Cloud busting: enstatite and quartz clouds in the atmosphere of 2M2224-0158
ABSTRACT We present the most detailed data-driven exploration of cloud opacity in a substellar object to-date. We have tested over 60 combinations of cloud composition and structure, particle-size distribution, scattering model, and gas phase composition assumptions against archival 1–15 μm spectroscopy for the unusually red L4.5 dwarf 2MASSW J2224438-015852 using the Brewster retrieval framework. We find that, within our framework, a model that includes enstatite and quartz cloud layers at shallow pressures, combined with a deep iron cloud deck fits the data best. This model assumes a Hansen distribution for particle sizes for each cloud, and Mie scattering. We retrieved particle effective radii of $\log _{10} a {\rm (\mu m)} = -1.41^{+0.18}_{-0.17}$ for enstatite, $-0.44^{+0.04}_{-0.20}$ for quartz, and $-0.77^{+0.05}_{-0.06}$ for iron. Our inferred cloud column densities suggest ${\rm (Mg/Si)} = 0.69^{+0.06}_{-0.08}$ if there are no other sinks for magnesium or silicon. Models that include forsterite alongside, or in place of, these cloud species are strongly rejected in favour of the above combination. We estimate a radius of 0.75 ± 0.02 RJup, which is considerably smaller than predicted by evolutionary models for a field age object with the luminosity of 2M2224-0158. Models which assume vertically constant gas fractions are consistently preferred over models that assume thermochemical equilibrium. more »
Authors:
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10294138
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
506
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1944 to 1961
ISSN:
0035-8711
National Science Foundation
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