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Wednesday 10 Jan 2018[Seminar] Hunting for Cool Brown Dwarfs with WISE

Prof. Michael Cushing - University of Toledo

Physics 4th Floor 14:00-15:00

The study of brown dwarfs with effective temperatures less than 500 K can offer important insights into the complex physics of ultracool atmospheres, the shape of the initial mass function, and the low-mass limit of star formation. We have been using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to search for just such a population of brown dwarfs and have identified roughly twenty cool browns dwarfs that populate a new spectral class, dubbed 'Y'. In this talk, I will present the discovery of the Y dwarfs, summarize our current understanding of their physical properties, discuss the enigmatic spectral energy distribution of the archetype Y dwarf WISE 1828+2650, and present new HST photometry of the coolest (Teff ~ 250 K) brown dwarf known WISE 0855-0714.

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