[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present the discovery of 15 new T2.5–T7.5 dwarfs (with estimated distances ∼24–93 pc), identified in the first three main data releases of the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Infrared Deep Sky Survey. This brings the total number of T dwarfs discovered in the Large Area Survey (LAS) (to date) to 28. These discoveries are confirmed by near-infrared spectroscopy, from which we derive spectral types on the unified scheme of Burgasser et al. Seven of the new T dwarfs have spectral types of T2.5–T4.5, five have spectral types of T5–T5.5, one is a T6.5p and two are T7–7.5. We assess spectral morphology and colours to identify T dwarfs in our sample that may have non-typical physical properties (by comparison to solar neighbourhood populations), and find that three of these new T dwarfs may have unusual metallicity, two may have low surface gravity, and one may have high surface gravity. The colours of the full sample of LAS T dwarfs show a possible trend to bluer Y−J with decreasing effective temperature, and some interesting colour changes in J−H and z−J (deserving further investigation) beyond T8. The LAS T dwarf sample from the first and second main data releases show good evidence for a good level of completion to J= 19. By accounting for the main sources of incompleteness (selection, follow-up and spatial) as well as the effects of unresolved binarity, Malmquist and Eddington bias, we estimate that there are 17 ± 4 ≥ T 4 dwarfs in the J≤ 19 volume of the LAS second data release. This value is most consistent with theoretical predictions if the substellar mass function exponent α (dN/dm∝m−α) lies between −1.0 and 0. This is consistent with the latest 2-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)/Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) constraint (which is based on lower number statistics) and is significantly lower than the α∼ 1.0 suggested by L dwarf field populations, which is possibly a result of the lower mass range probed by the T dwarf class.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2008; 390(1):304 - 322. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present eight new T4.5–T7.5 dwarfs identified in the UKIRT (United Kingdom Infrared Telescope) Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey (LAS) Data Release 1 (DR1). In addition we have recovered the T4.5 dwarf SDSS J020742.91+000056.2 and the T8.5 dwarf ULAS J003402.77−005206.7. Photometric candidates were picked up in two-colour diagrams over 190 deg2 (DR1) and selected in at least two filters. All candidates exhibit near-infrared spectra with strong methane and water absorption bands characteristic of T dwarfs and the derived spectral types follow the unified scheme of Burgasser et al.. We have found six new T4.5–T5.5 dwarfs, one T7 dwarf, one T7.5 dwarf and recovered a T4.5 dwarf and a T8.5 dwarf. We provide distance estimates which lie in the 15–85 pc range; the T7.5 and T8.5 dwarfs are probably within 25 pc of the Sun. We conclude with a discussion of the number of T dwarfs expected after completion of the LAS, comparing these initial results to theoretical simulations.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2007; 379(4):1423 - 1430. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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$^2$ 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 $\it YJH(K)$ 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 CH$_4$ 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 CH$_4$ 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.