A possible dividing line between massive planets and brown-dwarf companions

Sahlmann, Johannes ; Ségransan, Damien ; Queloz, Didier ; Udry, Stéphane

In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 2010, vol. 6, no. S276, p. 117-120

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    Brown dwarfs are intermediate objects between planets and stars. The lower end of the brown-dwarf mass range overlaps with the one of massive planets and therefore the distinction between planets and brown-dwarf companions may require to trace the individual formation process. We present results on new potential brown-dwarf companions of Sun-like stars, which were discovered using CORALIE radial-velocity measurements. By combining the spectroscopic orbits and Hipparcos astrometric measurements, we have determined the orbit inclinations and therefore the companion masses for many of these systems. This has revealed a mass range between 25 and 45 Jupiter masses almost void of objects, suggesting a possible dividing line between massive planets and sub-stellar companions