Friday, November 25, 2016

Variable and polarized radio emission from the T6 brown dwarf WISEP J112254.73+255021.5


Williams et al


Route & Wolszczan (2016) recently detected five radio bursts from the T6 dwarf WISEP J112254.73+255021.5 and used the timing of these events to propose that this object rotates with an ultra-short period of ~17.3 minutes. We conducted follow-up observations with the Very Large Array and Gemini-North but found no evidence for this periodicity. We do, however, observe variable, highly circularly polarized radio emission possibly with a period of 116 minutes, although our observation lasted only 162 minutes and so more data are needed to confirm it. Our proposed periodicity is typical of other radio-active ultracool dwarfs. The handedness of the circular polarization alternates with time and there is no evidence for any unpolarized emission component, the first time such a phenomenology has been observed in radio studies of very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. We suggest that the object's magnetic dipole axis may be highly misaligned relative to its rotation axis.

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