skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: JVLA Observations of Young Brown Dwarfs

Abstract

We present sensitive 3.0 cm JVLA radio continuum observations of six regions of low-mass star formation that include twelve young brown dwarfs (BDs) and four young BD candidates. We detect a total of 49 compact radio sources in the fields observed, of which 24 have no reported counterparts and are considered new detections. Twelve of the radio sources show variability in timescales of weeks to months, suggesting gyrosynchrotron emission produced in active magnetospheres. Only one of the target BDs, FU Tau A, was detected. However, we detected radio emission associated with two of the BD candidates, WL 20S and CHLT 2. The radio flux densities of the sources associated with these BD candidates are more than an order of magnitude larger than expected for a BD and suggest a revision of their classification. In contrast, FU Tau A falls on the well-known correlation between radio luminosity and bolometric luminosity, suggesting that the emission comes from a thermal jet and that this BD seems to be forming as a scaled-down version of low-mass stars.

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM, Apdo. Postal 3-72 (Xangari), 58089 Morelia, Michoacán, México (Mexico)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663710
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 153; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; BOLOMETERS; CORRELATIONS; DWARF STARS; EMISSION; FLUX DENSITY; LUMINOSITY; MASS; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STELLAR MAGNETOSPHERES

Citation Formats

Rodríguez, Luis F., Zapata, Luis A., and Palau, Aina, E-mail: l.rodriguez@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: l.zapata@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: a.palau@crya.unam.mx. JVLA Observations of Young Brown Dwarfs. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA6681.
Rodríguez, Luis F., Zapata, Luis A., & Palau, Aina, E-mail: l.rodriguez@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: l.zapata@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: a.palau@crya.unam.mx. JVLA Observations of Young Brown Dwarfs. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA6681.
Rodríguez, Luis F., Zapata, Luis A., and Palau, Aina, E-mail: l.rodriguez@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: l.zapata@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: a.palau@crya.unam.mx. Mon . "JVLA Observations of Young Brown Dwarfs". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA6681.
@article{osti_22663710,
title = {JVLA Observations of Young Brown Dwarfs},
author = {Rodríguez, Luis F. and Zapata, Luis A. and Palau, Aina, E-mail: l.rodriguez@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: l.zapata@crya.unam.mx, E-mail: a.palau@crya.unam.mx},
abstractNote = {We present sensitive 3.0 cm JVLA radio continuum observations of six regions of low-mass star formation that include twelve young brown dwarfs (BDs) and four young BD candidates. We detect a total of 49 compact radio sources in the fields observed, of which 24 have no reported counterparts and are considered new detections. Twelve of the radio sources show variability in timescales of weeks to months, suggesting gyrosynchrotron emission produced in active magnetospheres. Only one of the target BDs, FU Tau A, was detected. However, we detected radio emission associated with two of the BD candidates, WL 20S and CHLT 2. The radio flux densities of the sources associated with these BD candidates are more than an order of magnitude larger than expected for a BD and suggest a revision of their classification. In contrast, FU Tau A falls on the well-known correlation between radio luminosity and bolometric luminosity, suggesting that the emission comes from a thermal jet and that this BD seems to be forming as a scaled-down version of low-mass stars.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-3881/AA6681},
journal = {Astronomical Journal (Online)},
number = 5,
volume = 153,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • Recent observations with the infrared astronomical satellite AKARI have shown that the CO{sub 2} bands at 4.2 {mu}m in three brown dwarfs are much stronger than expected from the unified cloudy model (UCM) based on recent solar C and O abundances. This result has been a puzzle, but we now find it is simply due to the effect of C and O abundances. We show that these strong CO{sub 2} bands can be explained with the UCMs based on the classical C and O abundances (log A{sub C} and log A{sub O}), which are about 0.2 dex larger compared tomore » the recent values. Since three other brown dwarfs could be interpreted fairly well with the recent solar C and O abundances, we require at least two model sequences based on the different chemical compositions to interpret all the AKARI spectra. The reason is that the CO{sub 2} band is especially sensitive to C and O abundances, since the CO{sub 2} abundance depends approximately on A{sub C} A{sup 2}{sub O}-the cube of C and O abundances. For this reason, even low-resolution spectra of very cool dwarfs, especially of CO{sub 2}, cannot be understood unless a model with proper abundances is applied. For the same reason, CO{sub 2} is an excellent indicator of C and O abundances, and we can now estimate C and O abundances of brown dwarfs as follows: Three of the six brown dwarfs observed with AKARI should have high C and O abundances similar to the classical solar values (e.g., log A{sub C} = 8.60 and log A{sub O} = 8.92), but the other three may have low C and O abundances similar to the recent solar values (e.g., log A{sub C} = 8.39 and log A{sub O} = 8.69). This result implies that three of the six brown dwarfs are highly metal-rich relative to the Sun, if the recent solar C and O abundances are correct.« less
  • The present calculations of the early evolution of brown dwarfs and very low mass stars (LMSs) yield isochrones spanning 0.01-0.2 solar masses for ages in the 1 to 300 million year range. Since the brown dwarfs remain sharply segregated in T(eff) from LMSs for ages of less than 100 million years, it follows that for coeval populations of known age, a domain exists in the H-R diagram in which only brown dwarfs exist. These theoretical results are compared with recent observations of the Pleiades brown dwarf candidates, using two new sets of color-T(eff) transformations. Both sets yield consistent interpretations. 17more » refs.« less
  • We have measured the surface magnetic flux on four accreting young brown dwarfs and one nonaccreting young very low mass (VLM) star utilizing high-resolution spectra of absorption lines of the FeH molecule. A magnetic field of 1-2 kG had been proposed for one of the brown dwarfs, Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) J1207334-393254, because of its similarities to higher mass T Tauri stars as manifested in accretion and the presence of a jet. We do not find clear evidence for a kilogauss field in any of our young brown dwarfs but do find a 2 kG field on themore » young VLM star. Our 3{sigma} upper limit for the magnetic flux in 2MASS J1207334-393254 just reaches 1 kG. We estimate the magnetic field required for accretion in young brown dwarfs given the observed rotations, and find that fields of only a few hundred gauss are sufficient for magnetospheric accretion. This predicted value is less than our observed upper limit. We conclude that magnetic fields in young brown dwarfs are a factor of 5 or more lower than in young stars of about one solar mass, and in older stars with spectral types similar to our young brown dwarfs. It is interesting that, during the first few million years, the fields scale down with mass in line with what is needed for magnetospheric accretion, yet no such scaling is observed at later ages within the same effective temperature range. This scaling is opposite to the trend in rotation, with shorter rotation periods for very young accreting brown dwarfs compared with accreting solar-mass objects (and very low Rossby numbers in all cases). We speculate that in young objects a deeper intrinsic connection may exist between magnetospheric accretion and magnetic field strength, or that magnetic field generation in brown dwarfs may be less efficient than in stars. Neither of these currently has an easy physical explanation.« less
  • We present low-resolution Keck I/LRIS spectra spanning from 3200 to 9000 A of nine young brown dwarfs and three low-mass stars in the TW Hya Association and in Upper Sco. The optical spectral types of the brown dwarfs range from M5.5 to M8.75, though two have near-IR spectral types of early L dwarfs. We report new accretion rates derived from excess Balmer continuum emission for the low-mass stars TW Hya and Hen 3-600A and the brown dwarfs 2MASS J12073347-3932540, UScoCTIO 128, SSSPM J1102-3431, USco J160606.29-233513.3, DENIS-P J160603.9-205644, and Oph J162225-240515B, and upper limits on accretion for the low-mass star Henmore » 3-600B and the brown dwarfs UScoCTIO 112, Oph J162225-240515A, and USco J160723.82-221102.0. For the six brown dwarfs in our sample that are faintest at short wavelengths, the accretion luminosity or upper limit is measurable only when the image is binned over large wavelength intervals. This method extends our sensitivity to accretion rate down to {approx}10{sup -13} M{sub sun}yr{sup -1} for brown dwarfs. Since the ability to measure an accretion rate from excess Balmer continuum emission depends on the contrast between excess continuum emission and the underlying photosphere, for objects with earlier spectral types the upper limit on accretion rate is much higher. Absolute uncertainties in our accretion rate measurements of {approx}3-5 include uncertainty in accretion models, brown dwarf masses, and distance. The accretion rate of 2 x 10{sup -12} M {sub sun} yr{sup -1} onto 2MASS J12073347-3932540 is within 15% of two previous measurements, despite large changes in the H{alpha} flux.« less
  • By comparing near-infrared spectra with atmospheric models, we infer the effective temperature, surface gravity, projected rotational velocity, and radial velocity for 21 very low mass stars and brown dwarfs. The unique sample consists of two sequences in spectral type from M6-M9, one of 5-10 Myr objects and one of >1 Gyr field objects. A third sequence is comprised of only {approx}M6 objects with ages ranging from <1 Myr to >1 Gyr. Spectra were obtained in the J band at medium (R {approx} 2000) and high (R {approx} 20,000) resolutions with NIRSPEC on the Keck II telescope. Synthetic spectra were generatedmore » from atmospheric structures calculated with the PHOENIX model atmosphere code. Using multi-dimensional least-squares fitting and Monte Carlo routines we determine the best-fit model parameters for each observed spectrum and note which spectral regions provide consistent results. We identify successes in the reproduction of observed features by atmospheric models, including pressure-broadened K I lines, and investigate deficiencies in the models, particularly missing FeH opacity, that will need to be addressed in order to extend our analysis to cooler objects. The precision that can be obtained for each parameter using medium- and high-resolution near-infrared spectra is estimated and the implications for future studies of very low mass stars and brown dwarfs are discussed.« less