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Methane band and Spitzer mid-IR imaging of L and T dwarf candidates in the Pleiades


Casewell, SL and Jameson, RF and Burleigh, MR and Dobbie, PD and Roy, M and Hodgkin, ST and Moraux, E, Methane band and Spitzer mid-IR imaging of L and T dwarf candidates in the Pleiades, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 412, (3) pp. 2071-2078. ISSN 0035-8711 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation copyright 2011 RAS

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.18044.x


We present Spitzer observations at [3.6] and [4.5] μm together with the methane short (1.58 μm) − methane long (1.69 μm) colour for three cool dwarfs in the Pleiades, PLZJ23, PLZJ93 and PLZJ100. We determine the effective temperatures of PLZJ23 and PLZJ93 to be ≈1200 and ≈1100 K. From the broad-band photometry we place an upper limit of 1100 K on the effective temperature of PLZJ100 but lack the data required to determine the value more precisely. These temperatures are in the T dwarf regime, yet the methane colours indicate no methane is present. We attribute this to youth/low gravity in line with theoretical expectations. However, we find even less methane is present than predicted by the models.

PLZJ23 and PLZJ93 are also very bright in the [3.6] μm waveband (PLZJ100 is not measured) compared to field brown dwarfs which can also be explained by this lack of methane.

The definition of the T spectral class is the appearance of methane absorption, so strictly, via this definition, PLZJ93 and PLZJ100 cannot be described as T dwarfs. The colours of these two objects are, however, not compatible with those of L dwarfs. Thus we have a classification problem and cannot assign these objects a (photometric) spectral type.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:brown dwarfs; stars: low-mass; open clusters and associations: individual: Pleiades
Research Division:Physical Sciences
Research Group:Astronomical sciences
Research Field:Stellar astronomy and planetary systems
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
UTAS Author:Dobbie, PD (Dr Paul Dobbie)
ID Code:80998
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2012-11-20
Last Modified:2014-10-07

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