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Detection of Hα emission from PZ Telescopii B using SPHERE/ZIMPOL

Abstract : Hα is a powerful tracer of accretion and chromospheric activity, which has been detected in the case of young brown dwarfs and even recently in planetary mass companions (e.g. PDS70 b and c). Hα detections and characterisation of brown dwarf and planet companions can further our knowledge of their formation and evolution, and expanding such a sample is therefore our primary goal. We used the Zurich Imaging POLarimeter (ZIMPOL) of the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to observe the known 38-72 MJ companion orbiting PZ Tel, obtaining simultaneous angular differential imaging observations in both continuum and narrow Hα band. We detect Hα emission from the companion, making this only the second Hα detection of a companion using the SPHERE instrument. We used our newly added astrometric measurements to update the orbital analysis of PZ Tel B, and we used our photometric measurements to evaluate the Hα line flux. Given the estimated bolometric luminosity, we obtained an Hα activity (log(L/Lbol)) between -4.16 and -4.31. The Hα activity of PZ Tel B is consistent with known average activity levels for M dwarf of the same spectral type. Given the absence of a known gaseous disk and the relatively old age of the system (24 Myr), we conclude that the Hα emission around PZ Tel B is likely due to chromospheric activity.

ESO programme ID: 0101.C-0672(A); P.I.: A. Musso Barcucci. The reduced data products are available via ESO/phase 3.

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Submitted on : Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 3:11:07 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:06:28 AM

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Arianna Musso Barcucci, Gabriele Cugno, Ralf Launhardt, André Müller, Judit Szulagyi, et al.. Detection of Hα emission from PZ Telescopii B using SPHERE/ZIMPOL. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2019, 631, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201936510⟩. ⟨insu-03702953⟩

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