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Determining the Locations of Brown Dwarfs in Young Star ClustersBrown dwarfs are stellar objects with masses less than 0.08 times that of the Sun that are unable to sustain nuclear fusion. Because of the lack of fusion, they are relatively cold, allowing the formation of methane and water molecules in their atmospheres. Brown dwarfs can be detected by examining stars' absorption spectra in the near-infrared to see whether methane and water are present. The objective of this research is to determine the locations of brown dwarfs in Rho Ophiuchus, a star cluster that is only 1 million years old. The cluster was observed in four filters in the near-infrared range using the Wide-Field Infra-Red Camera (WIRC) on the 100" DuPont Telescope and Persson's Auxiliary Nasymith Infrared Camera (PANIC) on the 6.5-m Magellan Telescope. By comparing the magnitude of a star in each of the four filters, an absorption spectrum can be formed. This project uses standard astronomical techniques to reduce raw frames into final images and perform photometry on them to obtain publishable data. Once this is done, it will be possible to determine the locations and magnitudes of brown dwarfs within the cluster.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Conference Paper
Porter, Lauren A.
(California Inst. of Tech. CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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