Today's View of the Solar Neighborhood, with Emphasis on the Coldest Brown Dwarfs

Date: 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm PDT
Speaker: 
Davy Kirkpatrick
Affiliation: 
IPAC/Caltech
Location: 
N232, Room 103
Event Type: 
Colloquium

Having a complete census of objects in the solar neighborhood provides a vital touchstone for studies of stellar populations in other parts of the Milky Way and in other galaxies. This talk presents an overview of how our knowledge of the census has improved over the past 100+ years. The newest members of the census, the brown dwarfs, will be briefly summarized. The core of the talk will describe a project to use the 20-pc sample to determine the functional form and low-mass cutoff of the substellar mass function. The objects most critical to determining the low-mass cut-off are WISE-selected late-T and Y dwarfs, the distances to which are being obtained through a highly successful trigonometric parallax program using warm Spitzer.

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