Aims: Our objective is the optical and near-infrared spectroscopic characterisation of 2MASS J0249-0557 c, a recently discovered young planetary mass companion to the β Pictoris (~25 Myr) member 2MASS J0249-0557.
Methods: Using the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy Hemisphere Survey and the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) data, we independently identified the companion 2MASS J0249-0557 c. We also obtained low-resolution optical spectroscopy of this object using the Optical System for Imaging and low-intermediate-Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy spectrograph at the Gran Telescopio Canarias, and near-infrared spectroscopy using the Son of Isaac spectrograph on the New Technology Telescope.
Results: We classified 2MASS J0249-0557 c with a spectral type of L2.5 ± 0.5 in the optical and L3 ± 1 in the near-infrared. We identified several spectroscopic indicators of youth both in the optical and in the near-infrared that are compatible with the age of the β Pictoris moving group: strong absorption due to oxides, weak alkaline atomic lines, and a triangular shape of the H-band pseudo-continuum. We also detect a strong Hα emission, with a pseudo-equivalent width (pEW) of -90-40+20 Å, which seems persistent at timescales from several days to a few years. This indicates strong chromospheric activity or disk accretion. Although many M-type brown dwarfs have strong Hα emission, this target is one of the very few L-type planetary mass objects in which this strong Hα emission has been detected. Lithium absorption at 6708 Å is observed with pEW ≲5 Å. We also computed the binding energy of 2MASS J0249-0557 c and obtained an (absolute) upper limit of U = (-8.8 ± 4.4) × 1032 J.
Conclusions: Similarly to other young brown dwarfs and isolated planetary mass objects, strong Hα emission due to accretion or chromospheric activity is also present in young planetary mass companions at ages of some dozen million years. We also found that 2MASS J0249-0557 c is one of the wide substellar companions with the lowest binding energy known to date.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- January 2021
- brown dwarfs;
- planetary systems;
- binaries: visual;
- open clusters and associations: individual: β Pictoris;
- stars: pre-main sequence;
- proper motions;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 10 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in A&