511 research outputs found

    A New Pleiades Member at the Lithium Substellar Boundary

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    We present the discovery of an object in the Pleiades open cluster, named Teide 2, with optical and infrared photometry which place it on the cluster sequence slightly below the expected substellar mass limit. We have obtained low- and high-resolution spectra that allow us to determine its spectral type (M6), radial velocity and rotational broadening; and to detect Hα_\alpha in emission and Li I 670.8 nm in absorption. All the observed properties strongly support the membership of Teide 2 into the Pleiades. This object has an important role in defining the reappearance of lithium below the substellar limit in the Pleiades. The age of the Pleiades very low-mass members based on their luminosities and absence or presence of lithium is constrained to be in the range 100--120 Myr.Comment: 17 pages, 3 figure

    Rotational modulation of the linear polarimetric variability of the cool dwarf TVLM 513-46546

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    Aims: We aimed to monitor the optical linear polarimetric signal of the magnetized, rapidly rotating M8.5 dwarf TVLM 513-46546. Methods: RR- and II-band linear polarimetry images were collected with the ALFOSC instrument of the 2.56-m Nordic Optical Telescope on two consecutive nights covering about 0.5 and 4 rotation cycles in the RR and II filters, respectively. We also obtained simultaneous intensity curves by means of differential photometry. The typical precision of the data is ±\pm0.46\% (RR), ±\pm0.35\% (II) in the linear polarization degree and ±\pm9 mmag (RR), ±\pm1.6 mmag (II) in the differential intensity curves. Results: Strong and variable linear polarization is detected in the RR and II filters, with values of maximum polarization (pp^{*} = 1.30±\pm0.35 \%) similar for both bands. The intensity and the polarimetric curves present a sinusoid-like pattern with a periodicity of \sim1.98 h, which we ascribe to structures in TVLM 513-46's surface synchronized with rotation. We found that the peaks of the intensity and polarimetric curves occur with a phase difference of 0.18±\pm0.01, and that the maximum of the linear polarization happens nearly half a period (0.59±\pm0.03) after the radio pulse. We discussed different scenarios to account for the observed properties of the light curves.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Simultaneous optical and near-infrared linear spectropolarimetry of the earthshine

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    Aims: We aim to extend our current observational understanding of the integrated planet Earth spectropolarimetry from the optical to the near-infrared wavelengths. Major biomarkers like O2_{\rm 2} and water vapor are strong flux absorbents in the Earth atmosphere and some linear polarization of the reflected stellar light is expected to occur at these wavelengths. Methods: Simultaneous optical ( μ\mum) and near-infrared ( μ\mum) linear spectropolarimetric data of the earthshine were acquired by observing the nightside of the waxing Moon. The data have sufficient spectral resolution (2.51 nm in the optical, and 1.83 and 2.91 nm in the near-infrared) to resolve major molecular species present in the Earth atmosphere. Results: We find the highest values of linear polarization (10%\ge 10\%) at the bluest wavelengths, which agrees with the literature. Linear polarization intensity steadily decreases towards red wavelengths reaching a nearly flat value beyond \sim0.8 μ\mum. In the near-infrared, we measured a polarization degree of 4.5%\sim4.5 \% for the continuum. We report the detection of molecular features due to O2_{2} at 0.760,1.25μ0.760, 1.25 \mum and H2_{2}O at 0.653-0.725 μ\mum, 0.780-0.825 μ\mum, 0.93 and 1.12 μ\mum in the spectropolarimetric data; most of them show high linear polarimetry degrees above the continuum. In particular, the broad H2_{2}O 1.12 μ\mum band displays a polarimetric intensity as high as that of the blue optical. These features may become a powerful tool to characterize Earth-like planets in polarized light.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for publication as Letter in Astronomy and Astrophysics on 23/01/201

    Characterization of the known T type dwarfs towards the Sigma Orionis cluster

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    (Abridged) A total of three T type candidates (SOri70, SOri73, and SOriJ0538-0213) lying in the line of sight towards Sigma Orionis were characterized by means of near-infrared photometric, astrometric, and spectroscopic studies. H-band methane images were collected for all three sources and an additional sample of 15 field T type dwarfs using LIRIS/WHT. J-band spectra of resolution of ~500 were obtained for SOriJ0538-0213 with ISAAC/VLT, and JH spectra of resolution of ~50 acquired with WFC3/HST were employed for the spectroscopic classification of SOri70 and 73. Proper motions with a typical uncertainty of +/-3 mas/yr and a time interval of ~7-9 yr were derived. Using the LIRIS observations of the field T dwarfs, we calibrated this imager for T spectral typing via methane photometry. The three SOri objects were spectroscopically classified as T4.5+/-0.5 (SOri73), T5+/-0.5 (SOriJ0538-0213), and T71.0+0.5^{+0.5}_{-1.0} (SOri70). The similarity between the observed JH spectra and the methane colors and the data of field ultra-cool dwarfs of related classifications suggests that SOri70, 73, and SOriJ053804.65-021352.5 do not deviate significantly in surface gravity in relation to the field. Additionally, the detection of KI at ~1.25 microns in SOriJ0538-0213 points to a high-gravity atmosphere. Only the K-band reddish nature of SOri70 may be consistent with a low gravity atmosphere. The proper motions of SOri70 and 73 are measurable and are larger than that of the cluster by >3.5 sigma. The proper motion of SOriJ0538-0213 is consistent with a null displacement. These observations suggest that none of the three T dwarfs are likely Sigma Orionis members, and that either planetary-mass objects with masses below ~4 MJup may not exist free-floating in the cluster or they may lie at fainter near-infrared magnitudes than those of the targets (this is H>20.6 mag), thus remaining unidentified to date.Comment: Accepted for publication in A&A (2014), corrected typo

    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