Name/Affiliation: Ian Crossfield (MPIA)
Global, Spatially-resolved Meteorology of Cloudy Brown Dwarfs
Models of brown dwarf atmospheres long predicted that clouds (formed of condensed mineral species) should sculpt the emission spectra of these cool substellar objects. Observations of brown dwarfs show ubiquitous variability on brown dwarfs with temperatures ranging from 2300 K to below 400 K. This variability is attributed to patchy regions of thin and thick clouds, but interpretation of these results is limited because they rely on disk-integrated measurements. Now, bright new brown dwarfs and improved observing facilities allow us to produce the first 2D global maps of these objects via Doppler Imaging techniques. I will review our team's work, which has resulted in the first global cloud map of any brown dwarf, and will discuss the exciting scientific prospects for mapping many more such objects across a wide range of temperatures in the years to come. Terrestrial weather permitting, I will also present the first 'weather movie' of the formation, evolution, and dissipation of global weather patterns on any body beyond the Solar system.