69 research outputs found

    Dusty disks at the bottom of the IMF

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    'Isolated planetary mass objects' (IPMOs) have masses close to or below the Deuterium-burning mass limit (~15 Jupiter masses) -- at the bottom of the stellar initial mass function. We present an exploratory survey for disks in this mass regime, based on a dedicated observing campaign with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our targets include the full sample of spectroscopically confirmed IPMOs in the Sigma Orionis cluster, a total of 18 sources. In the mass range 8... 20 MJup, we identify 4 objects with >3sigma colour excess at a wavelength of 8.0mu, interpreted as emission from dusty disks. We thus establish that a substantial fraction of IPMOs harbour disks with lifetimes of at least 2-4 Myr (the likely age of the cluster), indicating an origin from core collapse and fragmentation processes. The disk frequency in the IPMO sample is 29% (16-45%) at 8.0mu, very similar to what has been found for stars and brown dwarfs (~30%). The object SOri70, a candidate 3 MJup object in this cluster, shows IRAC colours in excess of the typical values for field T dwarfs (on a 2sigma level), possibly due to disk emission or low gravity. This is a new indication for youth and thus an extremely low mass for SOri70.Comment: 12 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ

    Rotation Periods of Young Brown Dwarfs: K2 Survey in Upper Scorpius

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    We report rotational periods for 16 young brown dwarfs in the nearby Upper Scorpius association, based on 72 days of high-cadence, high-precision photometry from the Kepler space telescope's K2 mission. The periods range from a few hours to two days (plus one outlier at 5 days), with a median just above one day, confirming that brown dwarfs, except at the very youngest ages, are fast rotators. Interestingly, four of the slowest rotators in our sample exhibit mid-infrared excess emission from disks; at least two also show signs of disk eclipses and accretion in the lightcurves. Comparing these new periods with those for two other young clusters and simple angular momentum evolution tracks, we find little or no rotational braking in brown dwarfs between 1-10 Myr, in contrast to low-mass stars. Our findings show that disk braking, while still at work, is inefficient in the substellar regime, thus provide an important constraint on the mass dependence of the braking mechanism.Comment: 9 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ

    Activity and rotation of low mass stars in young open clusters

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    We present first results from a multi-object spectroscopy campaign in IC2602, the Hyades, the Pleiades, and the Coma cluster using VLT/FLAMES. We analysed the data for radial velocity, rotational velocity, and H-alpha activity. Here, we highlight three aspects of this study in the context of rotational braking and the rotation-activity relationship among low mass stars. Finally we discuss the cluster membership of sources in IC2602.Comment: To appear in the proceedings of Cool Stars XV Conference, 4 page

    Substellar Objects in Nearby Young Clusters VII: The substellar mass function revisited

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    The abundance of brown dwarfs (BDs) in young clusters is a diagnostic of star formation theory. Here we revisit the issue of determining the substellar initial mass function (IMF), based on a comparison between NGC1333 and IC348, two clusters in the Perseus star-forming region. We derive their mass distributions for a range of model isochrones, varying distances, extinction laws and ages, with comprehensive assessments of the uncertainties. We find that the choice of isochrone and other parameters have significant effects on the results, thus we caution against comparing IMFs obtained using different approaches. For NGC1333, we find that the star/BD ratio R is between 1.9 and 2.4, for all plausible scenarios, consistent with our previous work. For IC348, R is between 2.9 and 4.0, suggesting that previous studies have overestimated this value. Thus, the star forming process generates about 2.5-5 substellar objects per 10 stars. The derived star/BD ratios correspond to a slope of the power-law mass function of alpha=0.7-1.0 for the 0.03-1.0Msol mass range. The median mass in these clusters - the typical stellar mass - is between 0.13-0.30Msol. Assuming that NGC1333 is at a shorter distance than IC348, we find a significant difference in the cumulative distribution of masses between the two clusters, resulting from an overabundance of very low mass objects in NGC1333. Gaia astrometry will constrain the cluster distances better and will lead to a more definitive conclusion. Furthermore, ratio R is somewhat larger in IC348 compared with NGC1333, although this difference is still within the margins of error. Our results indicate that environments with higher object density may produce a larger fraction of very low mass objects, in line with predictions for brown dwarf formation through gravitational fragmentation of filaments falling into a cluster potential.Comment: 16 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    Correcting for Activity Effects on the Temperatures, Radii, and Estimated Masses of Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs

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    We present empirical relations for determining the amount by which the effective temperatures and radii---and therefore the estimated masses---of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs are altered due to chromospheric activity. Accurate estimates of stellar radii are especially important in the context of searches for transiting exoplanets, which rely upon the assumed stellar radius/density to infer the planet radius/density. Our relations are based on a large set of well studied low-mass stars in the field and on a set of benchmark low-mass eclipsing binaries. The relations link the amount by which an active object's temperature is suppressed, and its radius inflated, to the strength of its Halpha emission. These relations are found to approximately preserve bolometric luminosity. We apply these relations to the peculiar brown-dwarf eclipsing binary 2M0535-05, in which the active, higher-mass brown dwarf has a cooler temperature than its inactive, lower-mass companion. The relations correctly reproduce the observed temperatures and radii of 2M0535-05 after accounting for the Halpha emission; 2M0535-05 would be in precise agreement with theoretical isochrones were it inactive. The relations that we present are applicable to brown dwarfs and low-mass stars with masses below 0.8 Msun and for which the activity, as measured by Halpha, is in the range -4.6 < log Lha/Lbol < -3.3. We expect these relations to be most useful for correcting radius and mass estimates of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs over their active lifetimes (few Gyr). We also discuss the implications of this work for determinations of young cluster IMFs.Comment: To appear in Cool Stars 17 proceeding

    A survey for variable young stars with small telescopes : VII -- spot properties on YSOs in IC5070

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    We present measurements of spot properties on 31 young stellar objects, based on multi-band data from the HOYS (Hunting Outbursting Young Stars) project. On average the analysis for each object is based on 270 data points during 80 days in at least 3 bands. All the young low-mass stars in our sample show periodic photometric variations. We determine spot temperatures and coverage by comparing the measured photometric amplitudes in optical bands with simulated amplitudes based on atmosphere models, including a complete error propagation. 21 objects in our sample feature cool spots, with spot temperatures 500 - 2500 K below the stellar effective temperature (Teff), and a coverage of 0.05 - 0.4. Six more have hot spots, with temperatures up to 3000 K above Teff and coverage below 0.15. The remaining four stars have ambiguous solutions or are AA Tau-type contaminants. All of the stars with large spots (i.e. high coverage >0.1) are relatively cool with Teff < 4500 K, which could be a result of having deeper convection zones. Apart from that, spot properties show no significant trends with rotation period, infrared excess, or stellar properties. Most notably, we find hot spots in stars that do not show K-W2 infrared excess, indicating the possibility of accretion across an inner disk cavity or the presence of plage.PostprintPeer reviewe

    A survey for variable young stars with small telescopes: III. Warm spots on the active star V1598Cyg

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    Magnetic spots on low-mass stars can be traced and characterised using multi-band photometric light curves. Here we analyse an extensive data set for one active star, V1598Cyg, a known variable K dwarf which is either pre-main sequence and/or in a close binary system. Our light curve contains 2854 photometric data points, mostly in V, Rc, Ic, but also in U, B and Hα, with a total baseline of about 4yr, obtained with small telescopes as part of the HOYS project. We find that V1598Cyg is a very fast rotator with a period of 0.8246 days and varying amplitudes in all filters, best explained as a signature of strong magnetic activity and spots. We fit the photometric amplitudes in V, Rc, Ic and use them to estimate spot properties, using a grid-based method that is also propagating uncertainties. We verify the method on a partial data set with high cadence and all five broad-band filters. The method yields spot temperatures and fractional spot coverage with typical uncertainties of 100K and 3-4%, respectively. V1598Cyg consistently exhibits spots that are a few hundred degrees warmer than the photosphere, most likely indicating that the light curve is dominated by chromospheric plage. The spot activity varies over our observing baseline, with a typical time scale of 0.5-1yr, which we interpret as the typical spot lifetime. Combining our light curve with archival data, we find a six year cycle in the average brightness, that is probably a sign of a magnetic activity cycle

    The one that got away: a unique eclipse in the young brown dwarf Roque 12

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    We report the discovery of a deep, singular eclipse of the bona fide brown dwarf Roque 12, a substellar member of the Pleiades. The eclipse was 0.6mag deep, lasted 1.3h, and was observed with two telescopes simultaneously in October 2002. No further eclipse was recorded, despite continuous monitoring with Kepler/K2 over 70d in 2015. There is tentative (2σ) evidence for radial velocity variations of 5km/s, over timescales of three months. The best explanation for the eclipse is the presence of a companion on an eccentric orbit. The observations constrain the eccentricity to e>0.5, the period to P>70d, and the mass of the companion to to ~0.001-0.04Msol. In principle it is also possible that the eclipse is caused by circum-sub-stellar material. Future data releases by Gaia and later LSST as well as improved radial velocity constraints may be able to unambiguously confirm the presence of the companion which would turn this system into one of the very few known eclipsing binary brown dwarfs with known age

    The disk around the brown dwarf KPNO Tau 3

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    We present submillimeter observations of the young brown dwarfs KPNO Tau 1, KPNO Tau 3, and KPNO Tau 6 at 450 micron and 850 micron taken with the Submillimeter Common-User Bolometer Array on the James Clerke Maxwell Telescope. KPNO Tau 3 and KPNO Tau 6 have been previously identified as Class II objects hosting accretion disks, whereas KPNO Tau 1 has been identified as a Class III object and shows no evidence of circumsubstellar material. Our 3 sigma detection of cold dust around KPNO Tau 3 implies a total disk mass of (4.0 +/- 1.1) x 10^{-4} Msolar (assuming a gas to dust ratio of 100:1). We place tight constraints on any disks around KPNO Tau 1 or KPNO Tau 6 of <2.1 x 10^{-4} Msolar and <2.7 x 10^{-4} Msolar, respectively. Modeling the spectral energy distribution of KPNO Tau 3 and its disk suggests the disk properties (geometry, dust mass, and grain size distribution) are consistent with observations of other brown dwarf disks and low-mass T-Tauri stars. In particular, the disk-to-host mass ratio for KPNO Tau 3 is congruent with the scenario that at least some brown dwarfs form via the same mechanism as low-mass stars.Comment: 18 pages (preprint format), 3 figures, published in Ap
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