NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0723

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0723


PI: Eric Mamajek, University of Rochester, emamajek@pas.rochester.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 500 Wilson Blvd, Rochester, NY 14627-0171, USA

CoI: Kevin Luhman, The Pennsylvania State University
CoI: Stan Metchev, Stony Brook
CoI: David James, NOAO
CoI: Mark Pecaut, University of Rochester

Title: DECam Survey for Benchmark Substellar Objects in the Nearest OB Association

Abstract: We propose to use the unique wide-field imaging capabilities of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) to efficiently discover new samples of young (10-20 Myr) benchmark substellar objects in the nearest OB association: Sco-Cen (d ~eq 140 pc). Sco-Cen is a unique hunting grounds for young substellar objects. Our calculations suggest that its combination of proximity and negligible reddening allows for efficient color- magnitude selection of candidate young brown dwarfs (and low-mass stars) based on DECam izY-band photometry. Sco-Cen members also boast sizeable proper motions (~20-50 mas/yr), which further enables kinematic selection for the candidate low-mass objects when DECam positions are combined with earlier epoch astrometry. Identifying this population of young low-mass substellar objects with DECam is part of a broader plan to improve our understanding of the origins, atmospheres, disk evolution, and IMF of substellar objects, and to provide stringent tests for evolutionary models in the mass regime between stars and planets. A direct benefit to the stellar community from this survey is that it will ultimately provide (in conjunction with follow-up spectroscopy) a dense grid of young substellar spectral standard stars which will facilitate the classification of low surface gravity field late-M/L dwarfs of unknown age, and comparison to ``planetary-mass'' companions imaged at wide separations to young stars.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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