Graduate student and astronomy writer

Brown Dwarf Search

During the summer of 2012 I worked at PSU as a research assistant before I began my first year of graduate school. During that time I worked with Dr. Kevin Luhman on a project searching for brown dwarfs as companions for solar-neighborhood stars. We did this using a proper motion search between the 2 Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) and Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) catalogs. Solar neighborhood starsĀ found in 2MASS that also had a nearby star with the appropriate color for a brown dwarf were followed up with a search through the WISE catalog to determine the proper motion of the star, and if that nearby star moved the same distance as the primary star. If the two stars remained near each other over a ~30 year baseline, then it is likely that the two stars are physically associated with each other, and that the brown dwarf stars is a companion to the primary. Using this technique I found one brown dwarf companion which was published along with 10 other brown dwarfs in Luhman et al (2012).

Relevant Papers

New M, L, and T Dwarf Companions to Nearby Stars from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

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