Radio emission in Mercury magnetosphere
1 AIM, CEA/CNRS/University of Paris 7, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Université Paris-Diderot, Place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
3 LESIA & USN, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, PSL/SU/UPMC/UPD/SPC, Place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
Received: 30 March 2016
Accepted: 18 July 2016
Context. Active stars possess magnetized wind that has a direct impact on planets that can lead to radio emission. Mercury is a good test case to study the effect of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on radio emission driven in the planet magnetosphere. Such studies could be used as proxies to characterize the magnetic field topology and intensity of exoplanets.
Aims. The aim of this study is to quantify the radio emission in the Hermean magnetosphere.
Methods. We use the magnetohydrodynamic code PLUTO in spherical coordinates with an axisymmetric multipolar expansion for the Hermean magnetic field, to analyze the effect of the IMF orientation and intensity, as well as the hydrodynamic parameters of the solar wind (velocity, density and temperature), on the net power dissipated on the Hermean day and night side. We apply the formalism derived by Zarka et al. (2001, Astrophys. Space Sci., 277, 293), Zarka (2007, Planet. Space Sci., 55, 598) to infer the radio emission level from the net dissipated power. We perform a set of simulations with different hydrodynamic parameters of the solar wind, IMF orientations and intensities, that allow us to calculate the dissipated power distribution and infer the existence of radio emission hot spots on the planet day side, and to calculate the integrated radio emission of the Hermean magnetosphere.
Results. The obtained radio emission distribution of dissipated power is determined by the IMF orientation (associated with the reconnection regions in the magnetosphere), although the radio emission strength is dependent on the IMF intensity and solar wind hydro parameters. The calculated total radio emission level is in agreement with the one estimated in Zarka et al. (2001, Astrophys. Space Sci., 277, 293) , between 5 × 105 and 2 × 106 W.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / plasmas / planets and satellites: magnetic fields / radio continuum: planetary systems
© ESO, 2016