PI: Aren Heinze, Stony Brook University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls Rd, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3800, USA
CoI: Stanimir Metchev, Stony Brook University
CoI: Daniel Apai, University of Arizona
CoI: Davin Flateau, University of Arizona
Title: Simultaneous Ground Based Monitoring of Brown Dwarfs Being Observed with Spitzer
Abstract: Brown dwarfs are the only objects beyond the solar system on which we can currently observe weather. Patchy clouds cause periodic, rotationally modulated photometric variability in some brown dwarfs; others show apparently non-periodic variations, potentially because rapid cloud evolution washes out the rotational photometric modulation. Measuring the relative amplitudes of a brown dwarf's photometric variability at different wavelengths reveals the altitude and other physical properties of its clouds. However, non-periodic variations require that the amplitudes be measured simultaneously in time. We propose to obtain simultaneous, multi-band photometry of brown dwarfs by observing them in the optical or near-IR at the same time as they are being monitored at longer wavelengths with Spitzer. These observations will have unique leverage to constrain the properties of brown dwarf clouds. Given the uncertain future of the Spitzer Warm Mission and the lack of any other mission with similar capability, the present semester represents a limited window of opportunity for carrying out such observations.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360