SDSS J141624.08+134826.7: Blue L dwarfs and non-equilibrium chemistry

Michael C. Cushing, D. Saumon, Mark S. Marley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of the recently discovered blue L dwarf SDSS J141624.08+134826.7. We extend the spectral coverage of its published spectrum to ∼4 μm by obtaining a low-resolution L-band spectrum with SpeX on the NASA IRTF. The spectrum exhibits a tentative weak CH4 absorption feature at 3.3 μm but is otherwise featureless. We derive the atmospheric parameters of SDSS J141624.08+134826.7 by comparing its 0.7-4.0 μm spectrum to the atmospheric models of Marley and Saumon which include the effects of both condensate cloud formation and nonequilibrium chemistry due to vertical mixing and find the best-fitting model has Teff= 1700 K, log g= 5.5 (cm s-2), fsed= 4, and Kzz= 104 cm 2 s-1. The derived effective temperature is significantly cooler than previously estimated but we confirm the suggestion by Bowler et al. that the peculiar spectrum of SDSS J141624.08+134826.7 is primarily a result of thin condensate clouds. In addition, we find strong evidence of vertical mixing in the atmosphere of SDSS J141624.08+134826.7 based on the absence of the deep 3.3 μm CH4 absorption band predicted by models computed in chemical equilibrium. Finally, this result suggests that observations of blue L dwarfs are an appealing way to quantitatively estimate the vigor of mixing in the atmospheres of L dwarfs because of the dramatic impact such mixing has on the strength of the 3.3 μm CH4 band in the emergent spectra of L dwarfs with thin condensate clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1428-1432
Number of pages5
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 14 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Brown dwarfs - Infrared
  • Individual (SDSS J141624.08+134826.7) - Stars
  • Low-mass subdwarfs
  • Stars - Stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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