COol Companions ON Ultrawide orbiTS (COCONUTS). I. A high-gravity T4 benchmark around an Old White Dwarf and a re-examination of the surface-gravity dependence of the L/T transition
Liu, Michael C.
Magnier, Eugene A.
Marley, Mark S.
Tucker, Michael A.
Payne, Anna V.
Shappee, Benjamin J.
MetadataShow full item record
Citation (published version)Zhoujian Zhang, Michael C Liu, J.J. Hermes, Eugene A Magnier, Mark S Marley, Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay, Michael A Tucker, Aaron Do, Anna V Payne, Benjamin J Shappee. "COol Companions ON Ultrawide orbiTS (COCONUTS). I. A High-gravity T4 Benchmark around an Old White Dwarf and a Re-examination of the Surface-gravity Dependence of the L/T Transition." The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 891, Issue 2, pp. 171 - 171. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/ab765c
We present the first discovery from the COol Companions ON Ultrawide orbiTS (COCONUTS) program, a large-scale survey for wide-orbit planetary and substellar companions. We have discovered a comoving system COCONUTS-1, composed of a hydrogen-dominated white dwarf (PSO J058.9855+45.4184; d = 31.5 pc) and a T4 companion (PSO J058.9869+45.4296) at a 40farcs6 (1280 au) projected separation. We derive physical properties for COCONUTS-1B from (1) its near-infrared spectrum using cloudless Sonora atmospheric models, and (2) its luminosity and the white dwarf's age (7.3_-1.6^+2.8 Gyr) using Sonora evolutionary models. The two methods give consistent temperatures and radii, but atmospheric models infer a lower surface gravity and therefore an unphysically young age. Assuming evolutionary model parameters (T_eff=1255_-8^+6 K, log g=5.44_-0.03^+0.02 dex, R= 0.789_-0.005^+0.011 R_Jup), we find that cloudless model atmospheres have brighter Y- and J-band fluxes than the data, suggesting that condensate clouds have not fully dispersed around 1300 K. The W2 flux (4.6 μm) of COCONUTS-1B is fainter than models, suggesting non-equilibrium mixing of CO. To investigate the gravity dependence of the L/T transition, we compile all 60 known L6−T6 benchmarks and derive a homogeneous set of temperatures, surface gravities, and masses. As is well known, young, low-gravity late-L dwarfs have significantly fainter, redder near-infrared photometry and ≈200–300 K cooler temperatures than old, high-gravity objects. Our sample now reveals such gravity dependence becomes weaker for T dwarfs, with young objects having comparable near-infrared photometry and ≈100 K cooler temperatures compared to old objects. Finally, we find that young objects have a larger amplitude J-band brightening than old objects, and also brighten at H band as they cross the L/T transition.
Rights© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.