A Simple Model for Understanding Cloud Diffusion on a Brown Dwarf

A Simple Model for Understanding Cloud Diffusion on a Brown Dwarf

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Joseph A. Landsittela) and Ryan A. Coldrenb)

Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, 3941 O'Hara St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA
a)Corresponding author: landsittel [at] pitt.edu
b)rac214 [at] pitt.edu


Brown dwarfs in the L-T spectral class transition commonly experience photometric variability due to the active formation/dissipation of clouds that rotate in and out of our view. Measurements of these photometric oscillations, such as their
frequency and amplitude, may help constrain the physical parameters of observed brown dwarfs through their associations with aspects such as rotational period and surface temperature. However, measurements of these oscillations and their significance are obscured by the inclination angle of observed brown dwarfs relative to us. By creating a simplistic model of 2D cloud formation on the surface of a toy model brown dwarf, this paper aims to further explore the relationship between oscillation amplitude and inclination angle for cloudy brown dwarfs and finds agreement with the correlation found observationally between the two factors in Vos et al., 2017.