Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 2G022

Lessons from Brown Dwarf Science: Recognizing Signatures of Youth and Low Gravity in the Near Infrared Spectra

Cruz, Kelle (Hunter College-CUNY & American Museum of Natural History)
Faherty, Jackie (Universidad de Chile, Cerro Calan & American Museum of Natural History)
Rice, Emily (College of Staten Island-CUNY & American Museum of Natural History)
Riedel, Adric (Hunter College-CUNY & American Museum of Natural History)
Nez, Alejandro (Columbia University & American Museum of Natural History)

Abstract:
Advancements in brown dwarf research directly impact exoplanet studies. While they have different formation mechanisms, brown dwarfs and gas giant exoplanets overlap in many physical and evolutionary properties such as temperature, mass, condensate clouds, and a cooling atmosphere. In addition, evidence is mounting that brown dwarfs also have a diversity of cloud structures and compositions, as is expected for exoplanets. However, unlike with exoplanets, due to the lack of a bright companion star, detailed studies of a wide variety of brown dwarfs are possible and are already well underway. Here we present optical and near-infrared (0.72.5 micron) spectra of juvenile (10100 Myr), low-mass (520 M_Jupiter) brown dwarfs grouped by age as indicated by nearby moving group membership. We make preliminary identification of spectral features which seem to be reliable age indicators and others which reflect the diversity of properties present in objects with otherwise similar masses and ages. These results, which differentiate between age-sensitive features and intrinsic diversity of physical properties, can be used to reliably assess the ages of young brown dwarfs and exoplanets without strong age constraints from moving group membership or the host star. While the current work is applicable to moderate-resolution spectra, future work will focus on identifying age diagnostics at the very low resolutions of Project 1640, GPI, and SPHERE.

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