NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001B-0079

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Proposal Information for 2001B-0079


PI: Joan Najita, NOAO, najita@noao.edu
Address: 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719

CoI: Michael Liu, Institute for Astronomy
CoI: Sidney Wolff, NOAO
CoI: Arjun Dey, NOAO
CoI: Sam Barden, NOAO

Title: Far-red Spectroscopy of Young Brown Dwarfs and Super-Planets

Abstract: We propose to obtain 0.6-1(micron) R=1000 spectroscopy of candidate substellar objects in the young cluster IC 348. Our sample has been selected using a photometric technique that measures the strength of the 1.9(micron) water absorption band in cool atmospheres. The sample is complete down to the deuterium-burning limit (15 M_J), the fiducial boundary between brown dwarfs and planets, and contains one of the largest sets of potential planetary mass objects (<15 M_J) known to date. By measuring improved spectral types for the substellar objects, we will derive accurate masses down into the planetary regime, and thereby take the first steps toward determining the IMF at planetary masses. By combining the 0.6-1(micron) spectroscopy with JHK spectroscopy for the sample (obtained elsewhere), we will be able to tie optical spectral classification schemes to near-IR spectral classification schemes \it at pre-main-sequence gravities. These results will allow us to test current theoretical models of cool atmospheres at pre-main-sequence gravities over a long wavelength baseline. More importantly, our results will lay the needed foundation for future spectroscopic studies of young planetary-mass objects.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001B-0079

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