Volume 660, April 2022
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||13 April 2022|
Radio emission in a nearby, ultra-cool dwarf binary: A multifrequency study
Departament d’Astronomia i Astrofísica, Universitat de València, C. Dr. Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, València, Spain
2 Universidad Internacional de Valencia (VIU), C/ Pintor Sorolla 21, 46002 Valencia, Spain
3 Observatori Astronòmic, Universitat de València, Parc Científic, C. Catedrático José Beltrán 2, 46980 Paterna, València, Spain
4 Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Carretera de Ajalvir km 4, 28850 Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain
5 Main Astronomical Observatory, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv 03680, Ukraine
6 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, 18008 Granada, Spain
7 Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield AL10 9AB, UK
8 Janusz Gil Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, Lubuska 2, 65-265 Zielona Góra, Poland
9 Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, 38205 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
10 Universidad de La Laguna, Departamento de Astrofísica, La Laguna, Tenerife 38206, Spain
11 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC, Seville, Spain
12 Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM), 38406 Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France
Accepted: 23 January 2022
Context. The substellar triple system VHS J125601.92−125723.9 (hereafter VHS 1256−1257) is composed of an equal-mass M7.5 brown dwarf binary and an L7 low-mass substellar object. In Guirado et al. (2018, A&A, 610, A23) we published the detection of radio emission at 8.4 GHz coming from the central binary and making it an excellent target for further observations.
Aims. We aim to identify the origin of the radio emission occurring in the central binary of VHS 1256−1257 while discussing the expected mechanisms involved in the radio emission of ultra-cool dwarfs.
Methods. We observed this system with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, the European very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) Network, the enhanced Multi-Element Remotely Linked Interferometer Network, the NOrthern Extended Millimeter Array, and the Atacama Large Millimetre Array at frequencies ranging from 5 GHz up to 345 GHz in several epochs during 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Results. We found radio emission at 6 GHz and 33 GHz coincident with the expected position of the central binary of VHS 1256−1257. The Stokes I density fluxes detected were 73 ± 4 μJy and 83 ± 13 μJy, respectively, with no detectable circular polarisation or pulses. No emission is detected at higher frequencies (230 GHz and 345 GHz), nor at 5 GHz with VLBI arrays. The emission appears to be stable over almost three years at 6 GHz. To explain the constraints obtained both from the detections and non-detections, we considered multiple scenarios including thermal and nonthermal emission, and different contributions from each component of the binary.
Conclusions. Our results can be well explained by nonthermal gyrosynchrotron emission originating at radiation belts with a low plasma density (ne = 300−700 cm−3), a moderate magnetic field strength (B ≈ 140 G), and an energy distribution of electrons following a power-law (dN/dE ∝ E−δ) with δ fixed at 1.36. These radiation belts would need to be present in both components and also be viewed equatorially.
Key words: brown dwarfs / radio continuum: stars / submillimeter: stars / radiation mechanisms: general / magnetic fields / techniques: interferometric
© ESO 2022
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