Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1307.2237 (Brendan P. Bowler et al.)

Planets Around Low-Mass Stars (PALMS). III. A Young Dusty L Dwarf Companion at the Deuterium-Burning Limit    [PDF]

Brendan P. Bowler, Michael C. Liu, Evgenya L. Shkolnik, Trent J. Dupuy
We report the discovery of an L-type companion to the young M3.5V star 2MASS J01225093-2439505 at a projected separation of 1.45" (~52 AU) as part of our adaptive optics imaging search for extrasolar giant planets around young low-mass stars. 2MASS 0122-2439 B has very red near-infrared colors similar to the HR 8799 planets and the reddest known young/dusty L dwarfs in the field. Moderate-resolution (R~3800) 1.5-2.4 $\mu$m spectroscopy reveals a near-infrared spectral type of L4-L6 and an angular H-band shape, confirming its cool temperature and young age. The kinematics of 2MASS 0122-2439 AB are marginally consistent with members of the ~120 Myr AB Dor young moving group based on the photometric distance to the primary (36 +/- 4 pc) and our radial velocity measurement of 2MASS 0122-2439 A from Keck/HIRES. We adopt the AB Dor group age for the system, but the high energy emission, lack of Li I $\lambda$6707 absorption, and spectral shape of 2MASS 0122-2439 B suggest a range of ~10-120 Myr is possible. The age and luminosity of 2MASS 0122-2439 B fall in a strip where "hot-start" evolutionary model mass tracks overlap as a result of deuterium burning. The implied mass of 2MASS 0122-2439 B is ~12-13 Mjup or ~22-27 Mjup if it is an AB Dor member, or possibly as low as 11 Mjup if the wider age range is adopted. Evolutionary models predict an effective temperature for 2MASS 0122-2439 B that corresponds to spectral types near the L/T transition (~1300-1500 K) for field objects. However, we find a mid-L near-infrared spectral type, indicating that 2MASS 0122-2439 B represents another case of photospheric dust being retained to cooler temperatures at low surface gravities, as seen in the spectra of young (8-30 Myr) planetary companions. [Abridged]
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