NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0040

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0040


PI: Christopher Gelino, NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, cgelino@ipac.caltech.edu
Address: 770 S. Wilson Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Davy Kirkpatrick, Caltech IPAC
CoI: Michael Cushing, University of Toledo
CoI: Greg Mace, UC Los Angeles
CoI: Adam Schneider, University of Toledo
CoI: Ned Wright, UC Los Angeles
CoI: Sergio Fajardo-Acosta, Caltech IPAC
CoI: Michael Skrutskie, University of Virginia

Title: Photometric Follow-up of AllWISE Brown Dwarf Candidates

Abstract: AllWISE is a new reprocessing of the WISE data that will create coadd mosaics from all of the cryogenic and post-cryogenic images. The AllWISE limiting sensitivity will be approximately sqrt(2) better than the existing All-Sky data products. We have used the AllWISE data to search for brown dwarfs fainter and colder than those currently known. The discovery and subsequent study of low-temperature brown dwarfs will expand our knowledge of the low-mass end of the "stellar" mass function and place constraints on the overall shape of the mass distribution in the Solar Neighborhood. Our AllWISE selection process uses the W1 (3.4 um) and W2 (4.6 um) color to identify brown dwarf candidates; the resulting, red W1-W2 colors are indicative of deep methane absorption at 3.3 um. For our coldest sources, which are the most important for deciphering the low-mass cutoff of star formation, these will be color limits because the candidate is undetected in W1. The Gemini/Flamingos-2 photometric observations requested here will provide J-band magnitudes that dictate which spectrograph is appropriate to obtain high quality spectra and, when coupled with the W2 magnitude, place tight constraints on the spectral type of the candidate.


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