Published July 14, 2021 | Version Sonora Bobcat
Dataset Open

Sonora Bobcat: cloud-free, substellar atmosphere models, spectra, photometry, evolution, and chemistry

  • 1. University of Arizona
  • 2. Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • 3. University of Texas
  • 4. University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 5. Dordt University
  • 6. BAER Institute



Presented here are models for non-irradiated, substellar mass objects belonging to the Sonora model series, described in Marley et al. (2021). The files presented here are model temperature-pressure structures ("structure"), emergent spectra from the top of the atmosphere ("spectra"), thermal evolution and photometry ("evolution_and_photometry"), and rainout chemical equilibrium tables used to compute the models ("chemistry"). 

Atmospheric structure and spectra .tar file names specify metallicity [M/H] and carbon-to-oxygen ratio (C/O) relative to solar. For example, "structures+0.0_co1.5.tar.gz" contains the set of radiative-convective equilibrium atmospheric structures for solar metallicity ("+0.0") with C/O=1.5 times the solar abundance. The _co*.* is omitted for solar C/O, or co_1.0. The individual file naming convention is described below. All stated abundances and ratios are relative to Lodders (2010) abundances, see Marley et al. (2021) for details and use caution when referring to other abundance tabulations.

This particular set of model atmosphere structures and associated spectra, photometry, and evolution, which we name Sonora Bobcat, are for cloudless objects with 3.25 ≤ log g (cgs) ≤ 5.5 and 200 ≤ Teff ≤ 2400K. Steps in Teff vary from 25K to 1000K and steps in log g are 0.25 or 0.5. Some combinations of model grid parameters include additional values of the gravity.  Models are provided for [M/H] = -0.5, 0.0, and +0.5 and "rainout" chemical equilibrium. A limited set of models with carbon-to-oxygen ratio of 0.5 and 1.5 times solar abundance are also included. For the convenience of having a rectangular table in (Teff, gravity) space, models are calculated in regimes that are not reached by the evolution, such as very high gravity and very low Teff. Refer to the companion evolution tables to identify combinations of Teff and log g outside the bounds covered by the evolution.


Atmospheric structure and spectra filenames specify Teff and gravity (in mks units) along with [M/H] and (C/O) relative to solar. "co1.5" in version and spectra header nomenclature refers to 1.5 times the solar C/O ratio. _co*.* is generally omitted for 1.0, the solar value. For example, the file t1000g316nc_m-0.5.dat contains the structure of a model with  Teff=1000K, g=316m/s2 (the exact value of the gravity is given in the first line of the file, see below) , [Fe/H]=-0.5, and C/O=1.0 times the solar value. 

Temperature structure and spectra files have a one line header giving "Teff, grav(MKS), Y, f_sed, kz_min, [Fe/H], C/O, f_hole". Teff and grav are the effective temperature (K) and gravity (MKS), Y is the He mass fraction. f_sed is a cloud parameterization which is not relevant for these cloudless models and is arbitrarily given as 0.0. Likewise kz_min relates to the atmospheric eddy diffusion coefficient, which is also not relevant for these chemical equilibrium models and is arbitrarily set equal to a placeholder value that is not used in these models. [Fe/H] and C/O are the metallicity and C/O ratios as described above. [Fe/H] is identical to [M/H]. f_hole is another cloud parameter for cloudy models, not relevant to these cloudless models.

Columns in the atmosphere structure files describe the atmosphere at discrete levels. Columns give: level index, P(bar), T(K), internally used check parameter, adiabatic temperature gradient (d ln T / d ln P), local temperature gradient (d ln T / d ln P), atmospheric density (g / cm3).


Evolution and Photometry tables are described in detail in a README file included in that tar file. Evolution files connect mass, effective temperature, radius, age, gravity, and moment of inertia for these model sets. Each set of model spectra is complemented with tables of fluxes and of absolute magnitudes in a number of photometric systems commonly used in brown dwarf and exoplanet research (MKO, Keck, 2MASS, SDSS, WISE, Spitzer IRAC, etc).  Fluxes and magnitudes for the full set of JWST filters is also included in separate tables.  Magnitudes are computed on the Vega system (using the Vega spectrum of Bohlin & Gilliland 2004) or on the AB system (e.g. for SDSS).


The model spectra each contain close to 362000 wavelength points. The resolving power varies with wavelength and ranges from R=6000 to 200000 but is otherwise the same for all spectra. The first line gives the model parameters in the same format as the structure files described above. This is followed by the spectrum

Column 1: wavelength in µm

Column 2:  Radiation flux Fν = \(4\pi\) x Eddington flux Hν, in erg/cm2/s/Hz (always exercise caution with factors of \(4\pi\) when comparing to the radiation and Eddington flux, e.g., see Section 3.3 of Hubeny & Mihalas, "Theory of Stellar Atmospheres")

The spectral fluxes are given at the top of the atmosphere and are strictly monochromatic. The model spectrum provides no information in the wavelength range between two tabulated points. Unless a spectral line or feature is well resolved, interpolation in wavelength is not advised.  For comparison with data, the model spectra need to be convolved and binned to the instrumental resolution and sampling. In our experience, a minimum of 10 wavelength points is necessary to obtain a reasonable average flux over a wavelength interval. This is a rule of thumb and caution is advised, especially when comparing with high resolution data. The flux received at Earth is that given in the table scaled by (R/D)2  where R is the radius of the object (given in the companion evolution tables) and D its distance. 

The solar spectra and photometry are the same as those archived at, which did not provide the T(P) profiles available here.


We also separately include rainout chemical equilibrium tables for these same atmospheric bulk abundances. These chemistry files are described in detail by their own README file. Additional chemistry tables, beyond those used for the models presented here, are also included for completeness. Users interested in the chemical abundances of the structure models must interpolate within the matching chemistry file for the atmospheric species of interest.


If you use these tables in your research, please cite Marley et al. (2021, Astrophysical Journal, Volume 920, Issue 2, id.85.)

16 Feb 2024: Error corrected in Column 2 heading. Column 2 is the Radiation flux, not the Eddington flux as previously stated. Citation updated.



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Publication: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac141d (DOI)