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TU Berlin

Circuit of Dust in Substellar Objects

Ch. Helling

AG-Tagung: "The Cosmic Circuit of Matter", (2002)

Gzipped ps version (2.2 MB)


Substellar atmospheres are cool and dense enough that dust forms very efficiently. As soon as these particles are formed, they sizedependently precipitate due to the large gravity of the objects. Arriving in hot atmospheric layers, the dust evaporates and enriches the gas by those elements from which it has formed. The upper atmospheric layers are depleted by the same elements. Non-continuous and spatially inhomogeneous convective element replenishment, generating a turbulent fluid field, completes the circuit of dust.

The formation of dust in substellar atmosphere is described by extending the classical theory of Gail & Sedlmayr for the case of different gas and dust velocities. Turbulence is modeled in different scale regimes which reveals turbulence as trigger for dust formation in hot environments. Both mechanisms cause the dust to be present in else wise dust-hostile region: precipitation transports the dust into hot regions, and turbulence allows the formation of dust in there.

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