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The Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series


We present a kinematic analysis of 152 low surface gravity M7-L8 dwarfs by adding 18 new parallaxes (including 10 for comparative field objects), 38 new radial velocities, and 19 new proper motions. We also add low- or moderate-resolution near-infrared spectra for 43 sources confirming their low surface gravity features. Among the full sample, we find 39 objects to be high-likelihood or new bona fide members of nearby moving groups, 92 objects to be ambiguous members and 21 objects that are non-members. Using this age-calibrated sample, we investigate trends in gravity classification, photometric color, absolute magnitude, color–magnitude, luminosity, and effective temperature. We find that gravity classification and photometric color clearly separate 5–130 Myr sources from >3 Gyr field objects, but they do not correlate one to one with the narrower 5–130 Myr age range. Sources with the same spectral subtype in the same group have systematically redder colors, but they are distributed between 1 and 4σ from the field sequences and the most extreme outlier switches between intermediate- and low-gravity sources either confirmed in a group or not. The absolute magnitudes of low-gravity sources from the J band through W3 show a flux redistribution when compared to equivalently typed field brown dwarfs that is correlated with spectral subtype. Low-gravity, late-type L dwarfs are fainter at J than the field sequence but brighter by W3. Low-gravity M dwarfs are >1 mag brighter than field dwarfs in all bands from J through W3. Clouds, which are a far more dominant opacity source for L dwarfs, are the likely cause. On color–magnitude diagrams, the latest-type, low-gravity L dwarfs drive the elbow of the L/T transition up to 1 mag redder and 1 mag fainter than field dwarfs at M J but are consistent with or brighter than the elbow at M W1 and M W2. We conclude that low-gravity dwarfs carry an extreme version of the cloud conditions of field objects to lower temperatures, which logically extends into the lowest-mass, directly imaged exoplanets. Furthermore, there is an indication on color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs; such as M J versus (JW2)) of increasingly redder sequences separated by gravity classification, although it is not consistent across all CMD combinations. Examining bolometric luminosities for planets and low-gravity objects, we confirm that (in general) young M dwarfs are overluminous while young L dwarfs are normal compared to the field. Using model extracted radii, this translates into normal to slightly warmer M dwarf temperatures compared to the field sequence and lower temperatures for L dwarfs with no obvious correlation with the assigned moving group.