Honours Projects

 



Parallaxes for L-type Brown Dwarfs
Honours Project Supervisor:
Professor Chris Tinney


I have in hand about 4 years worth of data acquired at the AAT with the WFI camera of a sample of nearby L-dwarfs selected from the 2MASS all-sky survey. These data will be processed and subject to an astrometric analysis that should lead to the measurement of trigonometric distances to a large subset of the objects observed. In addition the same data will be used to provide improved photometric flux measurements for these brown dwarfs in the Gunn i and z passbands.



Discovering Wide-separation Companions to the Coolest Brown Dwarfs
Honours Project Supervisor:
Professor Chris Tinney


Over the last 2 years, astronomers in the Exoplanetary Science at UNSW group led by Prof Chris Tinney have been studying a sample of the coolest Y-type brown dwarfs (objects with temperatures as cool as 400K) to measure their distances via trigonometric parallax.

In this project you will be using that data (acquired on the Magellan 6.5m telescope in Chile) to look for other objects in the field of view of the camera that share a common motion across the sky with the planetary-mass brown dwarfs we are studying. You will be working on image analysis and data processing, so skills in data handling and programming/scripting will be useful.




Finding Cold Neighbours for the Sun
Honours Project Supervisor:
Professor Chris Tinney


In April 2014, it was announced that the NASA WISE satellite had discovered a previously unknown 250K brown dwarf just 2pc away from the Sun (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-127). Despite detailed analysis of the WISE database, this object (WISE0855) had escaped detection due to a combination of a very large proper motion, and two fortuitous background objects that masked its ridiculously cold nature. In this project you will trawl the WISE database looking for similar examples of objects that could have escaped previous detection, that can then be taken to the Magellan telescope for follow-up observation.

This project would be suitable as an Honours project, or a PhD project in an expanded format that involved follow-up observations of identified candidate objects.



Artists conception of WISE J085510.83-071442.5, the coldest known brown dwarf