The Search for Cold and Isolated Planetary-Mass Objects
Dr. Jonathan Gagné will present the motivations and current efforts to identify and characterize planetary-mass objects that are isolated in space. Such objects, with masses that span the deuterium burning limit, can inform us on the physical properties, evolution and atmospheres of giant, gaseous exoplanets detected by direct imaging. The absence of a bright host star makes it much easier to study these isolated objects with high-resolution spectroscopy.
Dr. Gagné will discuss the current status of the BANYAN All-Sky-Ultracool (BASS-Ultracool) survey, which aims to discover young and planetary-mass methane T dwarfs in the solar neighborhood. Only a few objects of this kind are currently known, and they have the potential to inform us on the physical processes that drive the transition from cloudy to cloud-free atmospheres through a study of cold, isolated objects of different ages.