Dr. Bartlett spoke about her collaboration’s, RECONS, discovery of several low-mass binary star systems. Since the least massive stars are also the dimmest, these systems are some of the most interesting but difficult to study.
However, these stars can also be the easiest to found extrasolar planets around since the perturbations astronomers look for to find planets are enhanced for these stars, due to their low masses and sizes. But we can only really study these systems if they are close to us.
So, for several reasons, measuring the parallaxes to infer the distances to the nearest stars in the galaxy is an exciting topic.