Four new T dwarfs identified in Pan-STARRS1 commissioning data

Niall R. Deacon, Michael C. Liu, Eugene A. Magnier, Brendan P. Bowler, Bertrand Goldman, Joshua A. Redstone, W. S. Burgett, K. C. Chambers, H. Flewelling, N. Kaiser, R. H. Lupton, J. S. Morgan, P. A. Price, W. E. Sweeney, J. L. Tonry, R. J. Wainscoat, C. Waters

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33 Scopus citations


A complete well-defined sample of ultracool dwarfs is one of the key science programs of the Pan-STARRS 1 optical survey telescope (PS1). Here we combine PS1 commissioning data with the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) to conduct a proper motion search (01-20yr-1) for nearby T dwarfs, using optical+near-IR colors to select objects for spectroscopic follow-up. The addition of sensitive far-red optical imaging from PS1 enables discovery of nearby ultracool dwarfs that cannot be identified from 2MASS data alone. We have searched 3700deg2 of PS1 y-band (0.95-1.03 μm) data to y 19.5mag (AB) and J 16.5mag (Vega) and discovered four previously unknown bright T dwarfs. Three of the objects (with spectral types T1.5, T2, and T3.5) have photometric distances within 25pc and were missed by previous 2MASS searches due to more restrictive color selection criteria. The fourth object (spectral type T4.5) is more distant than 25pc and is only a single-band detection in 2MASS. We also examine the potential for completing the census of nearby ultracool objects with the PS1 3π survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number77
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • brown dwarfs
  • stars: low-mass
  • surveys


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