Probing Brown Dwarf Layers
Ssc2013 01a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Chart • January 8th, 2013 • ssc2013-01a


This graph shows the brightness variations of the brown dwarf named 2MASSJ22282889-431026 measured simultaneously by both NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. As the object rotates every 1.4 hours, its emitted light periodically brightens and dims. Surprisingly, the timing, or phase, of the variations in brightness changes when measured at different wavelengths of infrared light. Spitzer and Hubble's wavelengths probe different layers in the atmosphere of the brown dwarf. The phase shifts indicate complex clouds or weather patterns that change with altitude.

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