NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0095

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0095


PI: Kevin Luhman, Penn State University, kluhman@astro.psu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 525 Davey Lab, University Park, PA 16802, USA

CoI: Nuria Calvet, University of Michigan

Title: Confirmation of an Edge-on Disk around a Brown Dwarf

Abstract: While performing GMOS spectroscopy on a sample of young brown dwarfs in the Upper Sco association (140 pc, 5 Myr), we noticed that one of the targets was extended rather than a point source in the acquisition images. This brown dwarf also is unusually faint for its spectral type compared to other members of Upper Sco. These properties suggest that it may possess an edge-on circumstellar disk. We propose to obtain high- resolution images of this object with NIRI+Altair+LGS to determine whether an edge-on disk is present. If an edge-on disk is confirmed, we will constrain its physical properties, particularly its diameter, by fitting the images with the predictions of our models of brown dwarfs occulted by circumstellar disks. The measurement of the size of a brown dwarf's disk would provide an important test of the embryo ejection model for the formation of brown dwarfs, which predicts that such disks should be small (<10 AU).


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