Hawaii quasar and T dwarf survey. I. Method and discovery of faint field ultracool dwarfs.
KAKAZU Y., HU E.M., LIU M.C., WANG W.-H., WAINSCOAT R.J. and CAPAK P.L.
Abstract (from CDS):
The Hawaii Quasar and T dwarf survey (HQT Survey) is a wide-field, red optical survey carried out with the Suprime-Cam mosaic CCD camera on the 8.2 m Subaru telescope. The HQT survey is designed to search for low-luminosity (MAB1450< -23) quasars at high redshift (z>5.7) as well as T dwarfs, both of which are selected by their very red I - z' colors. We use an optical narrowband filter NB816 to break a well-known I - z' color degeneracy between high-z quasars and foreground M and L dwarfs, which are more numerous than quasars. This paper is the first in a series of papers from the HQT survey and we report on the discovery of six faint (19 ≤ J ≤ 20) ultracool dwarfs found over a ∼9.3 deg2 area with a limiting magnitude of z'AB ≤ 23.3. These dwarfs were confirmed by near-IR imaging and/or spectroscopy conducted at various facilities on Mauna Kea. With estimated distances of 60-170 pc, these are among the most distant spectroscopically confirmed field brown dwarfs to date. Limits on the proper motions of these ultracool dwarfs suggest that they are old members of the Galactic disk, though future follow-up observations are necessary to minimize errors. Our finding rate of ultracool dwarfs is within model predictions of Liu et al. However, the large brightening amplitude (∼1 mag) previously reported for the L/T transition objects appears to overpredict the numbers. We also examine how the survey field latitude affects the survey sensitivity to the vertical scale height of ultracool dwarfs.
brown dwarfs - early universe - quasars: general - stars: low-mass - techniques: photometric