NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008B-0371

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Proposal Information for 2008B-0371


PI: Peter Allen, Pennsylvania State University, pallen@astro.psu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA

CoI: Adam Burgasser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
CoI: Jackie Faherty, American Museum of Natural History
CoI: J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center
CoI: James Liebert, University of Arizona
CoI: I. Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute

Title: Benchmark Brown Dwarfs: Ultracool Tertiary Companions to Degenerate Binaries

Abstract: Over the last 3 to 4 years there has been increasing evidence, both theoretical and observational, that the fraction of wide, low-mass companions to spectroscopic binary systems is considerably higher than for single objects. Not only does the fraction of stellar companions increase but also that of substellar companions. We propose a survey to find benchmark brown dwarfs by taking advantage of the high fraction of wide, low-mass companions to tight spectroscopic binaries. We are particularly interested in examining post main sequence systems, as the white dwarf in the system can serve as a means of obtaining an age estimate of any associated companion brown dwarf. Finding such benchmark brown dwarfs is imperative to refining our understanding of these objects, particularly the evolutionary models that are used to extract physical parameters. Only by finding brown dwarfs with independent measurements of parameters such as age, mass, and metallicity can these important models be checked and improved.


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 >   2008B-0371

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