Friday, July 31, 2015

Spectroscopy of Brown Dwarf Binary Luhman 16AB

VLT X-shooter spectroscopy of the nearest brown dwarf binary


Lodieu et al


The aim of the project is to characterise both components of the nearest brown dwarf sytem to the Sun, WISE J104915.57-531906.1 (=Luhman16AB) at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. We obtained high signal-to-noise intermediate-resolution (R~6000-11000) optical (600-1000 nm) and near-infrared (1000-2480nm) spectra of each component of Luhman16AB, the closest brown dwarf binary to the Sun, with the X-Shooter instrument on the Very Large Telescope. We classify the primary and secondary of the Luhman16 system as L6-L7.5 and T0+/-1, respectively, in agreement with previous measurements published in the literature. We present measurements of the lithium pseudo-equivalent widths, which appears of similar strength on both components (8.2+/-1.0 Angstroms and 8.4+/-1.5 Angstroms for the L and T components, respectively). The presence of lithium (Lithium 7) in both components imply masses below 0.06 Msun while comparison with models suggests lower limits of 0.04 Msun. The detection of lithium in the T component is the first of its kind. Similarly, we assess the strength of other alkali lines (e.g. pseudo-equivalent widths of 6-7 Angstroms for RbI and 4-7 Angstroms for CsI) present in the optical and near-infrared regions and compare with estimates for L and T dwarfs. We also derive effective temperatures and luminosities of each component of the binary: -4.66+/-0.08 dex and 1305(+180)(-135) for the L dwarf and -4.68+/-0.13 dex and 1320(+185)(-135) for the T dwarf, respectively. Using our radial velocity determinations, the binary does not appear to belong to any of the well-known moving group. Our preliminary theoretical analysis of the optical and J-band spectra indicates that the L- and T-type spectra can be reproduced with a single temperature and gravity but different relative chemical abundances which impact strongly the spectral energy distribution of L/T transition objects.

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