Rotation periods and photometric variability of rapidly rotating ultra-cool dwarfs

25 Aug 2017  ·  Miles-Páez P. A., Pallé E., Osorio M. R. Zapatero ·

We used the optical and near-infrared imagers located on the Liverpool, the IAC80, and the William Herschel telescopes to monitor 18 M7$-$L9.5 dwarfs with the objective of measuring their rotation periods. We achieved accuracies typically in the range $\pm$1.5$-$28 mmag by means of differential photometry, which allowed us to detect photometric variability at the 2$\sigma$ level in the 50\% of the sample... We also detected periodic modulation with periods in the interval 1.5$-$4.4 h in 9 out of 18 dwarfs that we attribute to rotation. Our variability detections were combined with data from the literature; we found that 65$\,\pm\,$18 $\%$ of M7$-$L3.5 dwarfs with $v\,$sin$\,i\ge30$ km s$^{-1}$ exhibit photometric variability with typical amplitudes $\le$20 mmag in the $I$-band. For those targets and field ultra-cool dwarfs with measurements of $v\,$sin$\,i$ and rotation period we derived the expected inclination angle of their rotation axis, and found that those with $v\,$sin$\,i\ge30$ km s$^{-1}$ are more likely to have inclinations $\gtrsim40$ deg. In addition, we used these rotation periods and others from the literature to study the likely relationship between rotation and linear polarization in dusty ultra-cool dwarfs. We found a correlation between short rotation periods and large values of linear polarization at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics