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Calibrating ultracool atmospheres with benchmark companions

Joana I. Gomes
Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire

The complexities of ultracool atmospheres are best confronted by observations of ultracool dwarfs (UCDs) with well known physical properties (luminosity, mass, Teff, log(g), [M/H]) so called ”benchmark objects”. We present two discoveries from a new WISE+2MASS search for benchmark wide companions to Hipparcos and Gliese stars. This survey combination provides a powerful tool to confirm new companions using color-magnitude and common proper motion selections, and also yield full NIR-MIR measurements of the ultracool emission. These primary companions are providing important constraints on the age and composition of the benchmark brown dwarf, and the new discoveries add to our growing population of benchmarks that is providing crucial tests of ultracool physics.

2012 October 11, 13:30

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