226 research outputs found

    The Galactic disk mass-budget : II. Brown dwarf mass-function and density

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    In this paper, we extend the calculations conducted previously in the stellar regime to determine the brown dwarf IMF in the Galactic disk. We perform Monte Carlo calculations taking into account the brown dwarf formation rate, spatial distribution and binary fraction. Comparison with existing surveys seems to exclude a power-law MF as steep as the one determined in the stellar regime below 1 \msol and tends to favor a more flatish behaviour. Comparison with methane-dwarf detections tends to favor an eventually decreasing form like the lognormal or the more general exponential distributions determined in the previous paper. We calculate predicting brown dwarf counts in near-infrared color diagrams and brown dwarf discovery functions. These calculations yield the presently most accurate determination of the brown dwarf census in the Galactic disk. The brown dwarf number density is comparable to the stellar one, nBD≃n⋆≃0.1n_{BD}\simeq n_\star\simeq 0.1 pc−3^{-3}. The corresponding brown dwarf mass density, however, represents only about 10% of the stellar contribution, i.e. \rho_{BD}\simle 5.0\times 10^{-3} \mvol. Adding up the local stellar density determined previously yields the density of star-like objects, stars and brown dwarfs, in the solar neighborhood \rho_\odot \approx 5.0\times 10^{-2} \mvol.Comment: 39 pages, Latex file, uses aasms4.sty, to be published in ApJ, corrected version with correct figure

    IR Colors and Sizes of Faint Galaxies

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    We present J and Ks band galaxy counts down to J=24 and Ks=22.5 obtained with the new infrared imager/spectrometer, SOFI, at the ESO New Technology Telescope. The co-addition of short, dithered, images led to a total exposure time of 256 and 624 minutes respectively, over an area of ∼20\sim20 arcmin2^2 centered on the NTT Deep Field. The total number of sources with S/N>5>5 is 1569 in the J sample and 1025 in the Ks-selected sample. These are the largest samples currently available at these depths. A dlogNlogN/dmm relation with slope of ∼0.36\sim0.36 in J and ∼0.38\sim0.38 in Ks is found with no evident sign of a decline at the magnitude limit. The observed surface density of ``small'' sources is much lower than ``large'' ones at bright magnitudes and rises more steeply than the large sources to fainter magnitudes. Fainter than J∼22.5J\sim22.5 and Ks∼21.5\sim21.5, small sources dominate the number counts. Galaxies get redder in J-K down to J∼20\sim20 and Ks∼19\sim19. At fainter magnitudes, the median color becomes bluer with an accompanying increase in the compactness of the galaxies. We show that the blue, small sources which dominate the faint IR counts are not compatible with a high redshift (z>1z>1) population. On the contrary, the observed color and compactness trends, together with the absence of a turnover at faint magnitudes and the dominance of small sources, can be naturally explained by an increasing contribution of sub-L∗L^* galaxies when going to fainter apparent magnitudes. Such evidence strongly supports the existence of a steeply rising (α≪−1\alpha\ll-1) faint end of the local infrared luminosity function of galaxies - at least for luminosities L<0.01L∗L<0.01L^*.Comment: Accepted for publication on A&A; 15 pages, 13 figure

    An Improved Red Spectrum of the Methane or T-dwarf SDSS 1624+0029: Role of the Alkali Metals

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    A Keck~II low resolution spectrum shortward of ome-micron is presented for SDSS 1624+0029, the first field methane or T dwarf discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Significant flux is detected down to the spectrum's short wavelength limit of 6200\AA. The spectrum exhibits a broad absorption feature centered at 7700\AA, which we interpret as the K~I 7665/7699 resonance doublet. The observed flux declines shortward of 7000\AA, due most likely to the red wing of the Na~I doublet. Both Cs~I doublet lines are detected more strongly than in an earlier red spectrum. Neither Li~I absorption nor Hα\alpha emission are detected. An exploratory model fit to the spectrum suggests that the shape of the red spectrum can be primarily accounted for by the broad wings of the K~I and Na~I doublets. This behavior is consistent with the argument proffered by Burrows, Marley and Sharp that strong alkali absorption is principally responsible for depressing T dwarf spectra shortward of 1μ\mum. In particular, there seems no compelling reason at this time to introduce dust or an additional opacity source in the atmosphere of the SDSS object. The width of the K~I and strengths of the Cs~I lines also indicate that the Sloan object is warmer than Gl~229B.Comment: accepted March 3, 2000 for Ap.J. Letters, LaTeX, 2 figure

    The circumstellar environment of the YSO TMR-1 and a revisit to the candidate very low-mass object TMR-1C

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    TMR-1 (IRAS~04361+2547) is a class~I proto-stellar source located in the nearby Taurus star-forming region. Its circumstellar environment is characterized by extended dust emission with complex structures and conspicuous filaments. A faint companion, called TMR-1C, located near the proto-star had been detected in previous studies, but its nature as a very young substellar object remained inconclusive. To improve the constraints on the nature of TMR-1C, and to investigate the process of very low-mass star formation in the TMR-1 system we use very sensitive infrared imaging observations as well as NIR spectroscopy. We construct the SED of TMR-1C over a much larger wavelength range as had been possible in previous work and compare it with models of extincted background stars, young sub-stellar objects, and very low-mass stars with circumstellar disk and envelope emission. We also search for additional low-luminosity objects in the immediate environment of the TMR-1, study the surrounding NIR dust morphology, and analyse the emission line spectrum of a filamentary structure in the physical context of a bow-shock model. We find that the observed SED of TMR-1C is inconsistent with an extincted background star, nor can be fitted with available models for a young extremely low-mass (<12M_Jup) object. Our near-IR spectrum indicates an effective temperature of at least ~3000K. Based on a good match of TMR-1C's SED with radiation transfer models of young stellar objects with circumstellar disks, we propose that TMR-1C is most likely a very low-mass star with M~0.1-0.2M_sun surrounded by a circumstellar disk with high inclination, i>80deg. Moreover, we detect an additional very faint source, which we call TMR-1D, and that shows a quite striking symmetry in position with TMR-1C. TMR-1C and TMR-1D may have been formed from a common triggered star-formation event, caused by... (abstract abridged)Comment: 15 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    A narrow-band search for Ly alpha emitting galaxies at z = 8.8

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    Aims: The first star forming galaxies in the early universe should be copious Ly alpha emitters, and may play a significant role in ionizing the intergalactic medium (IGM). It has been proposed that the luminosity function of Lya emitting galaxies beyond z~6 may be used to constrain the neutral fraction of the IGM during this epoch. In this work we report on a search for Ly alpha emitters at redshift 8.8. Methods: We performed a narrow band imaging programme using ISAAC at the ESO VLT. Seven fields, covering a total area of 31sq. arcmin and for which optical and broad band infra-red images have been obtained in the GOODS survey, were imaged to a limiting flux (respectively luminosity) of ~ 1.3 x 10^{-17} ergs.s^{-1}.cm^{-2} (respectively ~ 1.3 x 10^{43} ergs.s^{-1} in a narrow band filter centered in a region of low OH sky emission at 1.19 micron. Candidate Lyman alpha emitters are objects that are detected in the ISAAC NB images and undetected in the visible broad band images. Results: No z=8.8 Ly alpha emitting galaxies were detected to a limit approaching recent estimates of the luminosity function at z ~ 6. Our results do suggest, however, that detections or substantial constraints could be achieved by this method in the near future with larger field instruments planned for various telescopes.Comment: 7 pages, accepted for publication in A&

    Limits on the luminosity function of Ly-alpha emitters at z = 7.7

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    The Ly-alpha luminosity function (LF) of high-redshift Ly-alpha emitters (LAEs) is one of the few observables of the re-ionization epoch accessible to date with 8-10 m class telescopes. The evolution with redshift allows one to constrain the evolution of LAEs and their role in re-ionizing the Universe at the end of the Dark Ages. We have performed a narrow-band imaging program at 1.06 microns at the CFHT, targeting Ly-alpha emitters at redshift z ~ 7.7 in the CFHT-LS D1 field. From these observations we have derived a photometric sample of 7 LAE candidates at z ~ 7.7. We derive luminosity functions for the full sample of seven objects and for sub-samples of four objects. If the brightest objects in our sample are real, we infer a luminosity function which would be difficult to reconcile with previous work at lower redshift. More definitive conclusions will require spectroscopic confirmation.Comment: 12 pages, accepted to Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Evolutionary models for very-low-mass stars and brown dwarfs with dusty atmospheres

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    We present evolutionary calculations for very-low-mass stars and brown dwarfs based on synthetic spectra and non-grey atmosphere models which include dust formation and opacity, i.e. objects with \te\simle 2800 K. The interior of the most massive brown dwarfs is shown to develop a conductive core after ∼2\sim 2 Gyr which slows down their cooling. Comparison is made in optical and infrared color-magnitude diagrams with recent late-M and L-dwarf observations. The saturation in optical colors and the very red near-infrared colors of these objects are well explained by the onset of dust formation in the atmosphere. Comparison of the faintest presently observed L-dwarfs with these dusty evolutionary models suggests that dynamical processes such as turbulent diffusion and gravitational settling are taking place near the photosphere. As the effective temperature decreases below \te\approx 1300-1400 K, the colors of these objects move to very blue near-infrared colors, a consequence of the ongoing methane absorption in the infrared. We suggest the possibility ofa brown dwarf dearth in J,H,KJ,H,K color-magnitude diagrams around this temperature.Comment: 38 pages, Latex file, uses aasms4.sty, accepted for publication in Ap

    A Methane Isolated Planetary Mass Object in Orion

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    We report on the discovery of a free-floating methane dwarf toward the direction of the young star cluster sigma Orionis. Based on the object's far-red optical and near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy, we conclude that it is a possible member of this association. We have named it as S Ori J053810.1-023626 (S Ori 70 is the abridged name). If it is a true member of sigma Orionis, the comparison of the photometric and spectroscopic properties of S Ori 70 with state-of-the-art evolutionary models yields a mass of 3 (+5/-1) Jupiter mass for ages between 1 Myr and 8 Myr. The presence of such a low-mass object in our small search area (55.4 sq. arcmin) would indicate a rising substellar initial mass function in the sigma Orionis cluster even for planetary masses.Comment: Accepted for publication in the ApJ. Twelve pages, figures and tables include
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