Volume 639, July 2020
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||07 July 2020|
Stellar impact on disequilibrium chemistry and observed spectra of hot Jupiter atmospheres
Max-Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung,
2 Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía - CSIC, c/ Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, 18008 Granada, Spain
Accepted: 30 April 2020
Aims. We study the effect of disequilibrium processes (photochemistry and vertical transport) on mixing ratio profiles of neutral species and on the simulated spectra of a hot Jupiter exoplanet that orbits stars of various spectral types. We additionally address the impact of stellar activity that should be present, to various degrees, in all stars with convective envelopes.
Methods. We used the VULCAN chemical kinetic code to compute number densities of species in irradiated planetary atmospheres. The temperature-pressure profile of the atmosphere was computed with the HELIOS code. We also utilized the τ-REx forward model to predict the spectra of planets in primary and secondary eclipses. In order to account for the stellar activity, we made use of the observed solar extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectrum taken from Virtual Planetary Laboratory as a proxy for an active sun-like star.
Results. We find large changes in the mixing ratios of most chemical species in planets orbiting A-type stars, which radiate strong XUV flux thereby inducing a very effective photodissociation. For some species, these changes can propagate very deep into the planetary atmosphere to pressures of around 1 bar. To observe disequilibrium chemistry we favor hot Jupiters with temperatures Teq = 1000 K and ultra-hot Jupiters, with Teq ≈ 3000 K,which also have temperature inversion in their atmospheres. On the other hand, disequilibrium calculations predict no noticeable changes in spectra of planets with intermediate temperatures. We also show that stellar activity similar to that of the modern Sun drives important changes in mixing ratio profiles of atmospheric species. However, these changes take place at very high atmospheric altitudes and thus do not affect predicted spectra. Finally, we estimate that the effect of disequilibrium chemistry in planets orbiting nearby bright stars could be robustly detected and studied with future missions with spectroscopic capabilities in infrared such as James Webb Space Telescope and ARIEL.
Key words: planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: composition / stars: activity / methods: numerical
© D. Shulyak et al. 2020
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
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