291 research outputs found

    Astrometric and photometric initial mass functions from the UKIDSS Galactic Clusters Survey - II. The Alpha Persei open cluster

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    This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.We present the results of a deep (J = 19.1mag) infrared (ZYJHK) survey over the full α Per open cluster extracted from the Data Release 9 of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope Infrared Deep Sky Survey Galactic Clusters Survey (UKIDSS). We have selected ∼700 cluster member candidates in ∼56 square degrees in α Per by combining photometry in five near-infrared passbands and proper motions derived from the multiple epochs provided by the UKIDSS Galactic Clusters Survey (GCS) Data Release 9 (DR9). We also provide revised membership for all previously published α Per low-mass stars and brown dwarfs recovered in GCS based on the new photometry and astrometry provided by DR9. We find no evidence of K-band variability in members of α Per with dispersion less than 0.06-0.09mag. We employed two independent but complementary methods to derive the cluster luminosity and mass functions: a probabilistic analysis and a more standard approach consisting of stricter astrometric and photometric cuts. We find that the resulting luminosity and mass functions obtained from both methods are consistent. We find that the shape of the α Per mass function is similar to that of the Pleiades although the characteristic mass may be higher after including higher mass data from earlier studies (the dispersion is comparable). We conclude that the mass functions of α Per, the Pleiades and Praesepe are best reproduced by a log-normal representation similar to the system field mass function although with some variation in the characteristic mass and dispersion values.Peer reviewe

    Lithium in the Hyades L5 brown dwarf 2MASS J04183483+2131275

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    Aims. From the luminosity, effective temperature and age of the Hyades brown dwarf 2MASS J04183483+2131275 (2M0418), substellar evolutionary models predict a mass in the range 39−55 Jupiter masses (MJup) which is insufficient to produce any substantial lithium burning except for the very upper range >53 MJup. Our goal is to measure the abundance of lithium in this object, test the consistency between models and observations and refine constraints on the mass and age of the object. Methods. We used the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) with its low-dispersion optical spectrograph to obtain ten spectra of 2277 s each covering the range 6300–10 300 Å with a resolving power of R ~ 500. Results. In the individual spectra, which span several months, we detect persistent unresolved Hα in emission with pseudo equivalent widths (pEW) in the range 45–150 Å and absorption lines of various alkalis with the typical strengths found in objects of L5 spectral type. The lithium resonance line at 6707.8 Å is detected with pEW of 18 ± 4 Å in 2M0418 (L5). Conclusions. We determine a lithium abundance of log N(Li) = 3.0 ± 0.4 dex consistent with a minimum preservation of 90% of this element which confirms 2M0418 as a brown dwarf with a maximum mass of 52 MJup. We infer a maximum age for the Hyades of 775 Myr from a comparison with the BHAC15 models. Combining recent results from the literature with our study, we constrain the mass of 2M0418 to 45–52 MJup and the age of the cluster to 580–775 Myr (1σ) based on the lithium depletion boundary method.We thank the referee for a detailed report that improved the quality of this manuscript. This research has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under the grants AYA2015- 69350-C3-2-P and AYA2015-69350-C3-3-P. We thank Yakiv Pavlenko for his calculations of equivalent widths at different temperatures, Isabelle Baraffe for her models, and Eduardo Martín for sharing his results prior to publication. This work is based on observations made with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), operated on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (programme GTC77- 16B led by Pérez Garrido). This research has made use of the Simbad and Vizier databases, operated at the Centre de Données Astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS), and of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services (ADS). We thank John Stauffer for kindly providing the optical spectra of the K and M Hyades members published in 1997 (Stauffer et al. 1997a)

    A search for lithium in metal-poor L dwarfs

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    The aim of the project is to search for lithium in absorption at 6707.8 Angstroms to constrain the nature and the mass of the brightest low-metallicity L-type dwarfs (refered to as L subdwarfs) identified in large-scale surveys. We obtained low- to intermediate-resolution (R~2500-9000) optical (~560-770 nm) spectra of two mid-L subdwarfs, SDSSJ125637.13-022452.4 (SDSS1256; sdL3.5) and 2MASSJ162620.14+392519.5 (2MASS1626; sdL4) with spectrographs on the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope and the Gran Telescopio de Canarias. We report the presence of a feature at the nominal position of the lithium absorption doublet at 6707.8 Angstroms in the spectrum of SDSS1256, with an equivalent width of 66+/-27 Angstroms at 2.4 sigma, which we identify as arising from a CaH molecular transition based on atmosphere models. We do not see any feature at the position of the lithium feature in the spectrum of 2MASS1626. The existence of overlapping molecular absorption sets a confusion detection limit of [Li/H]=-3 for equivalently-typed L subdwarfs. We provided improved radial velocity measurements of -126+/-10 km/s and -239+/-12 km/s for SDSS1256 and 2MASS1626, respectively, as well as revised Galactic orbits. We implemented adjusting factors for the CaH molecule in combination with the NextGen atmosphere models to fit the optical spectrum of SDSS1256 in the 6200-7300 Angstroms range. We also estimate the expected Li abundance from interstellar accretion ([Li/H]=-5), place limits on circumstellar accretion (10^9 g/yr), and discuss the prospects of Li searches in cooler L and T subdwarfs.Comment: 9 pages, 6 figures, 4 tables, accepted to A&

    Optical spectroscopy of candidate Alpha Persei white dwarfs

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    As part of an investigation into the high mass end of the initial mass-final mass relation we performed a search for new white dwarf members of the nearby (172.4 pc), young (80-90 Myr) α\alpha Persei open star cluster. The photometric and astrometric search using the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey and SuperCOSMOS sky surveys discovered 14 new white dwarf candidates. We have obtained medium resolution optical spectra of the brightest 11 candidates using the William Herschel Telescope and confirmed that while 7 are DA white dwarfs, 3 are DB white dwarfs and one is an sdOB star, only three have cooling ages within the cluster age, and from their position on the initial mass-final mass relation, it is likely none are cluster members. This result is disappointing, as recent work on the cluster mass function suggests that there should be at least one white dwarf member, even at this young age. It may be that any white dwarf members of α\alpha Per are hidden within binary systems, as is the case in the Hyades cluster, however the lack of high mass stars within the cluster also makes this seem unlikely. One alternative is that a significant level of detection incompleteness in the legacy optical image survey data at this Galactic latitude has caused some white dwarf members to be overlooked. If this is the case, Gaia will find them.Comment: 8 pages, 7 Figures, 3 Tables. Accepted for publication in MNRA

    Confirming the least massive members of the Pleiades star cluster

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    We present optical photometry (i- and Z-band) and low-resolution spectroscopy (640-1015 nm) of very faint candidate members (J = 20.2-21.2 mag) of the Pleiades star cluster (120 Myr). The main goal is to address their cluster membership via photometric, astrometric, and spectroscopic studies, and to determine the properties of the least massive population of the cluster through the comparison of the data with younger and older spectral counterparts and state-of-the art model atmospheres. We confirm three bona-fide Pleiades members that have extremely red optical and infrared colors, effective temperatures of ~1150 K and ~1350 K, and masses in the interval 11-20 Mjup, and one additional likely member that shares the same motion as the cluster but does not appear to be as red as the other members with similar brightness. This latter object requires further near-infrared spectroscopy to fully address its membership in the Pleiades. The optical spectra of two bona-fide members were classified as L6-L7 and show features of KI, a tentative detection of CsI, hydrides and water vapor with an intensity similar to high-gravity dwarfs of related classification despite their young age. The properties of the Pleiades L6-L7 members clearly indicate that very red colors of L dwarfs are not a direct evidence of ages younger than ~100 Myr. We also report on the determination of the bolometric corrections for the coolest Pleiades members. These data can be used to interpret the observations of the atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting stars.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS (17 pages

    The Origins of the Ultramassive White Dwarf GD50

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    Original paper can be found at: http://www.astrosociety.org/pubs/cs/361.html Copyright ASPOn the basis of astrometric and spectroscopic data we argue that the ultramassive white dwarf GD 50 is associated with the star formation event that created the Pleiades and is potentially a former cluster member. Its cooling time (∼60Myrs) is consistent with it having evolved essentially as a single star from a M > 6M⊙ progenitor so there appears to be no need to invoke a white dwarf–white dwarf binary merger scenario to account for its existence. Our result may represent the first direct observational evidence that single star evolution can produce white dwarfs with M > 1.1M⊙, as predicted by some stellar evo- lutionary theories. Additionally, our findings may help towards alleviating the difficulties in reconciling the observed number of hot nearby ultramassive white dwarfs with the smaller number predicted by binary evolution models under the assumption that they are the products of white dwarf mergers
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