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Polarimetry Probes Brown Dwarf Clouds

6 May 2020, 17:06 UTC
Polarimetry Probes Brown Dwarf Clouds NASA/JPL-Caltech

It will surprise few Centauri Dreams readers that at least some brown dwarfs have bands of clouds, just as we see similar bands on our Solar System’s largest planet. In fact, three brown dwarfs have recently shown signs of cloud banding, and today’s subject, Luhman 16, has previously been analyzed in terms of large cloud patches. I think new work based on data from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile may be less significant for what it says about brown dwarfs than what it says about how we study them.

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