Tuesday 28 Nov 2017The Needle in the Haystack: Survey Harvesting for Brown Dwarf Variability and Lightning Detection

Angela Breimann - University of Exeter

4th Floor Interaction Area 11:15-11:45

We present our pathfinding method of identifying variable brown dwarfs, with a focus on those that could host lightning. Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) V band photometry was obtained for ~3400 known brown dwarfs. Using our variability criteria, we select a subset of 155 potentially variable objects. We attempt to constrain lightning energies with ground-based photometry. The lightning energies obtained are within boundaries observed in solar system planets. Using this proof of concept, we conclude that it is possible for ground-based telescopes such as those used in CSS to observe lightning of similar energies. This is the first BD variability study using data that spans several years. As a result, we find an M9.5 type object with a potential, unusually long, rotation period of 9.5 days.

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