Friday, September 30, 2016

A Survey for H-alpha Emission From Late L and T Class Brown Dwarfs

A Survey for H-alpha Emission from Late L dwarfs and T dwarfs

Authors:

Pineda et al

Abstract:

Recently, studies of brown dwarfs have demonstrated that they possess strong magnetic fields and have the potential to produce radio and optical auroral emissions powered by magnetospheric currents. This emission provides the only window on magnetic fields in the coolest brown dwarfs and identifying additional benchmark objects is key to constraining dynamo theory in this regime. To this end, we conducted a new red optical (6300 - 9700 Angstrom) survey with the Keck telescopes looking for H-alpha emission from a sample of late L dwarfs and T dwarfs. Our survey gathered optical spectra for 29 targets, 18 of which did not have previous optical spectra in the literature, greatly expanding the number of moderate resolution (R~2000) spectra available at these spectral types. Combining our sample with previous surveys, we confirm an H-alpha detection rate of 9.2 (+3.5/-2.1) % for L and T dwarfs in the optical spectral range of L4 - T8. This detection rate is consistent with the recently measured detection rate for auroral radio emission from Kao et al. (2016), suggesting that geometrical selection effects due to the beaming of the radio emission are small or absent. We also provide the first detection of H-alpha emission from 2MASS 0036+1821, previously notable as the only electron cyclotron maser radio source without a confirmed detection of H-alpha emission. Finally, we also establish optical standards for spectral types T3 and T4, filling in the previous gap between T2 and T5.

WISEP J060738.65+242953.4: A Nearby. Pole-On L8 Brown Dwarf with Radio Emission


Authors:

Gizis et al

Abstract:

We present a simultaneous, multi-wavelength campaign targeting the nearby (7.2 pc) L8/L9 (optical/near-infrared) dwarf WISEP J060738.65+242953.4 in the mid-infrared, radio, and optical. Spitzer Space Telescope observations show no variability at the 0.2% level over 10 hours each in the 3.6 and 4.5 micron bands. Kepler K2 monitoring over 36 days in Campaign 0 rules out stable periodic signals in the optical with amplitudes great than 1.5% and periods between 1.5 hours and 2 days. Non-simultaneous Gemini optical spectroscopy detects lithium, constraining this L dwarf to be less than ~2 Gyr old, but no Balmer emission is observed. The low measured projected rotation velocity (v sin i < 6 km/s) and lack of variability are very unusual compared to other brown dwarfs, and we argue that this substellar object is likely viewed pole-on. We detect quiescent (non-bursting) radio emission with the VLA. Amongst radio detected L and T dwarfs, it has the lowest observed L_nu and the lowest v sin i. We discuss the implications of a pole-on detection for various proposed radio emission scenarios.

Brown dwarf disks in Ophiuchus

Brown dwarf disks with ALMA: evidence for truncated dust disks in Ophiuchus

Authors:

Testi et al

Abstract:

The study of the properties of disks around young brown dwarfs can provide important clues on the formation of these very low-mass objects and on the possibility of forming planetary systems around them. The presence of warm dusty disks around brown dwarfs is well known, based on near- and mid-infrared studies. High angular resolution observations of the cold outer disk are limited; we used ALMA to attempt a first survey of young brown dwarfs in the ρ-Oph star-forming region. All 17 young brown dwarfs in our sample were observed at 890 μm in the continuum at ∼0.′′5 angular resolution. The sensitivity of our observations was chosen to detect ∼0.5 M⊕ of dust. We detect continuum emission in 11 disks (∼65\%\ of the total), and the estimated mass of dust in the detected disks ranges from ∼0.5 to ∼6 M⊕. These disk masses imply that planet formation around brown dwarfs may be relatively rare and that the supra-Jupiter mass companions found around some brown dwarfs are probably the result of a binary system formation. We find evidence that the two brightest disks in ρ-Oph have sharp outer edges at R<~25 AU, in contrast to disks around Taurus brown dwarfs. This difference may suggest that the different environment in ρ-Oph may lead to significant differences in disk properties. A comparison of the Mdisk/M∗ ratio for brown dwarf and solar-mass systems also shows a possible deficit of mass in brown dwarfs, which could support the evidence for dynamical truncation of disks in the substellar regime. These findings are still tentative and need to be put on firmer grounds by studying the gaseous disks around brown dwarfs and by performing a more systematic and unbiased survey of the disk population around the more massive stars.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

EPIC 211351816.01: A (Re-?)Inflated Planet Orbiting a Red Giant Star


Authors:

Grunblatt et al

Abstract:

Giant planets with high incident fluxes have been observed with radii larger than thermal evolution models would allow. Although these inflated planets have been known for almost two decades, it is unclear whether their inflation is caused by deposition of energy from the host star, or inhibited cooling of the planet. These processes can be distinguished if the planet becomes highly irradiated only when the host star evolves onto the red giant branch. We report the discovery of EPIC 211351816.01, a 1.27 +/- 0.09 RJ, 1.10 +/- 0.11 MJ planet orbiting a 4.20 +/- 0.14 Rsun, 1.16 +/- 0.12 Msun red giant star with an orbital period of 8.4 days. We precisely constrained stellar and planetary parameters by combining asteroseismology, spectroscopy, and granulation noise modeling along with transit and radial velocity measurements. Our calculations suggest the incident flux on this planet was ~200 +/- 100 times the flux on Earth while the star was on the main sequence, comparable to the suggested threshold flux for planet inflation. This suggests the planet was significantly less inflated in the past, and its current measured planet radius is inconsistent with delayed cooling since formation. Thus, this system provides the first clear evidence that planets are inflated directly from a process dependent on the incident stellar radiation rather than by delayed loss of heat from formation. Further studies of planets around red giant branch stars will confirm or contradict this inflation hypothesis, and may reveal a new class of re-inflated planets.

A hot Jupiter orbiting a 2-Myr-old solar-mass T Tauri star


Authors:

Donati et al

Abstract:

Hot Jupiters are giant Jupiter-like exoplanets that orbit 100x closer to their host stars than Jupiter does to the Sun. These planets presumably form in the outer part of the primordial disc from which both the central star and surrounding planets are born, then migrate inwards and yet avoid falling into their host star. It is however unclear whether this occurs early in the lives of hot Jupiters, when still embedded within protoplanetary discs, or later, once multiple planets are formed and interact. Although numerous hot Jupiters were detected around mature Sun-like stars, their existence has not yet been firmly demonstrated for young stars, whose magnetic activity is so intense that it overshadows the radial velocity signal that close-in giant planets can induce. Here we show that hot Jupiters around young stars can be revealed from extended sets of high-resolution spectra. Once filtered-out from the activity, radial velocities of V830 Tau derived from new data collected in late 2015 exhibit a sine wave of period 4.93 d and semi-amplitude 75 m/ s, detected with a false alarm probability

Hunting for hot Jupiters in Open Stellar Clusters


Authors:

Bailey et al

Abstract:

We present a multiplexed high-resolution (R ~ 50,000 median) spectroscopic survey designed to detect exoplanet candidates in two southern star clusters (NGC 2516 and NGC 2422) using the Michigan/Magellan Fiber System (M2FS) on the Magellan/Clay telescope at Las Campanas Observatory. With 128 available fibers in our observing mode, we are able to target every star in the core half-degree of each cluster that could plausibly be a solar-analog member. Our template-based spectral fits provide precise measurements of fundamental stellar properties—T eff (±30 K), [Fe/H] and [α/Fe] (±0.02 dex), and ${v}_{r}\mathrm{sin}(i)$ (±0.3 km s−1)—and radial velocities (RVs) by using telluric absorption features from 7160 to 7290 Å as a wavelength reference for 251 mid-F to mid-K stars (126 in NGC 2516 and 125 in NGC 2422) that comprise our survey. In each cluster, we have obtained ~10–12 epochs of our targets. Using repeat observations of an RV standard star, we show our approach can attain a single-epoch velocity precision of 25–60 m s−1 over a broad range of signal-to-noise ratios throughout our observational baseline of 1.1 years. Our technique is suitable for nonrapidly rotating stars cooler than mid-F. In this paper, we describe our observational sample and analysis methodology and present a detailed study of the attainable precision and measurement capabilities of our approach. Subsequent papers will provide results for stars observed in the target clusters, analyze our data set of RV time series for stellar jitter and stellar and substellar companions, and consider the implications of our findings on the clusters themselves.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DETECTING PLANET PAIRS IN MEAN MOTION RESONANCES VIA THE ASTROMETRY METHOD


Authors:

Wu et al

Abstract:

Gaia is leading us into a new era with a high astrometry precision of ~10 μas. Under such precision, astrometry can play an important role in detecting and characterizing exoplanets. In particular, we can identify planet pairs in mean motion resonances (MMRs), which constrain the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In accordance with observations, we consider two-Jupiter or two-super-Earth systems in 1:2, 2:3, and 3:4 MMRs. Our simulations show that the false alarm probabilities (FAPs) of a third planet are extremely small, while the two real planets can be fitted well with a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N)$\;\gt \;3$. The probability of reconstructing a resonant system is related to the eccentricities and the resonance intensity. Generally, when the S/N $\geqslant \;10$, if the eccentricities of both planets are larger than 0.01 and the resonance is quite strong, the probability of reconstructing the planet pair in MMRs is $\geqslant \;80 \% $. Jupiter pairs in MMRs are reconstructed more easily than super-Earth pairs with similar S/N when we consider dynamical stability. FAPs are also calculated when we detect planet pairs in or near MMRs. The FAPs for 1:2 MMRs are the largest, i.e., FAP $\gt 15 \% $ when S/N $\leqslant \;10$. Extrapolating from the Kepler planet pairs near MMRs and assuming a S/N ~ 3, we discover and reconstruct a few tens of Jupiter pairs and hundreds of super-Earth pairs in 2:3 and 1:2 MMRs within 30 pc. We also compare the differences between even and uneven data cadence and find that planets are better measured with more uniform phase coverage.