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Cloud Atlas: Hubble Space Telescope Near-infrared Spectral Library of Brown Dwarfs, Planetary-mass Companions, and Hot Jupiters

Manjavacas, Elena and Apai, Dániel and Zhou, Yifan and Lew, Ben W. P. and Schneider, Glenn and Metchev, Stan and Miles-Páez, Paulo A. and Radigan, Jacqueline and Marley, Mark S. and Cowan, Nicolas and Karalidi, Theodora and Burgasser, Adam J. and Bedin, Luigi R. and Lowrance, Patrick J. and Kauffmann, Parker (2019) Cloud Atlas: Hubble Space Telescope Near-infrared Spectral Library of Brown Dwarfs, Planetary-mass Companions, and Hot Jupiters. Astronomical Journal, 157 (3). Art. No. 101. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aaf88f.

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Bayesian atmospheric retrieval tools can place constraints on the properties of brown dwarfs' and hot Jupiters' atmospheres. To fully exploit these methods, high signal-to-noise spectral libraries with well-understood uncertainties are essential. We present a high signal-to-noise spectral library (1.10–1.69 μm) of the thermal emission of 76 brown dwarfs and hot Jupiters. All our spectra have been acquired with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 instrument and its G141 grism. The near-infrared spectral types of these objects range from L4 to Y1. Eight of our targets have estimated masses below the deuterium-burning limit. We analyze the database to identify peculiar objects and/or multiple systems, concluding that this sample includes two very-low-surface-gravity objects and five intermediate-surface-gravity objects. In addition, spectral indices designed to search for composite-atmosphere brown dwarfs indicate that eight objects in our sample are strong candidates to have such atmospheres. None of these objects are overluminous, so their composite atmospheres are unlikely to be companion-induced artifacts. Five of the eight confirmed candidates have been reported as photometrically variable, suggesting that composite atmospheric indices are useful in identifying brown dwarfs with strongly heterogeneous cloud covers. We compare hot Jupiters and brown dwarfs in a near-infrared color–magnitude diagram. We confirm that the coldest hot Jupiters in our sample have spectra similar to mid-L dwarfs, and the hottest hot Jupiters have spectra similar to those of M-dwarfs. Our sample provides a uniform data set of a broad range of ultracool atmospheres, allowing large-scale comparative studies and providing an HST legacy spectral library.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper files ItemCloud Atlas program
Manjavacas, Elena0000-0003-0192-6887
Apai, Dániel0000-0003-3714-5855
Zhou, Yifan0000-0003-2969-6040
Lew, Ben W. P.0000-0003-1487-6452
Schneider, Glenn0000-0002-4511-5966
Metchev, Stan0000-0003-3050-8203
Miles-Páez, Paulo A.0000-0003-2446-8882
Radigan, Jacqueline0000-0002-6732-3651
Marley, Mark S.0000-0002-5251-2943
Cowan, Nicolas0000-0001-6129-5699
Karalidi, Theodora0000-0001-7356-6652
Burgasser, Adam J.0000-0002-6523-9536
Bedin, Luigi R.0000-0003-4080-6466
Lowrance, Patrick J.0000-0001-8014-0270
Additional Information:© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 July 17; revised 2018 November 29; accepted 2018 December 7; published 2019 February 6. The HST/WFC3 near-infrared spectra presented in this work are available in machine-readable table files in a .tar.gz package. The spectra include wavelength, flux, and uncertainty in flux. The spectral library is also available at the High-level Science Products website at the MAST archive under the Cloud Atlas program's page 10.17909/t9-asft-6k38. We thank our anonymous referee for useful comments that helped to improve our paper. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, under GO-13241, GO-14241, GO-12550, GO-13176, GO-12550, GO-13299, GO-13280, GO-13281, GO-12314, GO-14051, GO-12217, GO-13178, GO-12970, GO-12230, GO-13467, GO-12495, GO-14050, GO-13467, GO-12181, GO-13308, and GO-14767. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. This work makes use of the SpeX Prism Spectral Library. This work has also made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC, Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular, the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. We have made use of the Matplotlib Python library (Hunter 2007).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:brown dwarfs; stars: atmospheres
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190206-154722992
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Elena Manjavacas et al 2019 AJ 157 101
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92747
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:07 Feb 2019 15:35
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:53

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