Exploring Young Brown Dwarfs: Disks, Binarity and Bottom of the IMF
University of Toronto
There is a compelling case that young sub-stellar objects undergo a T Tauri phase similar to their stellar counterparts, possibly suggesting a common formation mechanism. The supporting evidence includes infrared and millimeter observations of disk emission as well as optical and infrared spectra with signatures of accretion and outflow. Binary properties provide another important diagnostic of brown dwarf origin: while binary frequency and maximum separation appear to decline with stellar mass, recent observations have revealed a number of very low mass wide pairs, posing a challenge to some formation models. Now we are able to extend studies of the stellar initial mass function and of disks to young planetary mass objects, which are found both in isolation and as companions. Remarkably, the star formation process seems to be capable of producing planetary mass objects directly.
Date: Thursday, 9 April 2009 Time: 15:00 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, Local D-460 Contact: René Doyon