3,486 research outputs found

    Benchmark ultra-cool dwarfs in widely separated binary systems

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    Ultra-cool dwarfs as wide companions to subgiants, giants, white dwarfs and main sequence stars can be very good benchmark objects, for which we can infer physical properties with minimal reference to theoretical models, through association with the primary stars. We have searched for benchmark ultra-cool dwarfs in widely separated binary systems using SDSS, UKIDSS, and 2MASS. We then estimate spectral types using SDSS spectroscopy and multi-band colors, place constraints on distance, and perform proper motions calculations for all candidates which have sufficient epoch baseline coverage. Analysis of the proper motion and distance constraints show that eight of our ultra-cool dwarfs are members of widely separated binary systems. Another L3.5 dwarf, SDSS 0832, is shown to be a companion to the bright K3 giant Eta Cancri. Such primaries can provide age and metallicity constraints for any companion objects, yielding excellent benchmark objects. This is the first wide ultra-cool dwarf + giant binary system identified.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures, conference, "New Technologies for Probing the Diversity of Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets", oral tal

    Identifying Ultra-Cool Dwarfs at Low Galactic Latitudes: A Southern Candidate Catalogue

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    We present an Ultra-Cool Dwarf (UCD) catalogue compiled from low southern Galactic latitudes and mid-plane, from a cross-correlation of the 2MASS and SuperCOSMOS surveys. The catalogue contains 246 members identified from 5042 sq. deg. within 220 deg. <= l <= 360 deg. and 0 deg. < l <= 30 deg., for |b| <= 15 deg. Sixteen candidates are spectroscopically confirmed in the near-IR as UCDs with spectral types from M7.5V to L9. Our catalogue selection method is presented enabling UCDs from ~M8V to the L-T transition to be selected down to a 2MASS limiting magnitude of Ks ~= 14.5 mag. This method does not require candidates to have optical detections for catalogue inclusion. An optimal set of optical/near-IR and reduced proper-motion selection criteria have been defined that includes: an Rf and Ivn photometric surface gravity test, a dual Rf-band variability check, and an additional photometric classification scheme to selectively limit contaminants. We identify four candidates as possible companions to nearby Hipparcos stars -- observations are needed to identify these as potential benchmark UCD companions. We also identify twelve UCDs within a possible distance 20 pc, three are previously unknown of which two are estimated within 10 pc, complimenting the nearby volume-limited census of UCDs. An analysis of the catalogue spatial completeness provides estimates for distance completeness over three UCD MJ ranges, while Monte-Carlo simulations provide an estimate of catalogue areal completeness at the 75 per cent level. We estimate a UCD space density of Rho (total) = (6.41+-3.01)x10^3/pc^3 over the range of 10.5 <= MJ ~< 14.9, similar to values measured at higher Galactic latitudes (|b| ~> 10 deg.) in the field population and obtained from more robust spectroscopically confirmed UCD samples.Comment: MNRAS accepted April 2012. Contains 30 figures and 11 tables. Tables 2 and 6 to be published in full and on-line only. The on-line tables can also be obtained by contacting the author

    Two new ultracool benchmark systems from WISE+2MASS

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    We have used the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to look for ultracool dwarfs that are part of multiple systems containing main-sequence stars. We cross-matched L dwarf candidates from the surveys with Hipparcos and Gliese stars, finding two new systems. The first system, G255-34AB, is an L2 dwarf companion to a K8 star, at a distance of 36 pc. We estimate its bolometric luminosity as log L/L-circle dot = -3.78 +/- 0.045 and T-eff = 2080 +/- 260 K. The second system, GJ499ABC, is a triple, with an L5 dwarf as a companion to a binary with an M4 and K5 star. These two new systems bring the number of L dwarf plus main-sequence star multiple systems to 24, which we discuss. We consider the binary fraction for L dwarfs and main-sequence stars, and further assess possible unresolved multiplicity within the full companion sample. This analysis shows that some of the L dwarfs in this sample might actually be unresolved binaries themselves, since their M-J appears to be brighter than the expected for their spectral types.Peer reviewe

    The current population of benchmark brown dwarfs

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    The number of brown dwarfs (BDs) now identified tops 700. Yet our understanding of these cool objects is still lacking, and models are struggling to accurately reproduce observations. What is needed is a method of calibrating the models, BDs whose properties (e.g. age, mass, distance, metallicity) that can be independently determined can provide such calibration. The ability to calculate properties based on observables is set to be of vital importance if we are to be able to measure the properties of fainter, more distant populations of BDs that near-future surveys will reveal, for which ground based spectroscopic studies will become increasingly difficult. We present here the state of the current population of age benchmark brown dwarfs.Comment: 2 pages, 1 figure, to appear in the conference proceedings "New Technologies for Probing the Diversity of Brown Dwarfs and Exoplanets", Shanghai, 19-24 July, 200

    Experiences of hearing voices: analysis of a novel phenomenological survey

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    Background: Auditory hallucinations—or voices—are a common feature of many psychiatric disorders and are also experienced by individuals with no psychiatric history. Understanding of the variation in subjective experiences of hallucination is central to psychiatry, yet systematic empirical research on the phenomenology of auditory hallucinations remains scarce. We aimed to record a detailed and diverse collection of experiences, in the words of the people who hear voices themselves. Methods: We made a 13 item questionnaire available online for 3 months. To elicit phenomenologically rich data, we designed a combination of open-ended and closed-ended questions, which drew on service-user perspectives and approaches from phenomenological psychiatry, psychology, and medical humanities. We invited people aged 16–84 years with experience of voice-hearing to take part via an advertisement circulated through clinical networks, hearing voices groups, and other mental health forums. We combined qualitative and quantitative methods, and used inductive thematic analysis to code the data and χ2 tests to test additional associations of selected codes. Findings: Between Sept 9 and Nov 29, 2013, 153 participants completed the study. Most participants described hearing multiple voices (124 [81%] of 153 individuals) with characterful qualities (106 [69%] individuals). Less than half of the participants reported hearing literally auditory voices—70 (46%) individuals reported either thought-like or mixed experiences. 101 (66%) participants reported bodily sensations while they heard voices, and these sensations were significantly associated with experiences of abusive or violent voices (p=0·024). Although fear, anxiety, depression, and stress were often associated with voices, 48 (31%) participants reported positive emotions and 49 (32%) reported neutral emotions. Our statistical analysis showed that mixed voices were more likely to have changed over time (p=0·030), be internally located (p=0·010), and be conversational in nature (p=0·010). Interpretation: This study is, to our knowledge, the largest mixed-methods investigation of auditory hallucination phenomenology so far. Our survey was completed by a diverse sample of people who hear voices with various diagnoses and clinical histories. Our findings both overlap with past large-sample investigations of auditory hallucination and suggest potentially important new findings about the association between acoustic perception and thought, somatic and multisensorial features of auditory hallucinations, and the link between auditory hallucinations and characterological entities

    The brightest pure-H ultracool white dwarf

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    We report the identification of LSR J0745+2627 in the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (LAS) as a cool white dwarf with kinematics and age compatible with the thick-disk/halo population. LSR J0745+2627 has a high proper motion (890 mas/yr) and a high reduced proper motion value in the J band (H_J=21.87). We show how the infrared-reduced proper motion diagram is useful for selecting a sample of cool white dwarfs with low contamination. LSR J0745+2627 is also detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). We have spectroscopically confirmed this object as a cool white dwarf using X-Shooter on the Very Large Telescope. A detailed analysis of its spectral energy distribution reveals that its atmosphere is compatible with a pure-H composition model with an effective temperature of 3880+-90 K. This object is the brightest pure-H ultracool white dwarf (Teff<4000 K) ever identified. We have constrained the distance (24-45 pc), space velocities and age considering different surface gravities. The results obtained suggest that LSR J0745+2627 belongs to the thick-disk/halo population and is also one of the closest ultracool white dwarfs.Comment: 5 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in A&A Letter

    The extremely red L dwarf ULAS J222711-004547-dominated by dust

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    We report the discovery of a peculiar L dwarf from the United Kingdom Infrared Deep Sky Survey Large Area Survey, ULAS J222711-004547. The very red infrared photometry (MKO J-K = 2.79 +/- 0.06, WISEW1-W2 = 0.65 +/- 0.05) of ULAS J222711-004547 makes it one of the reddest brown dwarfs discovered so far. We obtained a moderate resolution spectrum of this target using the XSHOOTER spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope, and we classify it as L7pec, confirming its very red nature. Comparison to theoretical models suggests that the object could be a low-gravity L dwarf with a solar or higher than solar metallicity. Nonetheless, the match of such fits to the spectral energy distribution is rather poor, and this and other less red peculiar L dwarfs pose new challenges for the modelling of ultracool atmospheres, especially to the understanding of the effects of condensates and their sensitivity to gravity and metallicity. We determined the proper motion of ULAS J222711-004547 using the data available in the literature, and we find that its kinematics do not suggest membership of any of the known young associations. We show that applying a simple de-reddening curve to its spectrum allows it to resemble the spectra of the L7 spectroscopic standards without any spectral features that distinguish it as a low-metallicity or low-gravity dwarf. Given the negligible interstellar reddening of the field containing our target, we conclude that the reddening of the spectrum is mostly due to an excess of dust in the photosphere of the target. De-reddening the spectrum using extinction curves for different dust species gives surprisingly good results and suggests a characteristic grain size of similar to 0.5 mu m. We show that by increasing the optical depth, the same extinction curves allow the spectrum of ULAS J222711-004547 to resemble the spectra of unusually blue L dwarfs and even slightly metal-poor L dwarfs. Grains of similar size also yield very good fits when de-reddening other unusually red L dwarfs in the L5-L7.5 range. These results suggest that the diversity in near-infrared colours and spectra seen in late L dwarfs could be due to differences in the optical thickness of the dust cloud deck.Peer reviewe

    The sub-stellar birth rate from UKIDSS

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    We present a new sample of mid-L to mid-T dwarfs with effective temperatures of 11001700 K selected from the UKIDSS Large Area Survey (LAS) and confirmed with infrared spectra from X-shooter/Very Large Telescope. This effective temperature range is especially sensitive to the formation history of Galactic brown dwarfs and allows us to constrain the form of the sub-stellar birth rate, with sensitivity to differentiate between a flat (stellar like) birth rate and an exponentially declining form. We present the discovery of 63 new L and T dwarfs from the UKIDSS LAS DR7, including the identification of 12 likely unresolved binaries, which form the first complete sub-set from our programme, covering 495 square degrees of sky, complete to J = 18.1. We compare our results for this sub-sample with simulations of differing birth rates for objects of masses 0.10-0.03 M-circle dot and ages 1-10 Gyr. We find that the more extreme birth rates (e. g. a halo type form) can likely be excluded as the true form of the birth rate. In addition, we find that although there is substantial scatter we find a preference for a mass function, with a power-law index a in the range -1 <alpha <0 that is consistent (within the errors) with the studies of late T dwarfs.Peer reviewe
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