AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 98 Seeing the Universe in a New (Sodium) Light: Early Science Results from Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics
Special Session, Tuesday, 2:00-3:30pm, January 10, 2006, Delaware A

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[98.05] Substellar Astrophysics from Brown Dwarf Binaries

M. Liu, D. Looper (IfA/U.Hawaii), S. Leggett (UKIRT/JAC), D. Golimowski (Johns Hopkins Univ.), A. Burgasser (MIT), D. Kirkpatrick (IPAC/Caltech), X. Fan (U.Arizona), T. Geballe (Gemini Observatory), K. Cruz (AMNH), N. Reid (STScI)

We are conducting an imaging survey of the coolest known brown dwarfs using the new Keck laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS AO) system. Our goals are (1) to assess the binary frequency of ultracool (late-L and T-type) brown dwarfs; (2) to find new substellar binaries suitable for dynamical mass determinations; (3) to study the physical processes of substellar photospheres using binaries, which constitute systems of common metallicity and age; and (4) to search for objects of exceptionally low temperature as companions to nearby brown dwarfs. We present newly discovered L and T~dwarf binaries related to each of these goals. LGS AO is a key capability for this science as it provides the highest possible angular resolution for near-IR imaging.

This work has been funded by the NSF and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mliu@ifa.hawaii.edu

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