Galactic Diversity: The Many Colors of Brown Dwarfs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Just over a decade ago, astronomers detected the first examples of brown dwarfs, low-mass objects that bridge the gap between hydrogen-burning stars and giant gas planets. Since then, hundreds of these intrinsically cold and dim sources have been identified in the vicinity of the Sun, in young clusters and associations, and as companions to nearby stars. With great numbers have come the realization of great diversity in the empirical properties of the brown dwarf population, with an associated enrichening of our astrophysical understanding of these sources. In this talk I will review how astronomers are now distinguishing whole subclasses of brown dwarfs, and what these subclasses reveal about the cloud properties, ages and multiplicity of the lowest mass stars.
Date: Tuesday, 4 November 2008 Time: 16:00 Where: McGill University Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103)