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.
- methods: statistical
- planets and satellites: individual (Jupiter)
- stars: individual (2MASS J21392676+0220226, 2MASS J0136565+093347)
- techniques: photometric
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science