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2012ApJ...746...23M - Astrophys. J., 746, 23 (2012/February-2)

The radio activity-rotation relation of ultracool dwarfs.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present a new radio survey of about 100 late-M and L dwarfs undertaken with the Very Large Array. The sample was chosen to explore the role of rotation in the radio activity of ultracool dwarfs. As part of the survey we discovered radio emission from three new objects, 2MASS J0518113-310153 (M6.5), 2MASS J0952219-192431 (M7), and 2MASS J1314203+132001 (M7), and made an additional detection of LP 349-25 (M8). Combining the new sample with results from our previous studies and from the literature, we compile the largest sample to date of ultracool dwarfs with radio observations and measured rotation velocities (167 objects). In the spectral type range M0-M6 we find a radio activity-rotation relation, with saturation at Lrad/Lbol~ 10–7.5 above vsin i ~ 5 km/s, similar to the relation in Hα and X-rays. However, at spectral types ≳ M7 the ratio of radio to bolometric luminosity increases significantly regardless of rotation velocity, and the scatter in radio luminosity increases. In particular, while the most rapid rotators (vsin i ≳ 20 km/s) exhibit "super-saturation" in X-rays and Hα, this effect is not seen in the radio. We also find that ultracool dwarfs with vsin i ≳ 20 km/s have a higher radio detection fraction by about a factor of three compared to objects with vsin i ≲ 10 km/s. When measured in terms of the Rossby number (Ro), the radio activity-rotation relation follows a single trend and with no apparent saturation from G to L dwarfs and down to Ro ∼ 10–3; in X-rays and Hα there is clear saturation at Ro ≲ 0.1, with super-saturation beyond M7. A similar trend is observed for the radio surface flux (Lrad/R 2*) as a function of Ro. The continued role of rotation in the overall level of radio activity and in the fraction of active sources, and the single trend of Lrad/Lbol and Lrad/R 2*as a function of Ro from G to L dwarfs, indicates that rotation effects are important in regulating the topology or strength of magnetic fields in at least some fully convective dwarfs. The fact that not all rapid rotators are detected in the radio provides additional support to the idea of dual dynamo states proposed from spectropolarimetric observations.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): brown dwarfs - radio continuum: stars - stars: activity - stars: low-mass - stars: magnetic field

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/ApJ/746/23): table1.dat table2.dat>

Simbad objects: 242

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