Volume 512, March-April 2010
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||25 March 2010|
On the kinematic age of brown dwarfs: radial velocities and space motions of 43 nearby L dwarfs*
Universität Göttingen, Institut für Astrophysik, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 Physics Department, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Astronomy Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Accepted: 23 November 2009
We present radial velocity measurements of a sample of L0–L8 dwarfs observed with VLT/UVES and Keck/HIRES. We combine these measurements with distance and proper motion from the literature to determine space motions for 43 of our targets. We identify nine candidate members of young moving groups, which have ages of 50–600 Myr according to their space motion. From the total velocity dispersion of the 43 L dwarfs, we calculate a kinematic age of ~5 Gyr for our sample. This age is significantly higher than the ~3 Gyr age known for late M dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood. We find that the distributions of the U and V velocity components of our sample are clearly non-Gaussian, placing the age estimate inferred from the full space motion vector into question. The W-component exhibits a distribution more consistent with a normal distribution, and from W alone we derive an age of ~3 Gyr, which is the same age found for late-M dwarf samples. Our brightness-limited sample is probably contaminated by a number of outliers that predominantly bias the U and V velocity components. The origin of the outliers remain unclear, but we suggest that these brown dwarfs may have gained their high velocities by means of ejection from multiple systems during their formation.
Key words: stars: low-mass / brown dwarfs / stars: kinematics and dynamics / techniques: radial velocities
Table 2 is also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/512/A37
© ESO, 2010
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