Astrophysikalisches Institut und Universitäts-Sternwarte, Universität Jena, Schillergäßchen 2–3, 07745 Jena, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avenida Gran Bretaña 1111, Valparaíso, Chile
4 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Avda. Angamos 0610, Antofagasta, Chile
5 Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Split, Teslina 12, 21000 Split, Croatia
6 SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews KY16 9SS, UK
7 Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
Accepted: 15 August 2008
Aims. In our ongoing search for close and faint companions around T Tauri stars in the Chamaeleon star-forming region, we here present observations of a new common proper motion companion to the young T-Tauri star and Chamaeleon member CT Cha and discuss its properties in comparison to other young, low-mass objects and to synthetic model spectra from different origins.
Methods. Common proper motion of the companion and CT Cha was confirmed by direct -band imaging data taken with the VLT Adaptive Optics (AO) instrument NACO in February 2006 and March 2007, together with a Hipparcos binary for astrometric calibration. An additional J-band image was taken in March 2007 to obtain color information for a first classification of the companion. Moreover, AO integral field spectroscopy with SINFONI in J, and bands was obtained to deduce physical parameters of the companion, such as temperature and extinction. Relative flux calibration of the bands was achieved using photometry from the NACO imaging data.
Results. We found a very faint ( = 14.9 mag, = 14.4 mag) object, just ~2.67´´ northwest of CT Cha corresponding to a projected separation of ~440 AU at 165 ± 30 pc. We show that CT Cha A and this faint object form a common proper motion pair and that the companion is by ≥4σ significance not a stationary background object. The near-infrared spectroscopy yields a temperature of 2600 ± 250 K for the companion and an optical extinction of AV = 5.2 ± 0.8 mag, when compared to spectra calculated from Drift-Phoenix model atmospheres. We demonstrate the validity of the model fits by comparison to several other well-known young sub-stellar objects.
Conclusions. We conclude that the CT Cha companion is a very low-mass member of Chamaeleon and very likely a physical companion to CT Cha, as the probability for a by chance alignment is ≤0.01. Due to a prominent Pa-β emission in the J-band, accretion is probably still ongoing onto the CT Cha companion. From temperature and luminosity (log = –2.68 ± 0.21), we derive a radius of R = . We find a consistent mass of M = 17 ± 6 for the CT Cha companion from both its luminosity and temperature when placed on evolutionary tracks. Hence, the CT Cha companion is most likely a wide brown dwarf companion or possibly even a planetary mass object.
Key words: stars: pre-main sequence / stars: planetary systems: formation / stars: individual: CT Cha
© ESO, 2008