Cloud formation in substellar atmospheres

Christiane Helling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clouds seem like an every-day experience. But - do we know how clouds form on brown dwarfs and extra-solar planets? How do they look like? Can we see than? What are they composed of? Cloud formation is an old-fashioned but still outstanding problem for the Earth atmosphere, and it has turned into a challenge for the modelling of brown dwarf and exo-planetary atmospheres. Cloud formation imposes strong feedbacks on the atmospheric structure, not only due to the clouds own opacity, but also due to the depletion of the gas phase, possibly leaving behind a dynamic and still supersaturated atmosphere I summarise the different approaches taken to model cloud formation in substellar atmospheres and workout their differences. Focusing on the phase-non-equilibrium approach to cloud formation, I demonstrate the inside we gain from detailed microphysical modelling on for instance the material composition and grain size distribution inside the cloud layer on a Brown Dwarf atmosphere. A comparison study on four different cloud approaches in Brown Dwarf atmosphere simulations demonstrates possible uncertainties in interpretation of observational data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOOL STARS, STELLAR SYSTEMS AND THE SUN
EditorsE Stempels
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Pages162-171
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-7354-0627-8
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event15th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun - St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: 21 Jul 200825 Jul 2008

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
PublisherAMER INST PHYSICS
Volume1094
ISSN (Print)0094-243X

Conference

Conference15th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CitySt Andrews
Period21/07/0825/07/08

Keywords

  • astrochemistry
  • stars: atmospheres
  • stars: low-mass
  • brown dwarfs
  • infrared: stars
  • BROWN DWARF ATMOSPHERES
  • T-DWARFS
  • PHOTOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT
  • CHEMICAL-COMPOSITION
  • EXTRASOLAR PLANET
  • ULTRACOOL DWARFS
  • DUST
  • SOLAR
  • CONDENSATION
  • VARIABILITY

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