Exoplanets & Exomoons

Stellar Winds And Planetary Atmospheres

By Keith Cowing
May 26, 2021
Filed under
Stellar Winds And Planetary Atmospheres
Simulation of Earth exposed to dense and fast early solar wind calculated using the Space Weather Modelling Framework (T´oth et al. 2005). The background color shows the plasma density, and red and white lines illustrate the planetary and solar wind magnetic field lines. Image courtesy of K. G. Kislyakova.

Interactions between the winds of stars and the magnetospheres and atmospheres of planets involve many processes, including the acceleration of particles, heating of upper atmospheres, and a diverse range of atmospheric loss processes.

Winds remove angular momentum from their host stars causing rotational spin-down and a decay in magnetic activity, which protects atmospheres from erosion. While wind interactions are strongly influenced by the X-ray and ultraviolet activity of the star and the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the role of planetary magnetic fields is unclear. In this chapter, I review our knowledge of the properties and evolution of stellar activity and winds and discuss the influences of these processes on the long term evolution of planetary atmospheres. I do not consider the large number of important processes taking place at the surfaces of planets that cause exchanges between the atmosphere and the planet’s interior.

Colin P. Johnstone

Comments: Proceedings of the Evry Schatzman School 2019 “Interactions star-planet”. EDP, Eds Bigot, Bouvier, Lebreton, Chiavassa
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:2105.11243 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2105.11243v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Colin Philip Johnstone
[v1] Mon, 24 May 2021 12:35:41 UTC (7,558 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) 🖖🏻