SIMBAD references

2000AJ....120.1085G - Astron. J., 120, 1085-1099 (2000/August-0)

New neighbors from 2MASS: activity and kinematics at the bottom of the main sequence.


Abstract (from CDS):

We have combined 2MASS and POSS II data in a search for nearby ultracool (later than M6.5) dwarfs with Ks<12. Spectroscopic follow-up observations identify 53 M7-M9.5 dwarfs and seven L dwarfs. The observed space density is 0.0045±0.0008 M8-M9.5 dwarfs per cubic parsec, without accounting for biases, consistent with a mass function that is smooth across the stellar/substellar limit. We show the observed frequency of Hα emission peaks at ∼100% for M7 dwarfs and then decreases for cooler dwarfs. In absolute terms, however, as measured by the ratio of Hα to bolometric luminosity, none of the ultracool M dwarfs can be considered very active compared to earlier M dwarfs, and we show that the decrease that begins at spectral type M6 continues to the latest L dwarfs. We find that flaring is common among the coolest M dwarfs and estimate the frequency of flares at 7% or higher. We show that the kinematics of relatively active (EW>6 Å) ultracool M dwarfs are consistent with an ordinary old disk stellar population, while the kinematics of inactive ultracool M dwarfs are more typical of a 0.5 Gyr old population. The early L dwarfs in the sample have kinematics consistent with old ages, suggesting that the hydrogen-burning limit is near spectral types L2-L4. We use the available data on M and L dwarfs to show that chromospheric activity drops with decreasing mass and temperature and that at a given (M8 or later) spectral type, the younger field (brown) dwarfs are less active than many of the older, more massive field stellar dwarfs. Thus, contrary to the well-known stellar age-activity relationship, low activity in field ultracool dwarfs can be an indication of comparative youth and substellar mass.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxy: Solar Neighborhood - Stars: Activity - Stars: Kinematics - Stars: Low-Mass, Brown Dwarfs - Stars: Luminosity Function, Mass Function

CDS comments: In reflist, Martin, 1999a : 188 misprint for 118 (1999AJ....118.1005M).

Simbad objects: 100

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