Friday, January 20, 2017

2MASS J22362452+4751425B: A Planetary Mass Brown Dwarf?

Planets Around Low-Mass Stars (PALMS). VI. Discovery of a Remarkably Red Planetary-Mass Companion to the AB Dor Moving Group Candidate 2MASS J22362452+4751425


Bowler et al


We report the discovery of an extremely red planetary-mass companion to 2MASS J22362452+4751425, a ≈0.6 M⊙ late-K dwarf likely belonging to the ∼120 Myr AB Doradus moving group. 2M2236+4751 b was identified in multi-epoch NIRC2 adaptive optics imaging at Keck Observatory at a separation of 3.7", or 230 ± 20 AU in projection at the kinematic distance of 63 ± 5 pc to its host star. Assuming membership in the AB Dor group, as suggested from its kinematics, the inferred mass of 2M2236+4751 b is 11-14 MJup. Follow-up Keck/OSIRIS K-band spectroscopy of the companion reveals strong CO absorption similar to other faint red L dwarfs and lacks signs of methane absorption despite having an effective temperature of ≈900-1200 K. With a (J-K)MKO color of 2.69 ± 0.12 mag, the near-infrared slope of 2M2236+4751 b is redder than all of the HR 8799 planets and instead resembles the ≈23 Myr isolated planetary-mass object PSO J318.5-22, implying that similarly thick photospheric clouds can persist in the atmospheres of giant planets at ages beyond 100 Myr. In near-infrared color-magnitude diagrams, 2M2236+4751 b is located at the tip of the red L dwarf sequence and appears to define the "elbow" of the AB Dor substellar isochrone separating low-gravity L dwarfs from the cooler young T dwarf track. 2M2236+4751 b is the reddest substellar companion to a star and will be a valuable benchmark to study the shared atmospheric properties of young low-mass brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets.

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