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Brown Dwarf Weather Report: Cloudy

14 Jun 2009, 09:47 UTC
Brown Dwarf Weather Report: Cloudy NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
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Astronomers have made an interplanetary weather report, spotting brightness alterations in a brown dwarfs atmosphere. The brown dwarf in question is SIMP 0136, the brightest "T dwarf" in the northern hemisphere.
Although SIMP 0136 is classed as a failed star, have astronomers uncovered more of a planetary phenomenon?
Etienne Artigau and his team at the Gemini South Observatory carried out an observing campaign for five days and realized that not only was SIMP 0136 varying in brightness, its atmosphere was changing. On each day, dark and light patches moved across its surface, indicating the motion of dust clouds.

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