Journal Article

Exploring the substellar temperature regime down to ∼550 K

Ben Burningham, D. J. Pinfield, S. K. Leggett, M. Tamura, P. W. Lucas, D. Homeier, A. Day-Jones, H. R. A. Jones, J. R. A. Clarke, M. Ishii, M. Kuzuhara, N. Lodieu, M. R. Zapatero Osorio, B. P. Venemans, D. J. Mortlock, D. Barrado y Navascués, E. L. Martin and A. Magazzù

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 1, pages 320-333
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Exploring the substellar temperature regime down to ∼550 K

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We report the discovery of three very late T dwarfs in the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Third Data Release: ULAS J101721.40+011817.9 (ULAS1017), ULAS J123828.51+095351.3 (ULAS1238) and ULAS J133553.45+113005.2 (ULAS1335). We detail optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry for all three sources, and mid-IR photometry for ULAS1335. We use NIR spectra of each source to assign spectral types T8p (ULAS1017), T8.5 (ULAS1238) and T9 (ULAS1335) to these objects. ULAS1017 is classed as a peculiar T8 (T8p) due to appearing as a T8 dwarf in the J band, whilst exhibiting H- and K-band flux ratios consistent with a T6 classification. Through comparison to BT-Settl model spectra we estimate that ULAS1017 has 750 K ≲Teff≲ 850 K, and 5.0 ≲ log g(cm s−2) ≲ 5.5, assuming solar metallicity. This estimate for gravity is degenerate with varying metallicity. We estimate that ULAS1017 has an age of 1.6–15 Gyr, a mass of 33–70MJ and lies at a distance of 31–54 pc. We do not estimate atmospheric parameters for ULAS1238 due to a lack of K-band photometry. We extend the unified scheme of Burgasser et al. to the type T9 and suggest the inclusion of the WJ index to replace the now saturated J-band indices. We propose ULAS1335 as the T9 spectral type standard. ULAS1335 is the same spectral type as ULAS J003402.77−005206.7 and CFBDS J005910.90−011401.3. We argue that given the similarity of the currently known >T8 dwarfs to the rest of the T dwarf sequence, the suggestion of the Y0 spectral class for these objects is premature. Comparison of model spectra with that of ULAS1335 suggest a temperature below 600 K, possibly combined with low gravity and/or high metallicity. We find ULAS1335 to be extremely red in NIR to mid-IR colours, with H−[4.49]= 4.34 ± 0.04. This is the reddest NIR to mid-IR colour yet observed for a T dwarf. The NIR to mid-IR spectral energy distribution of ULAS1335 further supports Teff < 600 K, and we estimate Teff∼ 550–600 K for ULAS1335. We estimate that ULAS1335 has an age of 0.6–5.3 Gyr, a mass of 15–31MJ and lies at a distance of 8–12 pc.

Keywords: surveys; stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs

Journal Article.  8958 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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