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Publication Date


First Advisor

Suzan Edwards

Second Advisor

Kate Follette

Third Advisor

Kimberly Ward-Duong

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Accrettion, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Brown dwarfs, Planets, Stars, Meta-analysis, Database


In order to fully understand the formation mechanisms of massive planets and brown dwarfs, we need to understand how they accrete gas. In the stellar mass regime, a scatter of approximately five orders of magnitude has been observed in the relationship between accretion rate and mass. The goal of this thesis is to constrain potential sources of that scatter and explore if this behavior extends similarly to the substellar regime. I assemble the first ever comprehensive database of accreting substellar objects, consisting of 21 individual literature studies, and discuss the results of this combined population. My database expands on the brown dwarf population in the 2016 review from Hartmann et al. by a factor of 5 [1]. I also incorporate 50% more literature studies. I analyze how age, disk type, and accretion diagnostic affect accretion rate estimates and run 2 dimensional 2 sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests on sub- samples. I seek to understand whether all three variables have significant effects on the accretion rate of an object and thus contribute to the scatter in the mass-accretion rate relationship.


©2020 Anne Peck. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




iv, 130 pages : color illustrations. Includes bibliographical references (pages 121-130)