NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0238

Small NOAO Logo

Proposal Information for 2011B-0238


PI: Michael Cushing, JPL/Caltech, michael.cushing@gmail.com
Address: JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Dr. Mail Stop 264-723, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA

CoI: J. Davy Kirkpatrick, IPAC/Caltech
CoI: Amy Mainzer, JPL/Caltech
CoI: Christopher Gelino, IPAC/Caltech
CoI: Michael Skrutskie, University of Virginia
CoI: Roger Griffith, IPAC/Caltech

Title: Northern Hemisphere Follow-up Observations of WISE Brown Dwarf Candidates

Abstract: Despite the spectacular success of wide-field sky surveys (2MASS, SDSS, and UKIDSS) in uncovering a large population of brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood, a gap of nearly 400 K remains between the coolest spectroscopically confirmed brown dwarfs (\teff ~500 K) and Jupiter (\teff~128 K). Yet it is exactly these cold, low-mass brown dwarfs that are essential to measuring the functional form of the low-mass mass function and the lower mass limit of star formation, two critical constraints on theories of star formation. With atmospheric conditions similar to those of giant planets, cold brown dwarfs are also excellent proxies with which to test the ultracool model atmospheres that are critical to our understanding of exoplanets. One of the primary science goals of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a NASA mission that recently completed a survey of the entire sky at four mid-infrared wavelengths, is to discover a large population of these cool brown dwarfs. As part of a larger follow-up campaign that involves both ground- and space-based observatories, we propose to obtain Gemini/NIRI J and H band imaging of 17 candidates with only upper limits (J> 19) and Gemini/GNIRS 1-2.5 (micron) spectra of 9 cool brown dwarf candidates.


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 >   2011B-0238

noaoprop-help@noao.edu

Small NOAO Logo