Ultracool Dwarfs

Ultracool Dwarfs (UCDs) are brown dwarfs and stars of spectral type later than ~M6. At such low masses, UCDs are expected to be fully convective, and consequently unable to generate magnetic field via the same mechanisms as larger stars such as the Sun - which is thought to rely on the shearing layer between radiative and convective regions. However, significant magnetic activity is seen in many UCDs, including emission at radio frequencies. The exact origins of this emission are unknown.

In my research, I use radio telescopes such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array to measure the high radio frequency emission of a range of UCDs. At higher radio frequencies we can distinguish between emission mechanisms and begin to unlock the mysterious magnetic activity of UCDs.