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Digging Deeper into Deviant Brown Dwarf Atmospheres

Presentation #223.04 in the session Exoplanet Atmospheres (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Digging Deeper into Deviant Brown Dwarf Atmospheres

The characterization of exoplanet atmospheres is a primary goal for the NASA Astrophysics Division. However, directly observing and characterizing the atmosphere of an exoplanet can be difficult due to its close proximity to the host star. In contrast, Brown Dwarfs (BDs) are often free-floating and easier to observe directly. The measured flux is related to the physical properties of the BD’s atmosphere, and the variation in that flux corresponds to opacity sources we expect to be prevalent in any giant planet atmosphere. With similar physical properties, brown dwarfs are important analogs for understanding exoplanet atmospheres.

To enhance our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres,we have been exploring the near- and mid-infrared spectra of brown dwarfs using both forward legacy models as well as retrieval models. Our primary focus has been on a few families of brown dwarf objects whose spectra is not well fit by any model.

The deviation of these objects from the norm may be due to missing molecular chemistry, unaccounted for haze layers, flux from deeper in the atmosphere, unresolved binarity, etc. In this poster I will present some of the work being done by my small army of students to explore in greater detail what physics is missing in the models that could account for the discrepancies.

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