Here is the color-color diagram used in this paper to identify new T dwarfs.The red triangles and blue squares show T dwarfs found in previous searches. Black circles are the T dwarfs first presented in this paper. Limits on each source are denoted by arrows or bars. The dotted line in the bottom right is the cut-off limit where sources might be extraglactic. The axes show the limits of W1-W2 and W2-W3 the authors required for the data.

Finding T Dwarfs with WISE

BY JOSH FUCHS JANUARY 24, 2013

Title: A Study of the Diverse T Dwarf Population Revealed by WISE
Authors: G.N Mace, J.D. Kirkpatrick, M.C. Cushing et al.
First Author’s Home Institution: UCLA

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is an infrared survey telescope that scanned the entire sky in six month periods. From December 2009 until February 2011, WISE imaged the sky in four infrared photometric bands. As an infrared mission, WISE was designed to see objects such as brown dwarfs, interstellar dust, or asteroids that are brightest in the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The WISE All-Sky Source Catalog contains all the observations WISE made over its mission. Astronomers are now combing through this catalog to find new and exciting things.

Brown dwarfs are stellar-like objects that do not have enough mass to begin fusing hydrogen, though some can fuse deuterium. Their masses range from about 13 Jupiter masses up to about 80 Jupiter masses, or 0.013 M? to 0.08 M?. Since they were first detected in 1988, the OBAFGKM classification (developed in the early 1900’s) does not include brown dwarfs. Thus, the lesser known L, T, and Y classifications to designate brown dwarfs have since been added, in order of decreasing effective temperature. Before WISE, only about 70 T dwarfs were known. This paper presents the discovery of 87 new T dwarfs found in WISE data.

Read more: Finding T Dwarfs with WISE | astrobites.

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