Auroral radio emission from late L and T dwarfs: a new constraint on dynamo theory in the substellar regime.
KAO M.M., HALLINAN G., PINEDA J.S., ESCALA I., BURGASSER A., BOURKE S. and STEVENSON D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have observed six late L and T dwarfs with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to investigate the presence of highly circularly polarized radio emission, associated with large-scale auroral currents. Previous surveys encompassing ∼60 L6 or later targets have yielded only one detection. Our sample includes the previously detected T6.5 dwarf 2MASS 10475385+2124234, as well as five new targets selected for the presence of Hα emission and/or optical infrared photometric variability, which are possible manifestations of auroral activity. We detect 2MASS 10475385+2124234, as well as four of the five targets in our biased sample, including the strong IR-variable source SIMP J01365662+0933473 and bright Hα emitter 2MASS 12373919+6526148, reinforcing the possibility that activity at these disparate wavelengths is related. The radio emission frequency corresponds to a precise determination of the lower-bound magnetic field strength near the surface of each dwarf, and this new sample provides robust constraints on dynamo theory in the low-mass brown dwarf regime. Magnetic fields ≳ 2.5 kG are confirmed for five of six targets. Our results provide tentative evidence that the dynamo operating in this mass regime may be inconsistent with predicted values from a recently proposed model. Further observations at higher radio frequencies are essential for verifying this assertion.
brown dwarfs - planets and satellites: aurorae - planets and satellites: magnetic fields - radio continuum: stars - stars: individual: SIMP J01365662+0933473 - stars: magnetic field