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Published November 20, 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Aeolus: A Markov Chain Monte Carlo Code for Mapping Ultracool Atmospheres. An Application on Jupiter and Brown Dwarf HST Light Curves


Deducing the cloud cover and its temporal evolution from the observed planetary spectra and phase curves can give us major insight into the atmospheric dynamics. In this paper, we present Aeolus, a Markov chain Monte Carlo code that maps the structure of brown dwarf and other ultracool atmospheres. We validated Aeolus on a set of unique Jupiter Hubble Space Telescope (HST) light curves. Aeolus accurately retrieves the properties of the major features of the Jovian atmosphere, such as the Great Red Spot and a major 5 μm hot spot. Aeolus is the first mapping code validated on actual observations of a giant planet over a full rotational period. For this study, we applied Aeolus to J- and H-band HST light curves of 2MASS J21392676+0220226 and 2MASS J0136565+093347. Aeolus retrieves three spots at the top of the atmosphere (per observational wavelength) of these two brown dwarfs, with a surface coverage of 21% ± 3% and 20.3% ± 1.5%, respectively. The Jupiter HST light curves will be publicly available via ADS/VIZIR.

Additional Information

© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 August 7; accepted 2015 October 12; published 2015 November 17. This work is part of the Spitzer Cycle-9 Exploration Program Extrasolar Storms (program No. 90063). This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech. Support for program number 12314 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. An allocation of computer time from the UA Research Computing High Performance Computing (HTC) and High Throughput Computing (HTC) at the University of Arizona is gratefully acknowledged. This study, in part, is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 526555. These observations are associated with program no. 13067. G.S. and J.M.P. acknowledge support for program no. 13067 provided by NASA through grants from the Space Telescope Science Institute to the University Arizona and to Williams College, respectively. J.M.P. acknowledges the hospitality of A. Ingersoll and the Planetary Sciences Department of Caltech.

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Submitted - 1510.04251v1.pdf

Published - Karalidi_2015.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023