NIRSPEC brown dwarf spectroscopic survey

Mavourneen K. Wilcox, Ian S. McLean, Eric E. Becklin, Donald F. Figer, Andrea M. Gilbert, James R. Graham, James E. Larkin, N. A. Levenson, Harry I. Teplitz, J. D. Kirkpatrick, Adam J. Burgasser, Jacqueline Bergeron
2000 Discoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes  
We present the first results of a near-infrared (0.96 -2.31 µm) spectroscopic survey of M, L, and T dwarfs obtained with NIRSPEC on the Keck II telescope. Our new survey has a resolving power of R = λ/∆λ ∼ 2000 and is comprised of two major data sets: 53 J-band (1.14 -1.36 µm) spectra covering all spectral types from M6 to T8 with at least two members in each spectral subclass (wherever possible), and 25 flux-calibrated spectra from 1.14 to 2.31 µm for most spectral classes between M6 and T8.
more » ... xteen of these 25 objects have additional spectral coverage from 0.96-1.14 µm to provide overlap with optical spectra. Spectral flux ratio indexes for prominent molecular bands are derived and equivalent widths (EWs) for several atomic lines are measured. We find that a combination of four H 2 O and two CH 4 band strengths can be used for spectral classification of all these sources in the near-infrared, and that the H 2 O indexes are almost linear with spectral type from M6 to T8. The H 2 O indexes near 1.79 µm and 1.96 µm should remain useful beyond T8. In the near-infrared a notable feature at the boundary between the M and L types is the disappearance of relatively weak (EW ∼1-2Å) atomic lines of Al I and Ca I, followed by Fe I around L2. At the boundary between L and T dwarfs it is the appearance of CH 4 in all near-infrared bands (J, H and K) that provides a significant spectral change, although we find evidence of CH 4 as early as L7 in the K-band. The FeH strength and the equivalent width of the K I lines are not monotonic, but in combination with other factors provide useful constraints on spectral type. The K I lines are sensitive to surface gravity. The CO band strength near 2.30 µm is relatively insensitive to spectral class. The peak calibrated flux (F λ ) in the 0.96 -2.31 µm region occurs near 1.10 µm at M6 but shifts to about 1.27 µm at T8. In addition, the relative peak flux in the J, H and K bands is always in the sense J > H > K except around L6, where the differences are small. One object, 2MASS2244+20 (L6.5) shows normal spectral behavior in the optical, but has an infrared spectrum in which the peak flux in J band is less than at H and K.
doi:10.1117/12.390148 fatcat:2lns2pnkhfgmjmeg4wbreqqjje