An Improbable Solution to the Underluminosity of 2M1207B: A Hot Protoplanet Collision Afterglow

Eric E. Mamajek, Michael R. Meyer
2007 Astrophysical Journal  
We introduce an alternative hypothesis to explain the very low luminosity of the cool (L-type) companion to the ~25 M_Jup ~8 Myr-old brown dwarf 2M1207A. Recently, Mohanty et al. (2007) found that effective temperature estimates for 2M1207B (1600 +- 100 K) are grossly inconsistent with its lying on the same isochrone as the primary, being a factor of ~10 underluminous at all bands between I (0.8 um) and L' (3.6 um). Mohanty et al. explain this discrepency by suggesting that 2M1207B is an 8
more » ... object surrounded by an edge-on disk comprised of large dust grains producing 2.5^m of achromatic extinction. We offer an alternative explanation: the apparent flux reflects the actual source luminosity. Given the temperature, we infer a small radius (~49,000 km), and for a range of plausible densities, we estimate a mass < M_Jup. We suggest that 2M1207B is a hot protoplanet collision afterglow and show that the radiative timescale for such an object is >~1% the age of the system. If our hypothesis is correct, the surface gravity of 2M1207B should be an order of magnitude lower than predicted by Mohanty et al. (2007).
doi:10.1086/522957 fatcat:hykmxaahxje4tgvincekx7r46y