Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

The Astrophysical Journal


We report the discovery of four field methane ("T"-type) brown dwarfs using Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) data. One additional methane dwarf, previously discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, was also identified. Near-infrared spectra clearly show the 1.6 and 2.2 m CH4 absorption bands characteristic of objects with Teff 1300 K as well as broadened H2O bands at 1.4 and 1.9 m. Comparing the spectra of these objects with that of Gl 229B, we propose that all new 2MASS T dwarfs are warmer than 950 K, in order from warmest to coolest: 2MASS J1217-03, 2MASS J1225-27, 2MASS J1047+21, and 2MASS J1237+65. Based on this preliminary sample, we find a warm T dwarf surface density of 0.0022 T dwarfs deg-2, or 90 warm T dwarfs over the whole sky detectable to J < 16. The resulting space density upper limit, 0.01 T dwarfs pc-3, is comparable to that of the first L dwarf sample from Kirkpatrick et al.


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