Publication Abstracts

Burgasser et al. 2002

Burgasser, A.J., M.S. Marley, A.S. Ackerman, D. Saumon, K. Lodders, C.C. Dahn, H.C. Harris, and J.D. Kirkpatrick, 2002: Evidence of cloud disruption in the L/T dwarf transition. Astrophys. J., 571, L151-L154, doi:10.1086/341343.

Clouds of metal-bearing condensates play a critical role in shaping the emergent spectral energy distributions of the coolest classes of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, L and T dwarfs. Because condensate clouds in planetary atmospheres show distinct horizontal structure, we have explored a model for partly cloudy atmospheres in brown dwarfs. Our model successfully reproduces the colors and magnitudes of both L and T dwarfs for the first time, including the unexpected brightening of the early- and mid-type T dwarfs at the J band, provided that clouds are rapidly removed from the photosphere at Teff — 1200 K. The clearing of cloud layers also explains the surprising persistence and strengthening of gaseous FeH bands in early- and mid-type T dwarfs. The breakup of cloud layers is likely driven by convection in the troposphere, analogous to phenomena observed on Jupiter. Our results demonstrate that planetary-like atmospheric dynamics must be considered when examining the evolution of free-floating brown dwarfs.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Burgasser, A. J. and Marley, M. S. and Ackerman, A. S. and Saumon, D. and Lodders, K. and Dahn, C. C. and Harris, H. C. and Kirkpatrick, J. D.},
  title={Evidence of cloud disruption in the L/T dwarf transition},
  journal={Astrophys. J.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - bu02000x
AU  - Burgasser, A. J.
AU  - Marley, M. S.
AU  - Ackerman, A. S.
AU  - Saumon, D.
AU  - Lodders, K.
AU  - Dahn, C. C.
AU  - Harris, H. C.
AU  - Kirkpatrick, J. D.
PY  - 2002
TI  - Evidence of cloud disruption in the L/T dwarf transition
JA  - Astrophys. J.
VL  - 571
SP  - L151
EP  - L154
DO  - 10.1086/341343
ER  -

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