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Tuesday 10 May 2016Seminar: The SpeX Prism Library Analysis Toolkit (SPLAT): Collaborative Tools and New Discoveries through a Student-Centered Program

Prof Adam Burgasser - University of California, San Diego

Physics, 4th floor 14:30-15:30

Since the late 1990s, thousands of low-temperature, ultracool stars and brown dwarfs encompassing the M, L, T and Y spectral classes have been discovered in wide-field near-infrared surveys, and confirmed and characterized with ground-based spectroscopy. By collecting and distributing nearly 2000 near-infrared spectra of these sources, the SpeX Prism Library (SPL) has facilitated over a hundred investigations of cool dwarfs, exoplanets and the high redshift Universe. We are now completing development of a Python-based toolkit aligned with this library called the SpeX Prism Library Analysis Toolkit (SPLAT:, which provides the necessary tools to classify, analyze and model ultracool dwarf spectra. In this talk, I describe the toolkit development model, which is based on collaborative coding projects by undergraduate and graduate student teams focused on specific research objectives. I then highlight several key discoveries made in the first two years of our development process, including the first planetary-mass member of the 24 Myr 32 Orionis association, distant (>500 pc) L and T dwarfs identified in the WFC3 parallels fields, and short-period star-brown dwarf binaries amenable to system mass and age measurements. I also illustrate how this resource has been used for public outreach and science-art collaboratives. I conclude by discussing future directions for this resource, including applications for the forthcoming Euclid mission.

This project is supported by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NNX15AI75G.

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