Institute of Astronomy

The SEEDS Directly Imaged Companions: Massive Planets or Low-Mass Brown Dwarfs?

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Timothy Brandt28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


I will present an analysis of the SEEDS direct imaging survey for young, self-luminous exoplanets at large separations from their host stars. I will discuss the survey design and sensitivity, image processing, the selection of imaging targets, and estimates of their ages. By using several new algorithms, removing the current aggressive Lyot stop, and making small changes to the read-out mode, the SEEDS instrument is in the process of gaining a factor of ~3-10 in sensitivity. Finally, I will combine current SEEDS data with imaging from other surveys to suggest that the ~20 currently imaged planet candidates represent the low-mass tail of a substellar population formed by gravitational collapse, rather than the high-mass tail of a population formed by gas accretion onto a rocky core, like the gas giants in our Solar system. As such, most imaged companions should perhaps not be called massive planets, but rather low-mass brown dwarfs.


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