A young very low-mass object surrounded by warm dust


L. Testi, A. Natta et al.


We present a complete low-resolution (R~100) near-infrared spectrum of the substellar object GY11, member of the rho-Ophiuchi young association. The object is remarkable because of its low estimated mass and age and because it is associated with a mid-infrared source, an indication of a surrounding dusty disk. Based on the comparison of our spectrum with similar spectra of field M-dwarfs and atmospheric models, we obtain revised estimates of the spectral type, effective temperature and luminosity of the central object. These parameters are used to place the object on a Hertzprung-Russell diagram and to compare with the prediction of pre-main sequence evolutionary models. Our analysis suggests that the central object has a very low mass, probably below the deuterium burning limit and in the range 8-12MJupiter, and a young age, less than 1Myr. The infrared excess is shown to be consistent with the emission of a flared, irradiated disk similar to those found in more massive brown dwarf and TTauri systems. This result suggests that substellar objects, even the so-called isolated planetary mass objects, found in young stellar associations are produced in a similar fashion as stars, by core contraction and gravitational collapse.

Mantained by: Leonardo Testi