Journal Article

Discovery of new nearby L and late-M dwarfs at low Galactic latitude from the DENIS data base

N. Phan-Bao, M. S. Bessell, E. L. Martín, G. Simon, J. Borsenberger, R. Tata, J. Guibert, F. Crifo, T. Forveille, X. Delfosse, J. Lim and B. De Batz

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 383, issue 3, pages 831-844
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Discovery of new nearby L and late-M dwarfs at low Galactic latitude from the DENIS data base

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We report on new nearby L and late-M dwarfs (dphot≤ 30 pc) discovered in our search for nearby ultracool dwarfs (IJ≥ 3.0, later than M8.0) at low Galactic latitude (|b| < 15°) over 4800 deg2 in the Deep Near Infrared Survey of the Southern Sky (DENIS) data base. We used late-M (≥ M8.0), L and T dwarfs with accurate trigonometric parallaxes to calibrate the MJ versus IJ colour–luminosity relation. The resulting photometric distances have standard errors of ∼15 per cent, which we used to select candidates dphot≤ 30 pc. We measured proper motions from multi-epoch images found in the public archives ALADIN, DSS, 2MASS and DENIS, with at least three distinct epochs and time baselines of 10–21 yr. We then used a maximum reduced proper motion cut-off to select 28 candidates as ultracool dwarfs (M8.0–L8.0) and to reject one as a distant red star. No T dwarf candidates were found in this search, which required an object to be detected in all three DENIS bands. Our low-resolution optical spectra confirmed that 26 were indeed ultracool dwarfs, with spectral types from M8.0 to L5.5. Two contaminants and one rejected by the maximum reduced proper motion cut-off were all reddened F–K main sequence stars. 20 of these 26 ultracool dwarfs are new nearby ultracool dwarf members, three L dwarfs within 15 pc with one L3.5 at only ∼10 pc. We determine a stellar density of dwarfs pc−3 mag−1 over 11.1 ≤MJ≤ 13.1 based on this sample of M8–L3.5 ultracool dwarfs. Our ultracool dwarf density value is in good agreement with the measurement by Cruz et al. of the ultracool dwarf density at high Galactic latitude.

Keywords: techniques: photometric; techniques: spectroscopic; stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs; stars: luminosity function, mass function; solar neighbourhood

Journal Article.  6474 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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