Reconnaissance ultracool spectra in the Euclid Deep Fields

Zhang, J. -Y.; Lodieu, N.; Martín, E. L.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Context. The Euclid spacecraft has been launched and will carry out a deep survey benefiting the discovery and characterisation of ultracool dwarfs (UCDs), especially in the Euclid Deep Fields (EDFs), which the telescope will scan repeatedly throughout its mission. The photometric and spectroscopic standards in the EDFs are important benchmarks, crucial for the classification and characterisation of new UCD discoveries and for the calibration of the mission itself.
Aims: We aim to provide a list of photometric UCD candidates and collect near-infrared reconnaissance spectra for M, L, and T-type UCDs in the EDFs as future Euclid UCD references.
Methods: In EDF North, we cross-matched public optical and infrared surveys with certain photometric criteria to select UCDs. In EDF Fornax and EDF South, we used photometrically classified samples from the literature. We also include UCDs identified by Gaia DR2. We selected seven UCD targets with different spectral types from the lists and obtained low-resolution 0.9-2.5 μm spectra of them using GTC/EMIR and the VLT/X-shooter. We also selected a young, bright L dwarf near EDF Fornax to test the coherence of these two facilities. We included one extra T dwarf in EDF North with its published J-band spectrum.
Results: We retrieved a list of 81 (49, 231) M, eight (29, 115) L, and one (0, 2) T dwarf candidates in EDF North, Fornax, and South, respectively. They are provided to guide future UCD discoveries and characterisations by Euclid. In total, we collected near-infrared spectra for nine UCDs, including two M types, three L types, and four T types in or close to the three EDFs. The Euclidised spectra show consistency in their spectral classification, which demonstrates that slitless Euclid spectroscopy will recover the spectral types with high fidelity for UCDs, both in the EDFs and in the wide survey. We also demonstrate that Euclid will be able to distinguish different age groups of UCDs.