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Title: A Comparative L-dwarf Sample Exploring the Interplay between Atmospheric Assumptions and Data Properties

Comparisons of atmospheric retrievals can reveal powerful insights on the strengths and limitations of our data and modeling tools. In this paper, we examine a sample of five L dwarfs of similar effective temperature (Teff) or spectral type to compare their pressure–temperature (P-T) profiles. Additionally, we explore the impact of an object’s metallicity and the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the observations on the parameters we can retrieve. We present the first atmospheric retrievals: 2MASS J15261405+2043414, 2MASS J05395200−0059019, 2MASS J15394189−0520428, and GD 165B increasing the small but growing number of L dwarfs retrieved. When compared to the atmospheric retrievals of SDSS J141624.08+134826.7, a low-metallicity d/sdL7 primary in a wide L+T binary, we find that similarTeffsources have similar P-T profiles with metallicity differences impacting the relative offset between their P-T profiles in the photosphere. We also find that for near-infrared spectra, when the S/N is ≳80 we are in a regime where model uncertainties dominate over data measurement uncertainties. As such, S/N does not play a role in the retrieval’s ability to distinguish between a cloud-free and cloudless model, but may impact the confidence of the retrieved parameters. Lastly, we also discuss how to break cloud model degeneracies and the impact more » of extraneous gases in a retrieval model.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 56
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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