly probable member of ABDMG. No other substellar companions were identified. These results allowed us to constrain the frequency of distant planetary-mass companions (5─13 {M}{Jup}) to {0.84}-0.66+6.73% (95% confidence) at semimajor axes between 500 and 5000 au around young K5─L5 stars and brown dwarfs. This is consistent with other studies suggesting that gravitationally bound planetary-mass companions at wide separations from low-mass stars are relatively rare.

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