The 5 ghz arecibo search for radio flares from ultracool dwarfs

Matthew Route, Alexander Wolszczan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We present the results of a 4.75 GHz survey of 33 brown dwarfs and one young exoplanetary system for flaring radio emission, conducted with the 305 m Arecibo radio telescope. The goal of this program was to detect and characterize the magnetic fields of objects cooler than spectral type L3.5, the coolest brown dwarf detected prior to our survey. We have also attempted to detect flaring radio emission from the HR 8799 planetary system, guided by theoretical work indicating that hot, massive exoplanets may have strong magnetic fields capable of generating radio emission at GHz frequencies. We have detected and confirmed radio flares from the T6.5 dwarf 2MASS J10475385+2124234. This detection dramatically extends the temperature range over which brown dwarfs appear to be at least sporadic radio-emitters, from 1900 K (L3.5) down to 900 K (T6.5). It also demonstrates that the utility of radio detection as a unique tool to study the magnetic fields of substellar objects extends to the coolest dwarfs, and, plausibly to hot, massive exoplanets. We have also identified a single, 3.6σ flare from the L1 dwarf, 2MASS J1439284+192915. This detection is tentative and requires confirmation by additional monitoring observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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