Time-resolved Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 Spectrophotometry Reveals Inefficient Day-to-night Heat Redistribution in the Highly Irradiated Brown Dwarf SDSS 1557B

Rachael C. Amaro, Dániel Apai, Ben W.P. Lew, Yifan Zhou, Joshua D. Lothringer, Sarah L. Casewell, Xianyu Tan, Travis Barman, Mark S. Marley, L. C. Mayorga, Vivien Parmentier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Brown dwarfs (BDs) in ultra-short-period orbits around white dwarfs (WDs) offer a unique opportunity to study the properties of tidally locked, fast-rotating (1-3 hr), and highly irradiated atmospheres. Here we present phase-resolved spectrophotometry of the WD-BD binary SDSS 1557, which is the fifth WD-BD binary in our six-object sample. Using the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 Near-infrared G141 instrument, the 1.1-1.7 μm phase curves show rotational modulations with semiamplitudes of 10.5% ± 0.1%. We observe a wavelength-dependent amplitude, with longer wavelengths producing larger amplitudes, while no wavelength-dependent phase shifts were identified. The phase-resolved extracted BD spectra exhibit steep slopes and are nearly featureless. A simple radiative energy redistribution atmospheric model re-creates the hemisphere-integrated brightness temperatures at three distinct phases and finds evidence for weak redistribution efficiency. Our model also predicts a higher inclination than previously published. We find that SDSS 1557B, the second most irradiated BD in our sample, is likely dominated by clouds on the nightside, whereas the featureless dayside spectrum is likely dominated by H opacity and a temperature inversion, much like the other highly irradiated BD EPIC 2122B.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume966
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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