Cool Star Lab Makes a Splash at the Brown Dwarfs Come of Age Conference


Cool Star Lab members were in full force at the Brown Dwarfs Come of Age conference in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.  Aimed as a comprehensive update on the status of brown dwarf research, the conference included review and research talks on brown dwarf formation, surveys, binary systems, planetary companions, low temperature atmospheres and spectroscopy, variability, magnetic activity, and the connection between brown dwarfs and planets.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 11.18.21 PMMiriam Aberasturi gave a poster on her analysis of HST/WFC3 data searching for resolved brown dwarf binaries.  No binaries were found, but the detection limits provide new constraints on the binary properties of brown dwarfs, and her color analysis can be used to identify “stray” brown dwarfs in archival data.

Daniella Bardalez Gagliuffi gave a poster on her search for M/L + T spectral binaries. She presented her new index selection strategy, binary template fitting and preliminary results.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 11.23.56 PMChristine Nicholls presented a poster on model-fitting analysis of FIRE spectra of ~50 T dwarfs using two sets of atmosphere models.  She also showed how rejecting certain spectral regions can significantly improve the fidelity of the fits.

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Adam Burgasser gave a talk on the newly discovered variable brown dwarf binary Luhman 16AB. In addition to highlighting its remarkable properties, he summarized preliminary results from the international monitoring campaign in April 2013.  The proceedings for his talk can be found here.

Cool Star Lab alumna Jacqueline Faherty was also there to give a talk on young L dwarfs as analogues to giant exoplanets.  She described her technique of identifying these sources and their association.

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Adam also conducted the first “Planet/Not-a-planet” vote for select systems, in order to stimulate discussion on what distinguishes these classes (see the results here).  Performed as part of a panel discussion on what defines a planet, Adam found that the most “split” objects were the companions to WD 0806-661 and Corot-3, although no target was voted 100% in either direction.  The most significant factors for this group appeared to be object mass and separation from the host star.

In addition to science, Cool Star Lab members had a great time exploring the Canary Islands (with our own “local” knowledge) and socializing with our fellow brown dwarf enthusiasts.  The highlights were arguably the full-conference karaoke on stage and the karaoke/dance party by the oceanside pool (neither were probably not the highlight for the rest of the hotel).  But we also had a great tour of Fuerteventura supported by the island’s governor.

More photos can be found on the BDCOA Flickr Group page.





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