DISCOVERY of YOUNG METHANE DWARFS in the RHO OPHIUCHI L 1688 DARK CLOUD

Poshih Chiang, W. P. Chen

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Abstract

We report the discovery of two methane dwarfs in the dark cloud L 1688 of the ρ Oph star-forming region. The two objects were among the T dwarf candidates with possible methane absorption and cool atmospheres, as diagnosed by infrared colors using deep Wide-field InfraRed Camera/Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope HK plus CH4ON images, and IRAC/Spitzer c2d data. Follow-up spectroscopic observations with the FLAMINGOS-2/Gemini South confirmed the methane absorption at 1.6 μm. Compared with spectral templates of known T dwarfs in the field, i.e., of the old populations, Oph J162738-245240 (Oph-T3) is a T0/T1 type, whereas Oph J162645-241949 (Oph-T17) is consistent with a T3/T4 type in the H band but an L8/T1 in the K band. Compared with the BT-Settl model, both Oph-T3 and Oph-T17 are consistent with being cool, ∼1000 K and ∼900 K, respectively, and of low surface gravity, With an age no more than a couple Myr, these two methane dwarfs thereby represent the youngest T dwarfs ever confirmed. A young late L dwarf, Oph J162651-242110, was found serendipitously in our spectroscopic observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL16
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume811
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • brown dwarfs
  • infrared: stars
  • stars: formation
  • stars: individual (Oph J162738245240 Oph J162645241949 Oph J162651242110)

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