Astrophys. J., 891, 171-171 (2020/March-2)
COol Companions ON Ultrawide orbiTS (COCONUTS). I. A high-gravity T4 benchmark around an old white dwarf and a re-examination of the surface-gravity dependence of the L/T transition.
ZHANG Z., LIU M.C., HERMES J.J., MAGNIER E.A., MARLEY M.S., TREMBLAY P.-E., TUCKER M.A., DO A., PAYNE A.V. and SHAPPEE B.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the first discovery from the COol Companions ON Ultrawide orbiTS (COCONUTS) program, a large-scale survey for wide-orbit planetary and substellar companions. We have discovered a comoving system COCONUTS-1, composed of a hydrogen-dominated white dwarf (PSO J058.9855+45.4184; d = 31.5 pc) and a T4 companion (PSO J058.9869+45.4296) at a 40.''6 (1280 au) projected separation. We derive physical properties for COCONUTS-1B from (1) its near-infrared spectrum using cloudless Sonora atmospheric models, and (2) its luminosity and the white dwarf's age (7.3–1.6+2.8 Gyr) using Sonora evolutionary models. The two methods give consistent temperatures and radii, but atmospheric models infer a lower surface gravity and therefore an unphysically young age. Assuming evolutionary model parameters (Teff=1255–8+6 K, logg=5.44–0.03+0.02 dex, R=0.789–0.005+0.011RJup), we find that cloudless model atmospheres have brighter Y- and J-band fluxes than the data, suggesting that condensate clouds have not fully dispersed around 1300 K. The W2 flux (4.6 µm) of COCONUTS-1B is fainter than models, suggesting non-equilibrium mixing of CO. To investigate the gravity dependence of the L/T transition, we compile all 60 known L6-T6 benchmarks and derive a homogeneous set of temperatures, surface gravities, and masses. As is well known, young, low-gravity late-L dwarfs have significantly fainter, redder near-infrared photometry and ≃200-300 K cooler temperatures than old, high-gravity objects. Our sample now reveals such gravity dependence becomes weaker for T dwarfs, with young objects having comparable near-infrared photometry and ≃100 K cooler temperatures compared to old objects. Finally, we find that young objects have a larger amplitude J-band brightening than old objects, and also brighten at H band as they cross the L/T transition.
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White dwarf stars - Brown dwarfs - Substellar companion stars
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