Published February 26, 2021 | Version v1
Poster Open

Let the Great World Spin: Revealing the Turbulent, Stormy Atmospheres of Giant Planet Analogs

  • 1. American Museum of Natural History
  • 2. Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan
  • 3. NASA Ames
  • 4. University of Western Ontario
  • 5. Macaulay Honors College CUNY
  • 6. Hunter College CUNY


Photometric variability monitoring of brown dwarfs is a unique probe of their atmospheres as it is sensitive to condensate clouds as they rotate in and out of view. Variability has now been robustly observed in a range of L, T and Y spectral type brown dwarfs and more recently in planetary-mass companions and free-floating exoplanet analogs. Emerging as an important insight into brown dwarf and exoplanet atmospheric physics is evidence for a correlation between enhanced clouds and youth. We present results from the first large survey for mid-IR photometric variability in 26 young, low-mass brown dwarfs using the Spitzer Space Telescope. These unique, time-resolved variability monitoring data enable us to compare variability trends between younger and older brown dwarfs to definitively test the potential correlation between cloud-induced variability and youth in brown dwarfs.



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Additional details


  • Metchev et al. (2015) arXiv:1411.3051
  • Vos et al. (2020) arXiv:2005.12854