Astrophys. J., 556, 357-372 (2001/July-3)
The limiting effects of dust in brown dwarf model atmospheres.
ALLARD F., HAUSCHILDT P.H., ALEXANDER D.R., TAMANAI A. and SCHWEITZER A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present opacity sampling model atmospheres, synthetic spectra, and colors for brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the following two limiting cases of dust grain formation: (1) Inefficient gravitational settling (i.e., the dust is distributed according to the chemical equilibrium predictions) and (2) efficient gravitational settling (i.e., the dust forms and depletes refractory elements from the gas, but their opacity does not affect the thermal structure). The models include the formation of over 600 gas-phase species and 1000 liquids and crystals and the opacities of 30 different types of grains including corundum (Al2O3), the magnesium aluminum spinel MgAl2O4, iron, enstatite (MgSiO3), forsterite (Mg2SiO4), amorphous carbon, SiC, and a number of calcium silicates. The models extend from the beginning of the grain formation regime well into the condensation regime of water ice (Teff=3000-100 K) and encompass the range of logg=2.5-6.0 at solar metallicity. We find that silicate dust grains can form abundantly in the outer atmospheric layers of red and brown dwarfs with a spectral type later than M8. The greenhouse effects of dust opacities provide a natural explanation for the peculiarly red spectroscopic distribution of the latest M dwarfs and young brown dwarfs. The grainless (cond) models, on the other hand, correspond closely to methane brown dwarfs such as Gliese 229B. We also discover that the λλ5891, 5897 Na I D and λλ7687, 7701 K I resonance doublets play a critical role in T dwarfs, in which their red wings define the pseudocontinuum from the I to the Z bandpass.
Stars: Atmospheres - Stars: Fundamental Parameters - Stars: Low-Mass, Brown Dwarfs
BRI 0021 = BRI 0021-0214 ?, SDSS 1624 = SDSS J162414.37+002915.6
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