On the circum(sub)stellar environment of brown dwarfs in Taurus

April 2007 • 2007A&A...465..855G

Authors • Guieu, S. • Pinte, C. • Monin, J. -L. • Ménard, F. • Fukagawa, M. • Padgett, D. L. • Noriega-Crespo, A. • Carey, S. J. • Rebull, L. M. • Huard, T. • Guedel, M.

Abstract • Aims:We want to investigate whether brown dwarfs (BDs) form like stars or are ejected embryos. We study the presence of disks around BDs in the Taurus cloud, and discuss implications for substellar formation models.
Methods: We use photometric measurements from the visible to the far infrared to determine the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of Taurus BDs.
Results: We use Spitzer color indices, Hα as an accretion indicator, and models fit to the SEDs in order to estimate physical parameters of the disks around these BDs. We study the spatial distribution of BDs with and without disks across the Taurus aggregates, and we find that BDs with and without disks are not distributed regularly across the Taurus cloud.
Conclusions: .We find that 48%±14% of Taurus BDs have a circumstellar disk signature, a ratio similar to recent results from previous authors in other regions. We fit the SEDs and find that none of the disks around BDs in Taurus can be fitted convincingly with a flaring index β = 0, indicating that heating by the central object is efficient and that the disks we observe retain a significant amount of gas. We find that BDs with disks are proportionally more numerous in the northern Taurus filament, possibly the youngest filament. We do not find such a clear segregation for classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) and weak-lined T Tauri stars (WTTS), suggesting that, in addition to the effects of evolution, any segregation effects could be related to the mass of the object. A by-product of our study is to propose a recalibration of the Barrado y Navascués & Martín (2003) accretion limit in the substellar domain. The global shape of the limit fits our data points if it is raised by a factor 1.25-1.30.

Based on observations made at ESO, CFHT, 2MASS, & Spitzer.


IPAC Authors

Sean Carey

Senior Scientist


Luisa Rebull

Senior Research Scientist