Confirming the least massive members of the Pleiades star cluster

Osorio, M. R. Z., Bejar, V. J. S., Lodieu, N., Manjavacas, E. 2018. Confirming the least massive members of the Pleiades star cluster. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 475, 1, 139-153 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx3154

We present optical photometry (i and Z band) and low-resolution spectroscopy (640-1015 nm) of very faint candidate members (J = 20.2-21.2 mag) of the Pleiades star cluster (120 Myr). The main goal is to address their cluster membership via photometric, astrometric, and spectroscopic studies, and to determine the properties of the least massive population of the cluster through the comparison of the data with younger and older spectral counterparts and state-of-the art model atmospheres. We confirm three bona fide Pleiades members that have extremely red optical and infrared colours, effective temperatures of approximate to 1150 and approximate to 1350 K, and masses in the interval 11-20 M-jup, and one additional likely member that shares the same motion as the cluster but does not appear to be as red as the other members with similar brightness. This latter object requires further near-infrared spectroscopy to fully address its membership in the Pleiades. The optical spectra of two bona fide members were classified as L6-L7 and show features of K i, a tentative detection of Cs i, hydrides, and water vapour with an intensity similar to high-gravity dwarfs of related classification despite their young age. The properties of the Pleiades L6-L7 members clearly indicate that very red colours of L dwarfs are not a direct evidence of ages younger than approximate to 100Myr. We also report on the determination of the bolometric corrections for the coolest Pleiades members. These data can be used to interpret the observations of the atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting stars.

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