Volume 616, August 2018
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||04 September 2018|
Effect of the exoplanet magnetic field topology on its magnetospheric radio emission
Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
2 UCLA Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA
3 Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DRF, CNRS, Univ. Paris Diderot, IRFU/DAp, Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, Cedex, France
4 LESIA & USN, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, PSL/SU/UPMC/UPD/UO, Place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
5 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Univ. Paris-Diderot, Place J. Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
Accepted: 2 June 2018
Context. The magnetized wind from stars that impact exoplanets should lead to radio emissions. According to the scaling laws derived in the solar system, the radio emission should depend on the stellar wind, interplanetary magnetic field, and topology of the exoplanet magnetosphere.
Aims. The aim of this study is to calculate the dissipated power and subsequent radio emission from exoplanet magnetospheres with different topologies perturbed by the interplanetary magnetic field and stellar wind, to refine the predictions from scaling laws, and to prepare the interpretation of future radio detections.
Methods. We use the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code PLUTO in spherical coordinates to analyze the total radio emission level resulting from the dissipation of the kinetic and magnetic (Poynting flux) energies inside the exoplanet’s magnetospheres. We apply a formalism to infer the detailed contribution in the exoplanet radio emission on the exoplanet’s day side and magnetotail. The model is based on Mercury-like conditions, although the study results are extrapolated to exoplanets with stronger magnetic fields, providing the lower bound of the radio emission.
Results. The predicted dissipated powers and resulting radio emissions depend critically on the exoplanet magnetosphere topology and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientation. The radio emission on the exoplanet’s night and day sides should thus contain information on the exoplanet magnetic field topology. In addition, if the topology of an exoplanet magnetosphere is known, the radio emission measurements can be used as a proxy of the instantaneous dynamic pressure of the stellar wind, IMF orientation, and intensity.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / planets and satellites: magnetic fields / planet-star interactions / radio continuum: planetary systems
© ESO 2018
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