Volume 433, Number 2, April II 2005
|Page(s)||L33 - L36|
|Published online||22 March 2005|
Letter to the Editor
HST/NICMOS observations of a proto-brown dwarf candidate
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3 NASA Astrobiology Institute
4 Department of Astronomy of the Loránd Eötvös University, Pázmány Péter sétány 1, 1117 Budapest, Hungary
5 Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, PO Box 67, 1525 Budapest, Hungary
6 Astrophysics Missions Division, ESTEC, Keplerlann 1, Norwijk 2201, The Netherlands
Accepted: 18 February 2005
We present deep HST/NICMOS observations peering through the outflow cavity of the protostellar candidate IRAS 04381+2540 in the Taurus Molecular Cloud-1. A young stellar object as central source, a jet and a very faint and close () companion are identified. The primary and the companion have similar colours, consistent with strong reddening. We argue that the companion is neither a shock-excited knot nor a background star. The colour/magnitude information predicts a substellar upper mass limit for the companion, but the final confirmation will require spectroscopic information. Because of its geometry, young age and its rare low-mass companion, this system is likely to provide a unique insight into the formation of brown dwarfs.
Key words: binaries: close / planetary systems: protoplanetary disks / stars: formation / stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs / stars: pre-main sequence
© ESO, 2005
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