Wednesday, March 13, 2013

1303.2948 (Aren N. Heinze et al.)

Weather on Other Worlds I: Detection of Periodic Variability in the L3 Dwarf DENIS-P J1058.7-1548 with Precise Multi-Wavelength Photometry    [PDF]

Aren N. Heinze, Stanimir Metchev, Daniel Apai, Davin Flateau, Mark Marley, Jacqueline Radigan, Adam J. Burgasser, Étienne Artigau, Peter Plavchan
Photometric monitoring from warm Spitzer reveals that the L3 dwarf DENIS-P J1058.7-1548 varies sinusoidally in brightness with a period of 4.25 +0.26/-0.16 hours and an amplitude of 0.388 +/- 0.043% (peak-to-valley) in the 3.6 micron band, confirming the reality of a 4.31 +/- 0.31 hour periodicity detected in J-band photometry from the SOAR telescope. The J-band variations are a factor of 2.17 +/- 0.35 larger in amplitude than those at 3.6 microns, while 4.5 micron Spitzer observations yield a 4.5 micron/3.6 micron amplitude ratio of only 0.23 +/- 0.15, consistent with zero 4.5 micron variability. This wide range in amplitudes indicates rotationally modulated variability due to magnetic phenomena and/or inhomogeneous cloud cover. Weak H-alpha emission indicates some magnetic activity, but it is difficult to explain the observed amplitudes by magnetic phenomena unless they are combined with cloud inhomogeneities (which might have a magnetic cause). However, inhomogenous cloudcover alone can explain all our observations, and our data align with theory in requiring that the regions with the thickest clouds also have the lowest effective temperature. Combined with published v sin(i) results, our rotation period yields a 95% confidence lower limit of 0.111 solar radii on the radius of DENIS-P J1058.7-1548, suggesting upper limits of 320 Myr and 0.055 solar masses on the age and mass. These limits should be regarded cautiously because of 3-sigma inconsistencies with other data; however, a lower limit of 45 degrees on the inclination is more secure. DENIS-P J1058.7-1548 is only the first of nearly two dozen low-amplitude variables discovered and analyzed by the Weather on Other Worlds project.
View original:

No comments:

Post a Comment