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Why an intrinsic magnetic field does not protect a planet against atmospheric escape
Umeå universitet, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för fysik. Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Belgium.
Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Belgium.
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden.
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden.
Vise andre og tillknytning
2018 (engelsk)Inngår i: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 614, artikkel-id L3Artikkel i tidsskrift, Letter (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

The presence or absence of a magnetic field determines the nature of how a planet interacts with the solar wind and what paths are available for atmospheric escape. Magnetospheres form both around magnetised planets, such as Earth, and unmagnetised planets, like Mars and Venus, but it has been suggested that magnetised planets are better protected against atmospheric loss. However, the observed mass escape rates from these three planets are similar (in the approximate (0.5–2) kg s−1 range), putting this latter hypothesis into question. Modelling the effects of a planetary magnetic field on the major atmospheric escape processes, we show that the escape rate can be higher for magnetised planets over a wide range of magnetisations due to escape of ions through the polar caps and cusps. Therefore, contrary to what has previously been believed, magnetisation is not a sufficient condition for protecting a planet from atmospheric loss. Estimates of the atmospheric escape rates from exoplanets must therefore address all escape processes and their dependence on the planet’s magnetisation.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2018. Vol. 614, artikkel-id L3
Emneord [en]
Planets and satellites: magnetic fields, Planets and satellites: atmospheres, plasmas
HSV kategori
Forskningsprogram
rymd- och plasmafysik; rymdfysik
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148205DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201832934ISI: 000435753000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049562755OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148205DiVA, id: diva2:1211137
Tilgjengelig fra: 2018-05-30 Laget: 2018-05-30 Sist oppdatert: 2018-11-26bibliografisk kontrollert

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Nilsson, HansLindkvist, JesperHamrin, Maria

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