Spitzer identification of the least massive known brown dwarf with a circumstellar disk

K. L. Luhman, Paola D'Alessio, Nuria Calvet, Lori E. Allen, Lee Hartmann, S. T. Megeath, P. C. Myers, G. G. Fazio

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42 Scopus citations


Using the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, we have obtained mid-infrared photometry of the least massive known brown dwarf in the Chamaeleon I star-forming region. For this young brown dwarf, OTS 44, we have constructed a spectral energy distribution (SED) from 0.8 to 8 μm by combining the measurements at 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 μm from IRAC with ground-based photometry at I, J, H, and K. The resulting SED for OTS 44 exhibits significant excess emission longward of 3 μm relative to the SED expected from the photosphere of the brown dwarf. We have successfully modeled the source of this excess emission in terms of an irradiated viscous accretion disk with M ≲ 10-10 M⊙ yr-1. With a spectral type of M9.5 and a mass of ∼15MJup, OTS 44 is now the coolest and least massive brown dwarf observed to have a circumstellar disk. These measurements demonstrate that disks exist around brown dwarfs even down to the deuterium-burning mass limit and the approximate upper mass limit of extrasolar planetary companions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L51-L54
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
StatePublished - Feb 10 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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