New Y and T Dwarfs from WISE Identified by Methane Imaging

June 2018 • 2018ApJS..236...28T

Authors • Tinney, C. G. • Kirkpatrick, J. Davy • Faherty, Jacqueline K. • Mace, Gregory N. • Cushing, Mike • Gelino, Christopher R. • Burgasser, Adam J. • Sheppard, Scott S. • Wright, Edward L.

Abstract • We identify new Y- and T-type brown dwarfs from the WISE All Sky data release using images obtained in filters that divide the traditional near-infrared H and J bands into two halves—specifically {CH}}4{{s}} and CH4l in the H and J2, and J3 in the J. This proves to be very effective at identifying cool brown dwarfs via the detection of their methane absorption, as well as providing preliminary classification using methane colors and WISE -to-near-infrared colors. New and updated calibrations between T/Y spectral types and {CH}}4{{s}}-CH4l J3-W2, and {CH}}4{{s}}-W2 colors are derived, producing classification estimates good to a few spectral sub-types. We present photometry for a large sample of T and Y dwarfs in these filters, together with spectroscopy for 23 new ultra-cool dwarfs—2 Y dwarfs and 21 T dwarfs. We identify a further 8 new cool brown dwarfs, which we have high confidence are T dwarfs based on their methane photometry. We find that, for objects observed on a 4 m class telescope at J-band magnitudes of ∼20 or brighter, {CH}}4{{s}}-CH4l is the more powerful color for detecting objects and then estimating spectral types. Due to the lower sky background in the J-band, the J3 and J2 bands are more useful for identifying fainter cool dwarfs at J ≳ 22. The J3-J2 color is poor at estimating spectral types. But fortunately, once J3-J2 confirms that an object is a cool dwarf, the J3-W2 color is very effective at estimating approximate spectral types.


IPAC Authors

Chris Gelino

Associate Scientist


Davy Kirkpatrick

Senior Scientist