Keck Week Video #5: Meet the Cool Neighbors: Brown Dwarfs as Seen by Keck – Dr. Michael Liu
July 12, 2013
Recorded at the Keck Week Science Meeting, this video features the University of Hawaii's Michael Liu delving into Brown Dwarfs, the sub-stellar objects that straddle the properties of the lightest stars and the heaviest planets.
Thanks to the high performance of our pioneering Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system and the brilliant work of Dr. Liu and colleagues, Keck Observatory continues to advance our knowledge of these fascinating objects.
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This opening image of this video is the brown dwarf binary CFBDSIR 1458+10 and was obtained using the Laser Guide Star (LGS) Adaptive Optics system on the Keck II telescope in Hawaii. Adaptive optics cancels out much of Earth’s atmospheric interference, improving the image sharpness by a factor of ten and enabling the very small separation binary to be resolved. This is the coolest pair of brown dwarfs found so far — the colder and dimmer of the two components is a candidate for the brown dwarf with the lowest temperature ever found. This colour picture was created from images taken through four different filters at near-infrared wavelengths.