Volume 423, Number 2, August IV 2004
|Page(s)||657 - 675|
|Published online||06 August 2004|
Dust in brown dwarfs
IV. Dust formation and driven turbulence on mesoscopic scales
Sterrewacht Leiden, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Technische Universität Berlin, Hardenbergstraße 36, 10623 Berlin, Germany
3 Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum für Informationstechnik Berlin, Takustraße 7, 14195 Berlin, Germany
4 Fachbereich Mathematik und Informatik, Freie Universität Berlin, Arnimallee 2–6, 14195 Berlin, Germany
5 Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegrafenberg A31, 14473 Potsdamn, Germany
Accepted: 8 April 2004
Dust formation in brown dwarf atmospheres is studied by utilising a model for driven turbulence in the mesoscopic scale regime. We apply a pseudo-spectral method where waves are created and superimposed within a limited wavenumber interval. The turbulent kinetic energy distribution follows the Kolmogoroff spectrum which is assumed to be the most likely value. Such superimposed, stochastic waves may occur in a convectively active environment. They cause nucleation fronts and nucleation events and thereby initiate the dust formation process which continues until all condensible material is consumed. Small disturbances are found to have a large impact on the dust forming system. An initially dust-hostile region, which may originally be optically thin, becomes optically thick in a patchy way showing considerable variations in the dust properties during the formation process. The dust appears in lanes and curls as a result of the interaction with waves, i.e. turbulence, which form larger and larger structures with time. Aiming at a physical understanding of the variability of brown dwarfs, related to structure formation in substellar atmospheres, we work out first necessary criteria for small-scale closure models to be applied in macroscopic simulations of dust-forming astrophysical systems.
Key words: stars: atmospheres / turbulence / hydrodynamics / stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs / astrochemistry
© ESO, 2004
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