The Cornell High-order Adaptive Optics Survey for brown dwarfs (CHAOS), currently about 90% complete, uses the Palomar Hale Telescope's adaptive optics system to survey 80 bright stars out to 13 parsecs. Using the telescope's AO Science camera, brown dwarf companions 4–200 AU can be identified using coronagraphic imaging and spectroscopic modes. We will be using monte carlo simulations to create population models consistent with the CHAOS data set.
Currently, we have observed 70 systems out of a target sample of 80. Five candidate companions await follow-up observations. As of now, no systems in the target sample have shown strong evidence of having brown dwarf companions. These early results support previous speculations of a “brown dwarf desert” at orbital separations out to 200 AU.
While the target sources revealed no evidence of brown dwarf companions, accompanying observations of calibration stars provided evidence of an early methane dwarf candidate around the binary system HD150451AB. Forty seven parsecs from earth, the candidate indicated a projected orbital separation of 280 AU.