Brown Dwarfs in the Era of JWST

May 09, 2024 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

SLAC, Kavli 3rd Floor Conf. Room

Jackie Faherty (American Museum of Natural History) In Person and zoom

Zoom Recording Passcode: xFu$3LRv

Brown Dwarfs are objects with masses that straddle “planet” and star classifications.  They are defined by an inability to sustain stable Hydrogen burning.  Their spectral energy distributions morph with time as they cool from objects as hot as stars to those as cool as Jupiter.  The atmospheres of brown dwarfs contain a potpourri of molecules and exotic condensate cloud materials that are extremely relevant to planetary science investigations (both solar system and objects discovered beyond the Sun).  In this talk I will discuss the importance of brown dwarfs in the context of how and where they overlap with exoplanet studies.  I will particularly focus on brown dwarfs that challenge our understanding of the line between a companion planet and an isolated object.  Specifically on the collection of brown dwarfs dubbed “Super Jupiters” that have masses, temperatures, and atmosphere features nearly identical to what is seen or what is expected in exoplanet studies.   I will show newly obtained data from JWST cycle 1 and 2 on nearby brown dwarfs and how this data is redefining our understanding of the diversity in the atmospheres of cold worlds.