Prof. Adam Burgasser

UC San Diego La Jolla, CA – United States

Brown Dwarfs in the Milky Way:
A New Tool for Galactic Archeology

Brown dwarfs are non-fusing “stars” supported by electron degeneracy pressure; they are compact sources that cool and dim throughout their lifetimes and are present in nearly all Galactic environments. While early search programs had the sensitivity to find only the nearest brown dwarfs to the Sun, deep infrared imaging surveys and ultradeep pencil-beam surveys are now uncovering low-temperature brown dwarfs on kiloparsec scales. In this talk, I will review the properties of brown dwarfs that make them uniquely suited for time-resolved Galactic archeology, describe several challenges in this area of research, and highlight some mysteries that are now emerging as these investigations commence.