A Case for Clouds in L Dwarfs
Christopher R. Gelino, Mark S. Marley, Jon A. Holtzman

Institute: New Mexico State University
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Abstract: The effective temperatures of L dwarfs span the range where molecules can condense to form clouds. Non-uniform cloud features can provide a source of photometric variations in much the same way that non-uniform starspot coverage can cause variations in hotter objects. We present results of a small sample from a variability search of 18 L dwarfs. We find that 2MASS 0036+18 and 2MASS 0135+12 are variable, whereas 2MASS 1412+16 is not. The two variable objects exhibit significant periodicity at 2.2 hours (2MASS 0036+18) and 18.7 hours (2MASS 0135+12). Finally, we present observational and theoretical evidence that supports a non-magnetic origin for the variations.

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Index Keywords: L Dwarfs; Visible Observations

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Manuscript submitted: 2001-Sep-04
"The Future of Cool-Star Astrophysics", 2003, Eds. A. Brown, G. M. Harper, & T. R. Ayres. Proceedings of 12th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, & The Sun,
© 2003 University of Colorado.