I’ve added a new Brown Dwarf dataset to the Stellar Mapping page (thanks to LiNeNoiSe for pointing this out to me)! This should hopefully be the last major update to the stellar datasets for a while – the next project on the list is to figure out what the reworked Arms for 2300AD might look like based on the realistic data.
The new catalogue is the LDwarf dataset – this is a list of brown dwarfs taken from the IPAC Brown Dwarf Archives (this dataset was last updated on 14 Feb 2011). It is not a complete list of all known brown dwarfs – these are the only the ones for which parallax data is provided there.
While some of the distances presented in this dataset are derived from trigonometric parallaxes, others are derived instead from (spectro)photometric parallaxes. Trigonometric parallaxes are derived by measuring the angular shift of a star relative to the background stars as the earth moves around the sun on its orbit (the stellar distances in the HIPX, RECONS and other datasets here are derived using this method) – these are generally more accurate than photometric parallaxes. “Photometric parallaxes” are techically not really “parallaxes” at all – instead the spectral type of the object is checked against luminosity models to get an estimate of its luminosity, which is used along with the observed visual/IR magnitude to calculate the distance to the object. Unfortunately this method is not very precise, and some of the photometric parallaxes for these objects in the LDwarf dataset have very large error bars – but this is the best data that is currently available.
One of these systems – SDSS J141-134 – is listed in the original data as having a (photometric) parallax of 127 +/- 27 mas. This places it almost in the right location to allow a 7.7 ly link between Xi Bootis and CE Bootis, which would be very useful in the 2300AD setting. I have changed its parallax to 122 mas on this list (which is comfortably within its error bars, and allows it to connect those two stars and link to the stars around Arcturus). The original (127 mas) data for this system is listed in the text file in the LDwarf.zip file if it’s needed.
It should also be noted that two Brown Dwarfs (UGPS J072227.51-054031.2 and DENIS J081730.0-615520) are located within the RECONS sphere. These are not listed in the RECONS data, but are retained here since their parallaxes indicate that they are within 22.8 lightyears of Sol (even given their large error bars). They do not make a significant difference to the 2300AD route distribution.
Some of the Brown Dwarfs in this list are members of multiple systems that are listed in other datasets presented on this site. These are listed as complete multiple star systems on this list (the other components are duplicated here using the original data) – the datasets should merge seamlessly when combined (the ID numbers are preserved in both lists) but some components may be duplicated – this should not create problems since they will have the same name and position.
I’ve also made several other updates to the datasets, so you’ll need to download them again to get the latest versions!