Mid-infrared selection of brown dwarfs and high-redshift quasars

Daniel Stern, J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Lori E. Allen, Chao Bian, Andrew Blain, Kate Brand, Mark Brodwin, Michael J.I. Brown, Richard Cool, Vandana Desai, Arjun Dey, Peter Eisenhardt, Anthony Gonzalez, Buell T. Jannuzi, Karin Menendez-Delmestre, Howard A. Smith, B. T. Soifer, Glenn P. Tiede, E. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We discuss color selection of rare objects in a wide-field multiband survey spanning from the optical to the midinfrared. Simple color criteria simultaneously identify and distinguish two of the most sought after astrophysical sources: the coolest brown dwarfs and the most distant quasars. We present spectroscopically confirmed examples of each class identified in the IRAC Shallow Survey of the Boötes field of the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey. IRAC J142950.8+333011 is aT4.5 brown dwarf at a distance of approximately 30-40 pc, and IRAC J142738.5+331242 is a radio-loud quasar at redshift z = 6.12. Our selection criteria identify a total of four candidates over 8 deg2 of the Boötes field. The other two candidates are both confirmed 5.5 < z < 6 quasars, previously reported by Cool et al. (2006). We discuss the implications of these discoveries and conclude that there are excellent prospects for extending such searches to cooler brown dwarfs and higher redshift quasars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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