CFHT UM2019 - Presentation Details

Abstract Details

Title: CFHT Infrared Parallax Program

Presenter: Trent Dupuy


Trigonometric parallaxes are critical for establishing the fundamental properties of astronomical objects. Since 2007, we have been using CFHT's near-IR imager WIRCam to obtain high-precision parallaxes of low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and planetary-mass objects. Our program is the longest continuously running infrared parallax program in the world, starting as an IfA/Hawaii observing program and continuing now as a CFHT Large Program. Thanks to Maunakea's seeing, CFHT's queue observing, and WIRCam's stable high-quality imaging, we achieve astrometry comparable to the best long-term optical parallax programs, but observing in the infrared allows us to study objects of much cooler temperatures, lower luminosities, and lower masses. I will review the wide-ranging science results from our program: the discovery and characterization of the youngest and the coldest brown dwarfs, testing theoretical models using dynamical masses from substellar binaries, the first empirical determination of the stellar/substellar boundary, establishing the properties of low-mass stars hosting Kepler exoplanets, and potential new studies based on our unique record of long-term (10 year) astrometry. Finally, I will discuss the vital role that CFHT astrometry can continue to play in the era of Gaia and JWST.