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Special Presentations

Extending Stellar Astrophysics to Planetary Masses

Presented by: Trent Dupuy (The University of Texas at Austin)
Category: Special Interest   Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes   Broadcast date: February 23, 2017
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The motion of objects contains more information than emitted light alone, thus making astrometry a powerful tool for determining many astrophysical properties. I will present my work to build an empirical view of substellar evolution from unique high-precision infrared astrometry programs. A large sample of parallaxes has allowed me to map the changes in absolute flux from the end of the stellar main sequence to the coldest known brown dwarfs. By measuring brown dwarf binary orbits I have determined fundamental parameters, most notably masses, enabling the most stringent tests of theoretical models. Finally, I am using binary orbits to probe the initial conditions of planet formation in the Kepler sample and soon with TESS. I will conclude by discussing the major advances that will be made possible in this field with new and upcoming facilities like Gaia and JWST.