Thursday, December 25, 2014

Old, Cloudy, Metal Rich Brown Dwarf WISEP J004701.06+680352.1 is 27.3 Light Years Away

WISEP J004701.06+680352.1: An intermediate surface gravity, dusty brown dwarf in the AB Dor Moving Group


Gizis et al


We present spectroscopy, astrometry, and photometry of the brown dwarf WISEP J004701.06+680352.1 (W0047+68), an unusually red field L dwarf at a distance of 12.2±0.4 parsecs. The three-dimensional space motion identifies it as a member of the AB Dor Moving Group, an identification supported by our classification of W0047+68 as intermediate surface gravity (INT-G) using the Allers \& Liu (2013) near-infrared classification system. This moving group membership implies near-solar metallicity, age ∼100−125 Myr, M≈0.018 M⊙, and logg≈4.5; the thick condensate clouds needed to explain the infrared spectrum are therefore a result of the lower surface gravity than ordinary field brown dwarfs. From the observed luminosity and evolutionary model radius, we find Teff≈1300K, a temperature normally associated with early T dwarfs. Thick clouds are also used to explain the spectral properties of directly imaged giant planets, and we discuss the successes and challenges for such substellar models in matching the observed optical and infrared spectra. W0047+68 shows that cloud thickness is more sensitive to intermediate surface gravity than in most models. We also present a trigonometric parallax of the dusty L6 dwarf 2MASS J21481628+4003593. It lies at 8.060±0.036 parsecs; its astrometry is consistent with the view that it is older and metal-rich.

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