Moderate-resolution K-band Spectroscopy of the Substellar Companion VHS 1256 b

Kielan K.W. Hoch, Quinn M. Konopacky, Travis S. Barman, Christopher A. Theissen, Laci Brock, Marshall D. Perrin, Jean Baptiste Ruffio, Bruce Macintosh, Christian Marois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present moderate-resolution (R ∼ 4000) K-band spectra of the planetary-mass companion VHS 1256 b. The data were taken with the OSIRIS integral field spectrograph at the W.M. Keck Observatory. The spectra reveal resolved molecular lines from H2O and CO. The spectra are compared to custom PHOENIX atmosphere model grids appropriate for young, substellar objects. We fit the data using a Markov chain Monte Carlo forward-modeling method. Using a combination of our moderate-resolution spectrum and low-resolution broadband data from the literature, we derive an effective temperature of 1240 K, with a range of 1200-1300 K, a surface gravity of log g = 3.25, with a range of 3.25-3.75, and a cloud parameter of log P cloud = 6 , with a range of 6.0-6.6. These values are consistent with previous studies, regardless of the new, larger system distance from GAIA EDR3 (21.15 ± 0.22 pc). We derive a C/O ratio of 0.590 − 0.354 + 0.280 for VHS 1256b. Both our OSIRIS data and spectra from the literature are best modeled when using a larger 3 μm grain size for the clouds than used for hotter objects, consistent with other sources in the L/T transition region. VHS 1256 b offers an opportunity to look for systematics in the modeling process that may lead to the incorrect derivation of properties like C/O ratio in the high contrast regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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