NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0286

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0286


PI: Christopher R. Gelino, California Institute of Technology, cgelino@ipac.caltech.edu
Address: Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, 770 S. Wilson Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91740, USA

CoI: Davy Kirkpatrick, IPAC/Caltech
CoI: Amy Mainzer, JPL
CoI: Michael Cushing, JPL
CoI: Peter Eisenhardt, JPL
CoI: Michael Skrutskie, University of Virginia
CoI: Roger Griffith, IPAC/Caltech

Title: In Search of the Coldest Atmospheres: Identifying Companions to the Latest WISE Brown Dwarfs

Abstract: The multiplicity properties of 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. Brown dwarfs with estimated effective temperatures >500 K are just now starting to be discovered, filling in the gap between brown dwarfs and Jupiter-like planets (Teff=128K). The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission (WISE) is sensitive to close, cold brown dwarfs; new brown dwarfs discovered with it will populate this regime with even more objects. We propose to obtain high resolution images of 11 WISE brown dwarfs with spectral types T8 and later (Teff<700K) using NIRC2 LGS-AO on Keck II in order to search for companions down to effective temperatures of 300K. The binaries discovered by this program will be critical systems for characterizing the properties of objects at the very bottom of the Main Sequence and help to bridge the modeling efforts of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets.


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-0286

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