Magnetospheres of Terrestrial Exoplanets and Exomoons: Implications for Habitability and Detection

©SpaceRef/NASA

Habitable exomoon

Characterizing habitable exoplanets and/or their moons is of paramount importance. Here we show the results of our magnetic field topological modeling which demonstrate that terrestrial exoplanet-exomoon coupled magnetospheres work together to protect the early atmospheres of both the exoplanet and the exomoon.

When exomoon magnetospheres are within the exoplanet's magnetospheric cavity, the exomoon magnetosphere acts like a protective magnetic bubble providing an additional magnetopause confronting the stellar winds when the moon is on the dayside. In addition, magnetic reconnection would create a critical pathway for the atmosphere exchange between the early exoplanet and exomoon.

When the exomoon's magnetosphere is outside of the exoplanet's magnetosphere it then becomes the first line of defense against strong stellar winds, reducing the exoplanet's atmospheric loss to space. A brief discussion is given on how this type of exomoon would modify radio emissions from magnetized exoplanets.

James Green, Scott Boardsen, Chuanfei Dong
Comments: submitted to ApJ Letters
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Space Physics (physics.space-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:2012.11694 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2012.11694v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Chuanfei Dong
[v1] Mon, 21 Dec 2020 21:42:58 UTC (1,652 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2012.11694
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