The one that got away: A unique eclipse in the young brown dwarf Roque 12

Scholz, Aleks ; Froebrich, Dirk ; Muzic, Koraljka ; Eislöffel, Jochen
arXiv e-prints


We report the discovery of a deep, singular eclipse of the bona fide brown dwarf Roque 12, a substellar member of the Pleiades. The eclipse was 0.6mag deep, lasted 1.3h, and was observed with two telescopes simultaneously in October 2002. No further eclipse was recorded, despite continuous monitoring with Kepler/K2 over 70d in 2015. There is tentative ($2\sigma$) evidence for radial velocity variations of 5km/s, over timescales of three months. The best explanation for the eclipse is the presence of a companion on an eccentric orbit. The observations constrain the eccentricity to e>0.5, the period to P>70d, and the mass of the companion to to ~0.001-0.04Msol. In principle it is also possible that the eclipse is caused by circum-sub-stellar material. Future data releases by Gaia and later LSST as well as improved radial velocity constraints may be able to unambiguously confirm the presence of the companion which would turn this system into one of the very few known eclipsing binary brown dwarfs with known age.