Two T dwarfs from the UKIDSS early data release
SourceAstronomy and Astrophysics, 466, 3, (2007), pp. 1059-1064
Article / Letter to editor
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Astronomy and Astrophysics
Context: We report on the first ultracool dwarf discoveries from the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey Early Data Release (LAS EDR), in particular the discovery of T dwarfs which are fainter and more distant than those found using the 2MASS and SDSS surveys. Aims: We aim to show that our methodologies for searching the ~27 deg<SUP>2</SUP> of the LAS EDR are successful for finding both L and T dwarfs via cross-correlation with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR4 release. While the area searched so far is small, the numbers of objects found shows great promise for near-future releases of the LAS and great potential for finding large numbers of such dwarfs. Methods: Ultracool dwarfs are selected by combinations of their YJH(K) UKIDSS colours and SDSS DR4 z-J and i-z colours, or, lower limits on these red optical/infrared colours in the case of DR4 dropouts. After passing visual inspection tests, candidates have been followed up by methane imaging and spectroscopy at 4 m and 8 m-class facilities. Results: Our main result is the discovery following CH4 imaging and spectroscopy of a T4.5 dwarf, ULAS J 1452+0655, lying ~80 pc distant. A further T dwarf candidate, ULAS J 1301+0023, has very similar CH4 colours but has not yet been confirmed spectroscopically. We also report on the identification of a brighter L0 dwarf, and on the selection of a list of LAS objects designed to probe for T-like dwarfs to the survey J-band limit. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the combination of the UKIDSS LAS and SDSS surveys provide an excellent tool for identifying L and T dwarfs down to much fainter limits than previously possible. Our discovery of one confirmed and one probable T dwarf in the EDR is consistent with expectations from the previously measured T dwarf density on the sky.
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