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  1. Abstract

    We present the characterization of the low-gravity M6 dwarf 2MASS J06195260-2903592, previously identified as an unusual field object based on its strong IR excess and variable near-IR spectrum. Multiple epochs of low-resolution (R≈ 150) near-IR spectra show large-amplitude (≈0.1–0.5 mag) continuum variations on timescales of days to 12 yr, unlike the small-amplitude variability typical for field ultracool dwarfs. The variations between epochs are well-modeled as changes in the relative extinction (ΔAV≈ 2 mag). Similarly, Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 optical photometry varies on timescales as long as 11 yr (and possibly as short as an hour) and implies comparableAVchanges. Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mid-IR light curves also suggest changes on 6 month timescales, with amplitudes consistent with the optical/near-IR extinction variations. However, near-IR spectra, near-IR photometry, and optical photometry obtained in the past year indicate that the source can also be stable on hourly and monthly timescales. From comparison to objects of similar spectral type, the total extinction of 2MASS J0619-2903 seems to beAV≈ 4–6 mag, with perhaps epochs of lower extinction. Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) finds that 2MASS J0619-2903 has a wide-separation (1.′2 = 10,450 au) stellar companion, with anmore »isochronal age of3110+22Myr and a mass of0.300.03+0.04M. Adopting this companion’s age and EDR3 distance (145.2 ± 0.6 pc), we estimate a mass of 0.11–0.17Mfor 2MASS J0619-2903. Altogether, 2MASS J0619-2903 appears to possess an unusually long-lived primordial circumstellar disk, perhaps making it a more obscured analog to the “Peter Pan” disks found around a few M dwarfs in nearby young moving groups.

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  2. Abstract We describe the Perkins INfrared Exosatellite Survey (PINES), a near-infrared photometric search for short-period transiting planets and moons around a sample of 393 spectroscopically confirmed L- and T-type dwarfs. PINES is performed with Boston University’s 1.8 m Perkins Telescope Observatory, located on Anderson Mesa, Arizona. We discuss the observational strategy of the survey, which was designed to optimize the number of expected transit detections, and describe custom automated observing procedures for performing PINES observations. We detail the steps of the PINES Analysis Toolkit ( PAT ), software that is used to create light curves from PINES images. We assess the impact of second-order extinction due to changing precipitable water vapor on our observations and find that the magnitude of this effect is minimized in Mauna Kea Observatories J band. We demonstrate the validity of PAT through the recovery of a transit of WASP-2 b and known variable brown dwarfs, and use it to identify a new variable L/T transition object: the T2 dwarf WISE J045746.08-020719.2. We report on the measured photometric precision of the survey and use it to estimate our transit-detection sensitivity. We find that for our median brightness targets, assuming contributions from white noise only, we aremore »sensitive to the detection of 2.5 R ⊕ planets and larger. PINES will test whether the increase in sub-Neptune-sized planet occurrence with decreasing host mass continues into the L- and T-dwarf regime.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 9, 2023
  3. Abstract

    We present a survey for photometric variability in young, low-mass brown dwarfs with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The 23 objects in our sample show robust signatures of youth and share properties with directly imaged exoplanets. We present three new young objects: 2MASS J03492367+0635078, 2MASS J09512690−8023553, and 2MASS J07180871−6415310. We detect variability in 13 young objects, and find that young brown dwarfs are highly likely to display variability across the L2–T4 spectral type range. In contrast, the field dwarf variability occurrence rate drops for spectral types >L9. We examine the variability amplitudes of young objects and find an enhancement in maximum amplitudes compared to field dwarfs. We speculate that the observed range of amplitudes within a spectral type may be influenced by secondary effects such as viewing inclination and/or rotation period. We combine our new rotation periods with the literature to investigate the effects of mass on angular momentum evolution. While high-mass brown dwarfs (>30MJup) spin up over time, the same trend is not apparent for lower-mass objects (<30MJup), likely due to the small number of measured periods for old, low-mass objects. The rotation periods of companion brown dwarfs and planetary-mass objects are consistent with those of isolated objects withmore »similar ages and masses, suggesting similar angular momentum histories. Within the AB Doradus group, we find a high-variability occurrence rate and evidence for common angular momentum evolution. The results are encouraging for future variability searches in directly imaged exoplanets with facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope and 30 m telescopes.

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  4. Abstract Through the Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 citizen science project we discovered a late-type L dwarf co-moving with the young K0 star BD+60 1417 at a projected separation of 37″ or 1662 au. The secondary—CWISER J124332.12+600126.2 (W1243)—is detected in both the CatWISE2020 and 2MASS reject tables. The photometric distance and CatWISE proper motion both match that of the primary within ∼1 σ and our estimates for a chance alignment yield a zero probability. Follow-up near-infrared spectroscopy reveals W1243 to be a very red 2MASS ( J – K s = 2.72), low surface gravity source that we classify as L6–L8 γ . Its spectral morphology strongly resembles that of confirmed late-type L dwarfs in 10–150 Myr moving groups as well as that of planetary mass companions. The position on near- and mid-infrared color–magnitude diagrams indicates the source is redder and fainter than the field sequence, a telltale sign of an object with thick clouds and a complex atmosphere. For the primary we obtained new optical spectroscopy and analyzed all available literature information for youth indicators. We conclude that the Li i abundance, its loci on color–magnitude and color–color diagrams, and the rotation rate revealed in multiple TESS sectors are allmore »consistent with an age of 50–150 Myr. Using our re-evaluated age of the primary and the Gaia parallax, along with the photometry and spectrum for W1243, we find T eff = 1303 ± 31 K, log g = 4.3 ± 0.17 cm s −2 , and a mass of 15 ± 5 M Jup . We find a physical separation of ∼1662 au and a mass ratio of ∼0.01 for this system. Placing it in the context of the diverse collection of binary stars, brown dwarfs, and planetary companions, the BD+60 1417 system falls in a sparsely sampled area where the formation pathway is difficult to assess.« less