Short-term spectroscopic monitoring of two cool dwarfs with strong magnetic fields
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Context: There is now growing evidence that some brown dwarfs (BDs) have very strong magnetic fields, and yet their surface temperatures are so low that the coupling is expected to be small between the matter and the magnetic field in the atmosphere. In the deeper layers, however, the coupling is expected to be much stronger. Aims: This raises the question of whether the magnetic field still leads to the formation of structures in the photosphere. Methods: We carried out a spectroscopic
... ng campaign of two ultracool dwarfs that have strong magnetic fields: the BD LP944-20 and 2MASSW J0036159+182110. LP944-20 was observed simultaneously in the optical and in the near infrared regime, 2MASSW J0036159+182110 only in the infrared. Results: Both dwarfs turned out to be remarkably constant. In the case of LP944-20, the Teff-variations are <50K, and the rms-variations in the equivalent widths of Halpha small. We also find that the equivalent widths of photospheric lines are remarkably constant. We did not find any significant variations in the case of 2MASSW J0036159+182110 either. Thus the most important result is that no significant variability was found at the time of our observations. When comparing our spectra with spectra taken over the past 11 years, we recognize significant changes during this time. Conclusions: We interpret these results as evidence that the photosphere of these objects are remarkably homogeneous, with only little structure in them, and despite the strong magnetic fields. Thus, unlike active stars, there are no prominent spots on these objects.