NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0494

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0494


PI: Christopher R. Gelino, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, cgelino@ipac.caltech.edu
Address: WISE Science Data Center, 770 S. Wilson Ave., MC 100-22, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Adam Burgasser, MIT
CoI: Kevin Luhman, Penn State University
CoI: Dagny Looper, IfA/Hawaii
CoI: Jackie Faherty, AMNH
CoI: Andrew A. West, MIT
CoI: J. Davy Kirkpatrick, IPAC

Title: Hidden Gems: Resolving M/L Dwarf + T Dwarfs Binaries

Abstract: The multiplicity properties of very low mass stars and brown dwarfs are critical empirical constraints for formation theories, while multiples themselves provide unique opportunities to test evolutionary and atmospheric models and examine empirical trends. Existing samples of late-type binaries are drawn almost entirely from resolved imaging programs, limiting our understanding of the closely-separated binary population for which dynamical mass measurements and transit observations are most likely. We have recently developed a method for identifying and characterizing unresolved late-type M/L dwarf + T dwarf binaries using low-resolution, near-infrared spectroscopy, a method that is not constrained by separation limitations. We propose to image 14 binaries identified by this method at high resolution with Keck NIRC2 LGS-AO in order to resolve and characterize the most widely-separated systems, or set limits on the separations of unresolved systems. The former will provide necessary information for characterizing the still poorly-understood L dwarf/T dwarf transition and first epochs for astrometric orbit determinations; the latter will allow us to select optimal targets for high resolution spectroscopic monitoring and corresponding brown dwarf mass measurements.


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



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