Title

PERIODIC RADIO AND H alpha EMISSION FROM THE L DWARF BINARY 2MASSW J0746425+200032: EXPLORING THE MAGNETIC FIELD TOPOLOGY AND RADIUS OF AN L DWARF

Authors

Authors

E. Berger; R. E. Rutledge; N. Phan-Bao; G. Basri; M. S. Giampapa; J. E. Gizis; J. Liebert; E. Martin;T. A. Fleming

Comments

Authors: contact us about adding a copy of your work at STARS@ucf.edu

Abbreviated Journal Title

Astrophys. J.

Keywords

radio continuum: stars; stars: activity; stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs; stars: magnetic fields; LOW-MASS STARS; SIMULTANEOUS MULTIWAVELENGTH OBSERVATIONS; ELECTRON-CYCLOTRON MASER; ULTRACOOL DWARFS; BROWN DWARFS; X-RAY; TVLM-513-46546; ROTATION; ASTROMETRY; DISCOVERY; Astronomy & Astrophysics

Abstract

We present an 8.5 hr simultaneous radio, X-ray, UV, and optical observation of the L dwarf binary 2MASSW J0746425+200032. We detect strong radio emission, dominated by short-duration periodic pulses at 4.86 GHz with P = 124.32 +/- 0.11 min. The stability of the pulse profiles and arrival times demonstrates that they are due to the rotational modulation of a B approximate to 1.7 kG magnetic field. A quiescent nonvariable component is also detected, likely due to emission from a uniform large-scale field. The Ha emission exhibits identical periodicity, but unlike the radio pulses it varies sinusoidally and is offset by exactly 1/4 of a phase. The sinusoidal variations require chromospheric emission from a large-scale field structure, with the radio pulses likely emanating from the magnetic poles. While both light curves can be explained by a rotating misaligned magnetic field, the 1/4 phase lag rules out a symmetric dipole topology since it would result in a phase lag of 1/2 (poloidal field) or zero (toroidal field). We therefore conclude that either (1) the field is dominated by a quadrupole configuration, which can naturally explain the 1/4 phase lag; or (2) the H alpha and/or radio emission regions are not trivially aligned with the field. Regardless of the field topology, we use the measured period along with the known rotation velocity (upsilon sin i approximate to 27 km s(-1)), and the binary orbital inclination (i approximate to 142 degrees), to derive a radius for the primary star of 0.078 +/- 0.010 R(circle dot). This is the first measurement of the radius of an L dwarf, and along with a mass of 0.085 +/- 0.010 M(circle dot) it provides a constraint on the mass-radius relation below 0.1 M(circle dot). We find that the radius is about 30% smaller than expected from theoretical models, even for an age of a few Gyr. The origin of this discrepancy is either a breakdown of the models at the bottom of the main sequence, or a significant misalignment between the rotational and orbital axes.

Journal Title

Astrophysical Journal

Volume

695

Issue/Number

1

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Document Type

Article

Language

English

First Page

310

Last Page

316

WOS Identifier

WOS:000264779500026

ISSN

0004-637X

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