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Interpretation and Parameterization of Extremely Red COOL dwarfs

Final Report Summary - IPERCOOL (Interpretation and Parameterization of Extremely Red COOL dwarfs)


The IPERCOOL project combined the expertise of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), the Center for Astrophysical Research at the University of Hertfordshire (CAR-UH), the National Brazilian Observatory (ON/MCTIE) and the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO) for the observation and subsequent scientific interpretation of low mass star and brown dwarfs. We pursued active observational and compilation programs to measure distance, colors and spectra of these objects to find physical parameters, test atmospheric models, determine parameters of the Galaxy and the history of brown dwarf formation.


Observational Parameterization

The IPERCOOL group are collaborated on a number of different observational programs to determine fundamental parameters for this class of objects. In particular there are programs for the determination of Parallaxes, Proper Motions, Spectra, Magnitudes and Colors for a statistically significant sample of objects across the range from early M dwarfs to Y dwarfs.

In addition to exploiting recent catalogs (WISE, 2MASS, GSC, PPMXL, DENIS) and ongoing surveys (all UK Infrared Digitized Sky Surveys, all VISTA surveys and the INT Photometric H-Alpha Survey) we have been collaborating on various observational programs including, but not limited to, the following telescopes/instruments/programs:
- The Astromed camera and the 1.05m OATo astrometric reflector for parallaxes
- The WFI camera at the 2.2m MPG/ESO telescope for parallaxes
- SOFI on the 3.6m ESO New Technology Telescope for parallaxes and photometry
- NICS/LRS and HARPS on the TNG for astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy
- WFCAM on the 3.8m UKIRT for parallaxes, photometry and proper motions
- SPARTAN/OSIRIS on the 4.1m SOAR for spectroscopy and photometry
- IRCS on the 8.2m Subaru for spectroscopy
- GNIRS/NIFS/NIRI on the 8.1m Gemini for spectroscopy
- Xshooter on 8.2m the VLT UT2 for spectroscopy
- NIRC2 on the 10m Keck II for high resolution imaging
- IRAC/IRS on the 0.8m Spitzer Space Telescope for spectroscopy, photometry and parallaxes
- WFC3 on the 2.5m Hubble Space Telescope for spectroscopy


Interpretation

The output of the observational parameterization has been combined into a database which we will use to address a number of different theoretical problems. Our knowledge of these objects is very limited because of their short history hence the scope for theoretical advances is huge. We will be working actively in the testing and development of models, using brown dwarfs to study our galaxy, determination of the sub-stellar IMF and finally understanding the population and properties of objects in the 300-700K regime e.g. objects with similar spectra to the giant planets of the solar system.

The project was successful in the building of collaborations and formation of young post doctoral students to build, share and exploit the growing dataset available for these objects. There have been over 50 articles published that in some part benefited from an IPERCOOL exchange and the process continues with many of the participants continuing from their home institutes on projects started in this program.

The frequent exchange of members also led to many non-IPERCOOL projects from the development and diffusion of database access systems to the sharing of observational resources for the tracking of satellites and the development of aHeliometer and a proposed infrared instrument for the NTT. This has also lead to the successful allocation of funds to Europe-only and non-Europe-only exchanges. Even given the widely varying resources of the partners all of the partners have in some way contributed or benefited. Many of the collaborations are continuing on a significant level and long term programs are being developed.