Volume 564, April 2014
|Number of page(s)||21|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||09 April 2014|
Pseudo 2D chemical model of hot-Jupiter atmospheres: application to HD 209458b and HD 189733b
Univ. Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270
2 CNRS, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270, Floirac, France
3 Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS UMR 6202, BP 4229, 06304 Nice Cedex 4, France
4 Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Accepted: 3 March 2014
The high temperature contrast between the day and night sides of hot-Jupiter atmospheres may result in strong variations of the chemical composition with longitude if the atmosphere were at chemical equilibrium. On the other hand, the vigorous dynamics predicted in these atmospheres, with a strong equatorial jet, would tend to supress such longitudinal variations. To address this subject we have developed a pseudo two-dimensional model of a planetary atmosphere, which takes into account thermochemical kinetics, photochemistry, vertical mixing, and horizontal transport, the latter being modeled as a uniform zonal wind. We have applied the model to the atmospheres of the hot Jupiters HD 209458b and HD 189733b. The adopted eddy diffusion coefficients were calculated by following the behavior of passive tracers in three-dimensional general circulation models, which results in much lower eddy values than in previous estimates. We find that the distribution of molecules with altitude and longitude in the atmospheres of these two hot Jupiters is complex because of the interplay of the various physical and chemical processes at work. Much of the distribution of molecules is driven by the strong zonal wind and the limited extent of vertical transport, resulting in an important homogenization of the chemical composition with longitude. The homogenization is more marked in planets lacking a thermal inversion such as HD 189733b than in planets with a strong stratosphere such as HD 209458b. In general, molecular abundances are quenched horizontally to values typical of the hottest dayside regions, and thus the composition in the cooler nightside regions is highly contaminated by that of warmer dayside regions. As a consequence, the abundance of methane remains low, even below the predictions of previous one-dimensional models, which probably is in conflict with the high CH4 content inferred from observations of the dayside of HD 209458b. Another consequence of the important longitudinal homogenization of the abundances is that the variability of the chemical composition has little effect on the way the emission spectrum is modified with phase and on the changes in the transmission spectrum from the transit ingress to the egress. These variations in the spectra are mainly due to changes in the temperature, rather than in the composition, between the different sides of the planet.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: individual: HD 189733b / planets and satellites: composition / planets and satellites: individual: HD 209458b
© ESO, 2014
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