The 0.8 to 14.5 μm spectral energy distributions of mid-L to mid-T dwarfs

D. C. Stephens, S. K. Leggett, Mark S. Marley, D. Saumon, Michael C. Cushing, T. R. Geballe, D. A. Golimowski, Xiaohui Fan, K. S. Noll

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We fit theoretical model atmospheres to the spectral energy distribution of 21 L and T dwarfs recently observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope to identify and isolate four key physical parameters used in the model characterization of their atmospheres. The wide range of wavelengths observed (∼0.6 to 14.5 μm) lets us constrain almost independently the four model parameters used to describe these photospheres: effective temperature (T eff), grain sedimentation (f sed), vertical gas transport efficiency (K zz), and gravity. We find that the ratio of the mid-infrared to near-infrared flux is a good indicator of T eff, while the slope in the near-infrared is strongly dependent on f sed. The CH4 bands found at 2, 3 and 8 μm are sensitive to the timescale for vertical mixing, and gravity will influence the flux at 2 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-177
Number of pages6
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event15th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun - St. Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 21 2008Jul 25 2008


  • Brown dwarfs
  • Fundamental parameters
  • Low-mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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