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Ruiz-Rodriguez, D. A., Cieza, L. A., Casassus, S., Almendros-Abad, V., Jofre, P., Muzic, K., et al. (2022). Discovery of a Brown Dwarf with Quasi-spherical Mass Loss. Astrophys. J., 938(1), 54.
Abstract: We report the serendipitous discovery of an elliptical shell of CO associated with the faint stellar object SSTc2d J163134.1-240060 as part of the “Ophiuchus Disk Survey Employing ALMA” (ODISEA), a project aiming to study the entire population of protoplanetary disks in the Ophiuchus Molecular Cloud from 230 GHz continuum emission and (CO)-C-12 (J = 2-1), (CO)-C-13 (J = 2-1) and (CCO)-C-18 (J = 2-1) lines readable in Band 6. Remarkably, we detect a bright (CO)-C-12 elliptical shape emission of similar to 3 '' x 4 '' toward SSTc2d J163134.1-240060 without a 230 GHz continuum detection. Based on the observed near-IR spectrum taken with the Very Large Telescope (KMOS), the brightness of the source, its three-dimensional motion, and Galactic dynamic arguments, we conclude that the source is not a giant star in the distant background (>5-10 kpc) and is most likely to be a young brown dwarf in the Ophiuchus cloud, at a distance of just similar to 139 pc. This is the first report of quasi-spherical mass loss in a young brown dwarf. We suggest that the observed shell could be associated with a thermal pulse produced by the fusion of deuterium, which is not yet well understood, but for a substellar object is expected to occur during a short period of time at an age of a few Myr, in agreement with the ages of the objects in the region. Other more exotic scenarios, such as a merger with planetary companions, cannot be ruled out from the current observations.