Tuesday Lunch 1/14: Ian Crossfield (MPIA Heidelberg)

A Clearer View of Clouds on the Nearest Brown Dwarfs

Dr. Ian Crossfield (MPIA Heidelberg)
CAS 500, 12:30 pm, January 14, 2014

Clouds and hazes are ubiquitous in substellar atmospheres, sculpting the emission spectra of planets, exoplanets, and brown dwarfs. Though clouds have long been inferred to exist in brown dwarfs and were assumed to also exist in exoplanets,the atmospheric chemistry and dynamics involved remain imperfectly understood.  I will discuss recent efforts to shed light on these phenomena via measurements of globally-integrated thermal emission, longitudinally-averaged 1D thermal phase curves, and global 2D maps.  In particular, I will highlight our recent results that demonstrate the exciting new capability to obtain global 2D “weather movies” of the formation, evolution, and breakup of global cloud patterns in brown dwarfs.  Such observations will eventually place transformative constraints on the atmospheric structure, circulation, and cloud chemistry of many substellar objects beyond the Solar system.