EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 493, Number 2, January II 2009
Page(s) L27 - L30
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200811281
Published online 04 December 2008

A&A 493, L27-L30 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200811281


Trigonometric parallaxes of ten ultracool subdwarfs

E. Schilbach1, S. Röser1, and R.-D. Scholz2

1  Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstraße 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: [elena;roeser]@ari.uni-heidelberg.de
2  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: rdscholz@aip.de

Received 3 November 2008 / Accepted 25 November 2008

Aims. We measure absolute trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions with respect to many background galaxies for a sample of ten ultracool subdwarfs.
Methods. Observations were taken in the H-band with the OMEGA2000 camera on the 3.5 m-telescope at Calar Alto, Spain during a time period of 3.5 years. For the first time, the reduction of the astrometric measurements was carried out directly with respect to background galaxies. We obtained absolute parallaxes with mean errors ranging between 1 and 3 mas.
Results. With six completely new parallaxes we more than doubled the number of benchmark ultracool (>sdM7) subdwarfs. Six stars in the $M_{K_{\rm s}}$ vs. $J-K_{\rm s}$ diagram fit perfectly to model subdwarf sequences from M7 to L4 with [M/H] between -1.0 and -1.5, whereas 4 are consistent with a moderately low metallicity ( [M/H]=-0.5) from M7 to T6. All but one of our objects have large tangential velocities between 200 and 320 km s-1 typical of the Galactic halo population.
Our results are in good agreement with recent independent measurements for three of our targets and confirm the previously measured parallax and absolute magnitude $M_{K_{\rm s}}$ of the nearest and coolest (T-type) subdwarf 2MASS 0937+29 with higher accuracy.
For all targets, we also obtained infrared $J,H,K_{\rm s}$ photometry at a level of a few milli-magnitudes relative to 2MASS standards.

Key words: astrometry -- stars: distances -- stars: kinematics -- stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs -- subdwarfs -- solar neighborhood

© ESO 2009