Galactic Archaeology with the Coldest Stars and Brown Dwarfs

Speaker: 
Prof. Adam Burgasser (UC San Diego)
Date: 
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 11:00am

Large-scale photometric, spectroscopic, and astrometric surveys have revolutionized our understanding of the Milky Way and its satellite systems. Nearly all of this work has made use of red giants and FGK dwarfs as tracers of Galactic structure and evolution, but greater insight may be realized by studying the Milky Way's lowest mass stars and brown dwarfs, the so-called ultracool dwarfs. In this talk, I will motivate the scientific potential of ultracool dwarfs in Galactic archaeology, driven by their abundance, longevity, chemical stability, and a combination of long-term stability (stars) and continuous evolution (brown dwarfs). I then present some of our group's initial work using ultracool dwarfs to study the Galactic field population both locally and at kiloparsec scales. Finally, I will present the opportunities for Galactic archaeology with ultracool dwarfs in forthcoming surveys such as JWST/PASSAGES, LSST, Euclid, and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.

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