Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 508, Issue 2, 2009, pp.859-867
Barrado, D.; Morales-Calderón, M.; Palau, A.; Bayo, A.; de Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Eiroa, C.; Huélamo, N.; Bouy, H.; Morata, O.; Schmidtobreick, L.
Aims. We search for brown dwarfs at the Class 0/I evolutionary stage, or proto brown dwarfs. Methods: We present a multi wavelength study, ranging from optical at 0.8 μm to radio wavelengths at 6 cm, of a cool, very faint, and red multiple object, SSTB213 J041757, detected by Spitzer toward the Barnard 213 dark cloud, in Taurus. Results: The SED of SSTB213 J041757 displays a clear excess at long wavelengths resembling that of a Class I object. The mid-IR source has two possible counterparts, A and B, in the near-IR and optical images, and the 350 μm observations detect clear extended emission, presumably from an envelope around the two sources. The position of A & B in the (Ic-J) versus (J-[3.6]) colour-colour diagram is consistent with them being Galactic sources and not extragalactic contaminants. A proper-motion study confirms this result for A, while it is inconclusive for B. The temperature and mass of the two possible central objects, according to COND evolutionary models, range between 1550-1750 K and 3-4 MJupiter, and 950-1300 K and 1-2 MJupiter, for A and B, respectively. The integrated SED provides bolometric temperatures and luminosities of 280 K and 0.0034 L_⊙, assuming that the emission at wavelengths >5 μm is associated with component A, and 150 K and 0.0033 L_⊙, assuming that the emission at wavelengths >5 μm is associated with component B, which would imply the SSTB213 J041757 object has a luminosity well below the luminosity of other very low luminosity objects discovered up to date. Conclusions: With these characteristics, SSTB213 J041757 seems to be a promising, and perhaps double, proto brown dwarf candidate.