NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0327

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0327


PI: Kelle Cruz, Caltech Astronomy, kellecruz@gmail.com
Address: MS 105-24, Pasadena, CA, 91125, USA

CoI: Dagny Looper, University of Hawaii (IfA)
CoI: Lisa Prato, Lowell Observatory
CoI: J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Caltech IPAC

Title: Determining Cluster Membership for Nearby Young Brown Dwarfs

Abstract: Among the hundreds of brown dwarfs known, we have identified 40 late-M and L dwarfs that exhibit conspicuous spectral features that we attribute to low gravity, indicating both youth and low mass. Most of the sources are suspected of being associated with the nearby, intermediate-age (10-100 Myr) moving groups (e.g., Beta Pictoris, Tucana/Horologium) located in the southern hemisphere. With ages less than 100 Myr but older than the well-studied members of 1 Myr-old clusters, these juvenile brown dwarfs fill a gap in our knowledge of brown dwarf evolution and will become important benchmarks in the study of substellar formation, evolution, and atmospheres. As part of a comprehensive program to study the mass and age phase space spanned by these 40 objects (10-30 M_Jupiter, 10-100 Myr), we propose to use 24 hrs with Phoenix on Gemini-South to measure the radial velocity of 4 faint, southern candidates in order to derive their full space motions and to ultimately determine their origin and age. The proposed observations would complete the radial velocity component of our program.


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 >   2009B-0327

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