NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0184

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2010B-0184


PI: A. Mainzer, JPL, amainzer@jpl.nasa.gov
Address: M/S 264-740, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

CoI: J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Caltech/IPAC
CoI: Michael Cushing, JPL
CoI: Mike Skrutskie, University of Virginia
CoI: Peter Eisenhardt, JPL
CoI: Edward Wright, UCLA
CoI: Chris Gelino, IPAC/Caltech

Title: A Search for the Coolest Brown Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood

Abstract: Brown dwarfs provide a natural link between the physics of stars and gas giant planets. Although hundreds of brown dwarfs have been discovered to date, a gap of over 400 K remains between the coolest brown dwarfs known (\teff ~ 600 K) and Jupiter (\teff ~ 128 K). Detailed studies of these cool brown dwarfs will allow us to place constraints on the low-mass end of the mass function and to extend our studies of low-temperature, high-pressure atmospheric physics and chemistry. One of the primary science goals of the Wide- Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a NASA mission that is surveying the entire sky at 4 mid-infrared wavelengths, is to identify such cool brown dwarfs. We therefore propose to observe brown dwarf candidates identified by WISE at YJH using the NIR imager PANIC on Magellan. The proposed observations will allow us to confirm the cool nature of the candidates, begin to characterize the spectral properties of the coldest brown dwarfs, and identify interesting targets for spectroscopic followup. WISE has already found two new brown dwarfs that have been confirmed spectroscopically, and over a hundred similar candidates have been found that require NIR imaging follow-up.


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 >   2010B-0184

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo