Distances, Luminosities, and Temperatures of the Coldest Known Substellar Objects

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  05 Sep 2013:

DOI: 10.1126/science.1241917

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


The coolest known brown dwarfs are our best analogs to extrasolar gas-giant planets. The prolific detections of such cold substellar objects in the past two years have spurred intensive followup, but the lack of accurate distances is a key gap in our understanding. We present a large sample of precise distances based on homogeneous mid-infrared astrometry that robustly establish absolute fluxes, luminosities, and temperatures. The coolest brown dwarfs has temperatures of 400 to 450 kelvin and masses ≈ 5 to 20× that of Jupiter, showing that they bridge the gap between hotter brown dwarfs and gas-giant planets. At these extremes, spectral energy distributions no longer follow a simple correspondence with temperature, suggesting an increasing role of other physical parameters such as surface gravity, vertical mixing, clouds, and metallicity.

View Full Text

Related Content