Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) Observations of M, L, and T Dwarfs

September 2004 • 2004ApJS..154..418R

Authors • Roellig, T. L. • Van Cleve, J. E. • Sloan, G. C. • Wilson, J. C. • Saumon, D. • Leggett, S. K. • Marley, M. S. • Cushing, M. C. • Kirkpatrick, J. D. • Mainzer, A. K. • Houck, J. R.

Abstract • We present the first mid-infrared spectra of brown dwarfs, together with observations of a low-mass star. Our targets are the M3.5 dwarf GJ 1001A, the L8 dwarf DENIS-P J0255-4700, and the T1/T6 binary system ɛ Indi Ba/Bb. As expected, the mid-infrared spectral morphology of these objects changes rapidly with spectral class because of the changes in atmospheric chemistry resulting from their differing effective temperatures and atmospheric structures. By taking advantage of the unprecedented sensitivity of the Infrared Spectrograph on the Spitzer Space Telescope, we have detected the 7.8 μm methane and 10 μm ammonia bands for the first time in brown dwarf spectra.

The IRS was a collaborative venture between Cornell University and Ball Aerospace Corporation funded by NASA through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Ames Research Center.


IPAC Authors


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist