1000+ Cool Spectra: Science, Art and Education with the SpeX Prism Libraries
Adam Burgasser



Over the past decade, low-resolution (R ≈ 100), near-infrared (0.8-2.4 μm) spectra of the coolest stars and brown dwarfs - M, L, T and Y dwarfs - have been obtained with the SpeX spectrograph on the 3m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Since 2009, I have curated of a subset of these data in the SpeX Prism Libraries (SPL), a resource that has been utilized in over 100 studies for source discovery and discrimination, the development of near-infrared classification schemes, spectral model fitting, variability studies, multiplicity analyses, filter system transformations, and identification of distinct subgroups (e.g., subdwarfs, young brown dwarfs). In this talk, I will briefly describe the design and structure of the current SPL and highlight some of its uses, focusing in particular on our discovery of over two dozen spectral blend binaries. I will then focus on plans for the next generation SPL, which will include updated data extractions, standardized (Virtual Observatory) data formats, integration of ancillary data, and a Python-based toolkit called SPLAT that will facilitate rapid science and student research projects. I will also showcase examples of how SPL has been used for data-driven artwork/performance and public outreach/education.

SpeX Prism Libraries website
Recent conference proceedings on the SPL