Very Low Mass Stars, Brown Dwarfs and Planets

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Organizational Unit

Our goal is to study the processes that lead to the formation of low mass stars, brown dwarfs and planets and to characterize the physical properties of these objects in various evolutionary stages. Low mass stars and brown dwarfs are likely the most numerous type of objects in our Galaxy but due to their low intrinsic luminosity they are not so well known. We aim to study the frequency, multiplicity and spatial distribution of these objects in the solar neighbourhood and in nearby star forming regions and stellar clusters in order to better understand the mechanism of formation, characterise their optical and infrared properties and establish the relation between spectral properties, mass and luminosity.. Most of our effort will be dedicated to push toward lower mass limits the detection of these astros either bounded to stars and brown dwarfs and/or free-floating in interstellar space. The lowest mass objects display a lower intrinsic luminosity and cooler effective temperatures thus they are remarkably difficult to detect using direct imaging techniques. However, these techniques allow a full photometric and spectroscopic characterization and a best determination of their physical and chemical properties. We also aim to investigate the presence of planets around low mass stars using radial velocity measurements and techniques for high spatial resolution imaging. We will develop ultrastable spectrographs for large telescopes and systems for ultrafast imaging. With the spectrographs it would be possible to detect planets of similar mass to the Earth around G, K and M-type stars. The goal is to establish the frequency of these planets in stars of the solar neighbourhood and characterise the properties of the associated planetary systems.

  1. The optical and near-infrared sequence of 10 Myr-old L dwarfs in the nearest OB association to the Sun, Upper Scorpius
  2. The lithium depletion boundary of the Hyades cluster.

Publications related

  • Very Low Mass Stellar and Substellar Companions to Solar-like Stars from MARVELS. I. A Low-mass Ratio Stellar Companion to TYC 4110-01037-1 in a 79 Day Orbit

    TYC 4110-01037-1 has a low-mass stellar companion, whose small mass ratio and short orbital period are atypical among binary systems with solar-like (T eff

    Wisniewski, John P. et al.

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  • Infrared and Kinematic Properties of the Substellar Object G 196-3 B

    We report unusual near- and mid-infrared photometric properties of G 196-3 B, the young substellar companion at 16'' from the active M2.5-type star G 196-3 A, using data taken with the IRAC and MIPS instruments onboard Spitzer. G 196-3 B shows markedly redder colors at all wavelengths from 1.6 up to 24 μm than expected for its spectral type, which

    Zapatero Osorio, M. R. et al.

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  • On the HU Aquarii planetary system hypothesis

    In this paper, we investigate the eclipse timing of the polar binary HU Aquarii that has been observed for almost two decades. Recently, Qian et al. attributed large (O-C) deviations between the eclipse ephemeris and observations to a compact system of two massive Jovian companions. We improve the Keplerian, kinematic model of the light travel time

    Goździewski, Krzysztof et al.

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