Adam Burgasser speaks at AstroCamp

Adam Burgasser gave a presentation about brown dwarfs to the staff of Astrocamp on Thursday April 18th. Astrocamp is a camp immersion program in Idyllwild that engages boys and girls ages 8-17 in physical science, astronomy and exploration of the Universe.  Students learn to build rockets, use various telescopes, perform various lab activities and even learn to scuba dive. The staff, who typically have astronomy or physics Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, were an expert audience, and Adam led them in a classification exercise in which they independently organized the M, L and T spectral classes.

Adam Burgasser gives the UCSD Physics Colloquium

Assoc. Prof. Adam Burgasser is giving the UCSD Physics Colloquium on Thursday April 11th at 4pm in Garren Auditorium.  The title of his talk is “FIRE & Ice: The Discovery and Astrophysical Implications of Room-Temperature Brown Dwarfs”.

Observations of Luhman 16AB: A Brown Dwarf Binary at 2 pc

Early in March 2013, Kevin Luhman announced his discovery of a pair of brown dwarfs only 2 pc (6 light-years) from the Sun, the 3rd closest system to us after the α/Proxima Centauri system and Barnard’s Star. This remarkable find was buried in survey data going back 35 years, but elucidated with the mid-infrared sensitivity of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the object’s very high proper motion (2.8 arcseconds/year, or just under 0.1 degrees/century).  Using optical spectroscopy, Luhman found that the brighter of the two components had a late-L spectral type, suggesting that the system might straddle the transition between L dwarf and T dwarf spectral classes.  Knowing home much we like this really cool transition, we jumped into action.

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