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2MASS 1209-10AB
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Title: Discovery of a Highly Unequal-Mass Binary T Dwarf with Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics: A Coevality Test of Substellar Theoretical Models and Effective Temperatures
Authors: Michael C. Liu, Trent J. Dupuy (IfA/Hawaii), S. K. Leggett (Gemini)

Highly unequal-mass ratio binaries are rare among field brown dwarfs, with the known census described by q^(4.90.7). However, such systems can test the joint accuracy of evolutionary and atmospheric models, under the constraint of coevality (the "isochrone test''). We carry out this test using two of the most extreme field substellar binaries currently known, the T1+T6 \eps Ind Bab binary and a newly discovered 0.14" T2.0+T7.5 binary, 2MASS 1209-10AB. Based on the locations of the components on the H-R diagram, models successfully indicate that the systems are coeval, with internal age differences of log(age) = 0.5{+0.4}{-0.3} and -0.81.3 dex, respectively. However, the total mass of \eps Ind Bab derived from the H-R diagram (~80 Mjup) is discrepant with the reported dynamical mass. This problem, which is independent of the assumed age of the system, can be explained by a ~50-100 K systematic error in the model atmosphere fitting; bringing the two mass determinations into consistency leads to an inferred age of ~6 Gyr for the \eps Ind system, older than previously assumed. Overall, the two T dwarf binaries studied here, along with recent results from T dwarfs in age and mass benchmark systems, yield evidence for small (~100 K) errors in the evolutionary models and/or model atmospheres, but not significantly larger. Finally, the binary nature of 2MASS 1209-10AB reduces its utility as the primary T3 near-IR spectral typing standard; we suggest SDSS 1206+28 as a replacement.

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