New H2 collision-induced absorption and NH3 opacity and the spectra of the coolest brown dwarfs

Didier Saumon, Mark S. Marley, Martin Abel, Lothar Frommhold, Richard S. Freedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present new cloudy and cloudless model atmospheres for brown dwarfs using recent ab initio calculations of the line list of ammonia (NH3) and of the collision-induced absorption of molecular hydrogen (H2). We compare the new synthetic spectra with models based on an earlier description of the H2 and NH3 opacities. We find a significant improvement in fitting the nearly complete spectral energy distribution of the T7p dwarf Gliese 570D and in near-infrared color-magnitude diagrams of field brown dwarfs. We apply these new models to the identification of NH3 absorption in the H-band peak of very late T dwarfs and the new Y dwarfs and discuss the observed trend in the NH3-H spectral index. The new NH3 line list also allows a detailed study of the medium-resolution spectrum of the T9/T10 dwarf UGPS J072227.51-054031.2 where we identify several specific features caused by NH3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number74
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume750
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • brown dwarfs
  • opacity
  • stars: atmospheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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