NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012B-0141

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Proposal Information for 2012B-0141


PI: Michael Cushing, University of Toledo, michael.cushing@utoledo.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 2801 W. Bancroft St., Toledo, OH 43606, USA

CoI: J. Davy Kirkpatrick, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
CoI: Christopher Gelino, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
CoI: Greg Mace, University of California Los Angeles
CoI: Ken Marsh, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
CoI: Michael Skrutskie, University of Virginia
CoI: Roger Griffith, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)

Title: The Search for Y Dwarfs in the Solar Neighborhood with WISE

Abstract: Brown dwarfs provide a natural link between the physics of stars and gas giant planets. Although hundreds of brown dwarfs have been discovered by wide-field surveys such as 2MASS, SDSS, and UKIDSS, it was not until the launch of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) that a population of ultracool (\teff < 500 K) brown dwarfs was discovered. Detailed studies of these brown dwarfs will allow us to measure the low-mass stellar mass function and the minimum formation mass, two critical constraints on theories of star formation. Ultracool brown dwarfs are also ideal exoplanet analogs that can be used to test and improve ultracool atmospheric model atmospheres. As part of a larger followup campaign that involves both ground- and space-based observatories, we propose to continue using Gemini North to obtain near- infrared photometry of ultracool brown dwarf candidates identified with WISE. Specifically, we propose to obtain J- and H-band imaging with NIRI of twenty-nine brown dwarf candidates.


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