Solar XUV And ENA-driven Water Loss From Early Venus' Steam Atmosphere

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
November 6, 2019
Filed under
Solar XUV And ENA-driven Water Loss From Early Venus' Steam Atmosphere
Early Venus

The influence of the hydrogen hydrodynamic upper atmosphere escape, driven by the solar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) flux, on an expected magma ocean outgassed steam atmosphere of early Venus is studied.

By assuming that the young Sun was either a weak or moderate active young G star, we estimated the water loss from a hydrogen dominated thermosphere due to the absorption of the solar XUV flux and the precipitation of solar wind produced energetic hydrogen atoms (ENAs). The production of ENAs and their interaction with the hydrodynamic extended upper atmosphere, including collision-related feedback processes, have been calculated by means of Monte Carlo models. ENAs that collide in the upper atmosphere deposit their energy and heat the surrounding gas mainly above the main XUV energy deposition layer.

It is shown that precipitating ENAs modify the thermal structure of the upper atmosphere, but the enhancement of the thermal escape rates caused by these energetic hydrogen atoms is negligible. Our results also indicate that the majority of oxygen arising from dissociated H2O molecules is left behind during the first 100 Myr. It is thus suggested that the main part of the remaining oxygen has been absorbed by crustal oxidation.

H. I. M. Lichtenegger, K. G. Kislyakova, P. Odert, N. V. Erkaev, H. Lammer, H. Gröller, C. P. Johnstone, L. Elkins-Tanton, L. Tu, M. Güdel, M. Holmström
(Submitted on 6 Nov 2019)

Comments: 6 figures and 2 tables
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Journal reference: Lichtenegger, H. I. M., et al. (2016), Solar XUV and ENA-driven water loss from early Venus’ steam atmosphere, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 121, 4718-4732, doi:10.1002/2015JA022226
DOI: 10.1002/2015JA022226
Cite as: arXiv:1911.02288 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1911.02288v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Hannes Gröller
[v1] Wed, 6 Nov 2019 10:22:37 UTC (360 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻