Discovery of three distant, cold brown dwarfs in the WFC3 infrared spectroscopic parallels survey

D. Masters, P. McCarthy, A. J. Burgasser, N. P. Hathi, M. Malkan, N. R. Ross, B. Siana, C. Scarlata, A. Henry, J. Colbert, H. Atek, M. Rafelski, H. Teplitz, A. Bunker, A. Dressler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the discovery of three late-type (≥T4.5) brown dwarfs, including a probable Y dwarf, in the WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels (WISP) survey. We use the G141 grism spectra to determine the spectral types of the dwarfs and derive distance estimates based on a comparison with nearby T dwarfs with known parallaxes. These are the most distant spectroscopically confirmed T/Y dwarfs, with the farthest at an estimated distance of 400pc. We compare the number of cold dwarfs found in the WISP survey with simulations of the brown dwarf mass function. The number found is generally consistent with an initial stellar mass function dN/dMM with α = 0.0-0.5, although the identification of a Y dwarf is somewhat surprising and may be indicative of either a flatter absolute magnitude/spectral-type relation than previously reported or an upturn in the number of very-late-type brown dwarfs in the observed volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL14
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume752
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 10 2012

Keywords

  • Galaxy: abundances
  • brown dwarfs
  • infrared: stars
  • stars: luminosity function, mass function

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Discovery of three distant, cold brown dwarfs in the WFC3 infrared spectroscopic parallels survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Masters, D., McCarthy, P., Burgasser, A. J., Hathi, N. P., Malkan, M., Ross, N. R., Siana, B., Scarlata, C., Henry, A., Colbert, J., Atek, H., Rafelski, M., Teplitz, H., Bunker, A., & Dressler, A. (2012). Discovery of three distant, cold brown dwarfs in the WFC3 infrared spectroscopic parallels survey. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 752(1), [L14]. https://doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/752/1/L14