1,203 research outputs found

    Constraints to the Masses of Brown Dwarf Candidates from the Lithium Test

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    We present intermediate dispersion (0.7-2.2 \AA ~pix1^{-1}) optical spectroscopic observations aimed at applying the ``Lithium Test'' to a sample of ten brown dwarf candidates located in the general field, two in young open clusters, and two in close binaries. We find evidence for strong Li depletion in all of them, and thus infer lower mass limits of 0.065~M_\odot, depending only slightly (±\pm0.005~M_\odot) on the interior models. None of the field brown dwarf candidates in our sample appears to be a very young (age <<~108^8~yr) substellar object. For one of the faintest proper motion Pleiades members known (V=20.7) the Li test implies a mass greater than \sim0.08~M_\odot, and therefore it is not a brown dwarf. From our spectra we estimate spectral types for some objects and present measurements of Halpha emission strengths and radial velocities. Finally, we compare the positions in the H-R diagram of our sample of brown dwarf candidates with the theoretical region where Li is expected to be preserved (Substellar Lithium Region). We find that certain combinations of temperature calibrations and evolutionary tracks are consistent with the constraints imposed by the observed Li depletion in brown dwarf candidates, while others are not.Comment: 20 pp.; 4 figs, available under request; plain LaTeX, ApJ in press, OACatania-94-00

    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&

    Detection of Anomalous Microwave Emission in the Pleiades Reflection Nebula with WMAP and the COSMOSOMAS Experiment

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    We present evidence for anomalous microwave emission (AME) in the Pleiades reflection nebula, using data from the seven-year release of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and from the COSMOSOMAS experiment. The flux integrated in a 1-degree radius around R.A.=56.24^{\circ}, Dec.=23.78^{\circ} (J2000) is 2.15 +/- 0.12 Jy at 22.8 GHz, where AME is dominant. COSMOSOMAS data show no significant emission, but allow to set upper limits of 0.94 and 1.58 Jy (99.7% C.L.) respectively at 10.9 and 14.7 GHz, which are crucial to pin down the AME spectrum at these frequencies, and to discard any other emission mechanisms which could have an important contribution to the signal detected at 22.8 GHz. We estimate the expected level of free-free emission from an extinction-corrected H-alpha template, while the thermal dust emission is characterized from infrared DIRBE data and extrapolated to microwave frequencies. When we deduct the contribution from these two components at 22.8 GHz the residual flux, associated with AME, is 2.12 +/- 0.12 Jy (17.7-sigma). The spectral energy distribution from 10 to 60 GHz can be accurately fitted with a model of electric dipole emission from small spinning dust grains distributed in two separated phases of molecular and atomic gas, respectively. The dust emissivity, calculated by correlating the 22.8 GHz data with 100-micron data, is found to be 4.36+/-0.17 muK/MJy/sr, a value that is rather low compared with typical values in dust clouds. The physical properties of the Pleiades nebula indicate that this is indeed a much less opaque object than others were AME has usually been detected. This fact, together with the broad knowledge of the stellar content of this region, provides an excellent testbed for AME characterization in physical conditions different from those generally explored up to now.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ. 12 pages, 8 figure
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