A Cross-Match of 2MASS and SDSS: Newly Found L and T Dwarfs and an Estimate of the Space Density of T Dwarfs

April 2008 • 2008ApJ...676.1281M

Authors • Metchev, Stanimir A. • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy • Berriman, G. Bruce • Looper, Dagny

Abstract • We report new L and T dwarfs found in a cross-match of the SDSS Data Release 1 and 2MASS. Our simultaneous search of the two databases effectively allows us to relax the criteria for object detection in either survey and to explore the combined databases to a greater completeness level. We find two new T dwarfs in addition to the 13 already known in the SDSS DR1 footprint. We also identify 22 new candidate and bona fide L dwarfs, including a new young L2 dwarf and a peculiar potentially metal-poor L2 dwarf with unusually blue near-IR colors. These discoveries underscore the utility of simultaneous database cross-correlation in searching for rare objects. Our cross-match completes the census of T dwarfs within the joint SDSS and 2MASS flux limits to the ≈97% level. Hence, we are able to accurately infer the space density of T dwarfs. We employ Monte Carlo tools to simulate the observed population of SDSS DR1 T dwarfs with 2MASS counterparts and find that the space density of T0-T8 dwarf systems is 0.0070-0.0030+0.0032 pc-3 (95% confidence interval), i.e., about one per 140 pc3. Compared to predictions for the T dwarf space density that depend on various assumptions for the substellar mass function, this result is most consistent with models that assume a flat substellar mass function dN/dM propto M0.0. No >T8 dwarfs were discovered in the present cross-match, although less than one was expected in the limited area (2099 deg2) of SDSS DR1.


IPAC Authors


Bruce Berriman

Senior Scientist


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist