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Sample records for extrasolar planetary atmospheres

  1. Extrasolar Planetary Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Andrew Collier

    An extrasolar planet will transit the visible hemisphere of its host star if its orbital plane lies sufficiently close to the observer's line of sight. The resulting periodic dips in stellar flux reveal key system parameters, including the density of the host star and, if radial-velocity observations are available, the surface gravitational acceleration of the planet. In this chapter I present the essential methodology for modelling the time-dependent flux variation during a transit, and its use in determining the posterior probability distribution for the physical parameters of the system. Large-scale searches for transiting systems are an efficient way of discovering planets whose bulk densities, and hence compositions, can be accessed if their masses can also be determined. I present algorithms for detrending large ensembles of light curves, for searching for transit-like signals among them. I also discuss methods for identifying diluted stellar eclipsing binaries mimicking planetary transit signals, and validation of transit candidates too faint for radial-velocity follow-up. I review the use of time-resolved spectrophotometry and high-resolution spectroscopy during transits to identify the molecular constituents of exoplanetary atmospheres.

  2. Extrasolar planetary systems.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, S.-S.

    1973-01-01

    The terms 'planet' and 'planet-like objects' are defined. The observational search for extrasolar planetary systems is described, as performable by earthbound optical telescopes, by space probes, by long baseline radio interferometry, and finally by inference from the reception of signals sent by intelligent beings in other worlds. It is shown that any planetary system must be preceded by a rotating disk of gas and dust around a central mass. A brief review of the theories of the formation of the solar system is given, along with a proposed scheme for classification of these theories. The evidence for magnetic activity in the early stages of stellar evolution is presented. The magnetic braking theories of solar and stellar rotation are discussed, and an estimate is made for the frequency of occurrence of planetary systems in the universe.

  3. The Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. J.; Seager, S.

    2007-01-01

    In this chapter we examine what can be learned about extrasolar planet atmospheres by concentrating on a class of planets that transit their parent stars. As discussed in the previous chapter, one way of detecting an extrasolar planet is by observing the drop in stellar intensity as the planet passes in front of the star. A transit represents a special case in which the geometry of the planetary system is such that the planet s orbit is nearly edge-on as seen from Earth. As we will explore, the transiting planets provide opportunities for detailed follow-up observations that allow physical characterization of extrasolar planets, probing their bulk compositions and atmospheres.

  4. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Exoplanet Probe mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature and architecture of a variety of planets in other solar systems. Initially, it will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses and characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques. It will also observe the inner spatial structure of exozodiacal disks. EPIC has a heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 5 year mission lifetime. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument. The instrument achieves a contrast ratio of 10^9 over a 5 arcsecond field-of-view with an unprecedented inner working angle of 0.13 arcseconds over the spectral range of 440-880 nm. The telescope is a 1.65 meter off-axis Cassegrain with an OTA wavefront error of lambda/9, which when coupled to the VNC greatly reduces the requirements on the large scale optics.

  5. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clampin, Mark; Melnick, Gary; Lyon, Richard; Kenyon, Scott; Sasselov, Dimitar; Tolls, Volker; Ford, Holland; Golimowski, David; Petro, Larry; Hartig, George; Sparks, William; Illingworth, Garth; Lin, Doug; Seager, Sara; Weinberger, Alycia; Harwit, Martin; Marley, Mark; Schneider, Jean; Shao, Michael; Levine, Marty; Ge, Jian; Woodruff, Robert

    2006-06-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques, and observe the inner spatial structure and colors of debris disks. EPIC has a proposed launch date of 2012 to heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3 year mission lifetime (5 year goal), and will revisit planets at least three times at intervals of 9 months. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument. The instrument achieves a contrast ratio of 109 over a 4.84 arcsecond field-of-view with an unprecedented inner working angle of 0.14 arcseconds over the spectral range of 440-880 nm, with spectral resolutions from 10 - 150. The telescope is a 1.5 meter offaxis Cassegrain with an OTA wavefront error of λ/9, which when coupled to the VNC greatly reduces the requirements on the large scale optics, compressing them to stability requirements within the relatively compact VNC optical chain. The VNC features two integrated modular nullers, a spatial filter array (SFA), and an E2V-L3 photon counting CCD. Direct null control is accomplished from the science focal mitigating against complex wavefront and amplitude sensing and control strategies.

  6. Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomaliti, L. V.

    2000-11-01

    The discovery of planetary systems around alien stars is an outstanding achievement of recent years. The idea that the Solar System may be representative of planetary systems in the Galaxy in general develops upon the knowledge, current until the last decade of the 20th century, that it is the only object of its kind. Studies of the known planets gave rise to a certain stereotype in theoretical research. Therefore, the discovery of exoplanets, which are so different from objects of the Solar System, alters our basic notions concerning the physics and very criteria of normal planets. A substantial factor in the history of the Solar System was the formation of Jupiter. Two waves of meteorite bombardment played an important role in that history. Ultimately there arose a stable low-entropy state of the Solar System, in which Jupiter and the other giants in stable orbits protect the inner planets from impacts by dangerous celestial objects, reducing this danger by many orders of magnitude. There are even variants of the anthropic principle maintaining that life on Earth owes its genesis and development to Jupiter. Some 20 companions more or less similar to Jupiter in mass and a few ``infrared dwarfs,'' have been found among the 500 solar-type stars belonging to the main sequence. Approximately half of the exoplanets discovered are of the ``hot-Jupiter'' type. These are giants, sometimes of a mass several times that of Jupiter, in very low orbits and with periods of 3-14 days. All of their parent stars are enriched with heavy elements, [Fe/H] = 0.1-0.2. This may indicate that the process of exoplanet formation depends on the chemical composition of the protoplanetary disk. The very existence of exoplanets of the hot-Jupiter type considered in the context of new theoretical work comes up against the problem of the formation of Jupiter in its real orbit. All the exoplanets in orbits with a semimajor axis of more than 0.15-0.20 astronomical units (AU) have orbital

  7. Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark

    2006-01-01

    The next decade will almost certainly see the direct imaging of extrasolar giant planets around nearby stars. Unlike purely radial velocity detections, direct imaging will open the door to characterizing the atmosphere and interiors of extrasola planets and ultimately provide clues on their formation and evolution through time. This process has already begun for the transiting planets, placing new constraints on their atmospheric structure, composition, and evolution. Indeed the key to understanding giant planet detectability, interpreting spectra, and constraining effective temperature and hence evolution-is the atmosphere. I will review the universe of extrasolar giant planet models, focusing on what we have already learned from modeling and what we will likely be able to learn from the first generation of direct detection data. In addition to these theoretical considerations, I will review the observations and interpretation of the - transiting hot Jupiters. These objects provide a test of our ability to model exotic atmospheres and challenge our current understanding of giant planet evolution.

  8. Detectability of extrasolar planetary transits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W. J.; Scargle, J. D.; Hudson, H. S.

    1985-01-01

    Precise stellar photometry can be used to detect other planetary systems. However, the intrinsic variability of stellar luminosity imposes a fundamental limit on the sensitivity of this method. Based on recent precise solar observations made from the Solar Maximum Mission satellite, it appears that the detection of earth-sized planets will be marginal during periods of high stellar activity. However, with a suitable photometer larger planets should be readily detectable even in the presence of stellar activity equal to that of the sun at the peak of its sunspot cycle. The high precision, multiple-star photometric system required to detect planets in other stellar systems could be used to monitor flares, starspots, and global oscillations.

  9. Understanding the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, J.

    2007-10-01

    With the direct measurement of thermal emission (and perhaps soon reflected light) from the 'hot Jupiters', extrasolar planetary science is transitioning from discovery to characterization. Familiar attributes of solar system giant planet atmospheres, including hot stratospheres, clouds, redistribution of heat by winds, and perhaps even non-equilibrium molecular abundances and photochemical products have been recognized and modeled in some of these exotic atmospheres. Despite the fact that atmospheric dynamics undoubtedly plays a major role in controlling the thermal structures of these planets, one-dimensional radiative-convective equilibrium models are still exceptionally useful for understanding the baseline atmospheric physics and resultant thermal structure. Our group's apparently successful prediction of a hot stratosphere on planet HD 149026b is emblematic of the utility of 1D models. In the talk we will review our efforts to model the vertical structure of several of the hot Jupiters, focusing on the processes that play major roles in influencing the atmospheric chemical and temperature profiles. We will highlight processes (e.g., photochemistry acting on S-, P-, N-, and O- as well as C-bearing molecules) that are ripe for further modeling. Given that measurements of thermal emission in various Spitzer mid-infrared bands will soon be published for 10 planets, unprecedented opportunities for comparative exoplanetary science are now at hand.

  10. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph: Visible Nulling Coronagraph Testbed Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyon, Richard G.

    2008-01-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F stars, observed the inner spatial structure and colors of inner Spitzer selected debris disks. EPIC would be launched to heliocentric Earth trailing drift-away orbit, with a 3-year mission lifetime ( 5 year goal) and will revisit planets at least three times at intervals of 9 months. The starlight suppression approach consists of a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) that enables high order starlight suppression in broadband light. To demonstrate the VNC approach and advance it's technology readiness the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Lockheed-Martin have developed a laboratory VNC and have demonstrated white light nulling. We will discuss our ongoing VNC work and show the latest results from the VNC testbed,

  11. Atmospheric circulation of eccentric extrasolar giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Nikole Kae

    This dissertation explores the three-dimensional coupling between radiative and dynamical processes in the atmospheres of eccentric extrasolar giant planets GJ436b, HAT-P-2b, and HD80606b. Extrasolar planets on eccentric orbits are subject to time-variable heating and probable non-synchronous rotation, which results in significant variations in global circulation and thermal patterns as a function of orbital phase. Atmospheric simulations for the low eccentricity (e=0.15) Neptune sized planet GJ436b reveal that when Neptune-like atmospheric compositions are assumed day/night temperature contrasts and equatorial jet speeds are significantly increased relative to models that assume a solar-like composition. Comparisons between our theoretical light curves and recent observations support a high metallicity atmosphere with disequilibrium carbon chemistry for GJ436b. The analysis of full-orbit light curve observations at 3.6 and 4.5 microns of the HAT-P-2 system reveal swings in the planet's temperature of more than 900 K during its significantly eccentric ( e=0.5) orbit with a four to six hour offset between periapse passage and the peak of the planet's observed flux. Comparisons between our atmospheric model of HAT-P-2b and the observed light curves indicate an increased carbon to oxygen ratio in HAT-P-2b's atmosphere compared to solar values. Atmospheric simulations of the highly eccentric (e=0.9) HD80606b show that flash-heating events completely alter planetary thermal and jet structures and that assumptions about the rotation period of this planet could affect the shape of light curve observations near periapse. Our simulations of HD80606b also show the development an atmospheric shock on the nightside of the planet that is associated with an observable thermal signature in our theoretical light curves. The simulations and observations presented in this dissertation mark an important step in the exploration of atmospheric circulation on the more than 300

  12. Planetary upper atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2005-10-01

    Earth and most planets in our solar system are surrounded by permanent atmospheres. Their outermost layers, the thermospheres, ionospheres and exospheres, are regions which couple the atmospheres to space, the Sun and solar wind. Furthermore, most planets possess a magnetosphere, which extends into space considerably further than the atmosphere, but through magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling processes closely interacts with it. Auroral emissions, found on Earth and other panets, are manifestations of this coupling and a mapping of distant regions in the magnetosphere into the upper atmosphere along magnetic field lines. This article compares planetary upper atmospheres in our solar system and attempts to explain their differences via fundamental properties such as atmospheric gas composition, magnetosphere structure and distance from Sun. Understanding the space environment of Earth and its coupling to the Sun, and attempting to predict its behaviour ("Space Weather") plays an important practical role in protecting satellites, upon which many aspects to todays civilisation rely. By comparing our own space environment to that of other planets we gain a deeper understanding of its physical processes and uniqueness. Increasingly, we apply our knowledge also to atmospheres of extrasolar system planets, which will help assessing the possibility of life-elsewhere in the Universe.

  13. Comparative Understanding of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huestis, D. L.; Atreya, S. K.; Bolton, S. J.; Bougher, S. W.; Coustenis, A.; Edgington, S. G.; Friedson, A. J.; Griffith, C. A.; Guberman, S. L.; Hammel, H. B.; Lunine, J. I.; Mendillo, M.; Moses, J.; Mueller-Wodarg, I.; Orton, G. S.; Rages, K. A.; Slanger, T. G.; Titov, D. V.; Yelle, R.

    2001-11-01

    Observing, characterizing, and understanding planetary atmospheres are key components of solar system exploration. A planet's atmosphere is the interface between the surface and external energy and mass sources. Understanding how atmospheres are formed, evolve, and respond to perturbations is essential for addressing the long-range science objectives of identifying the conditions that are favorable for producing and supporting biological activity, managing the effects of human activity on the Earth's atmosphere, and planning and evaluating observations of extra-solar planets. Our current knowledge, based on very few observations, indicates that the planets and moons in the solar system have diverse atmospheres with a number of shared characteristics. Comparing and contrasting solar system atmospheres provides the best means of addressing the broad scientific goals. Additional space missions with specific atmospheric objectives are required. At the same time, investment of additional resources is needed in the infrastructure of observation and interpretation of planetary atmospheres. The Planetary Atmospheres Community Panel is considering and prioritizing potential recommendations in two broad categories. Possible recommendations that apply to multiple planets include creation of a new Comparative Planetary Atmospheres program, establishing a mechanism for secure funding for analysis and interpretation of mission data, creation of a new "Super-Discovery" program for more ambitious planetary missions, enhancement of laboratory and theory research, and deployment of space- or ground-based telescopes dedicated to planetary observations. Possible recommendations for specific planetary missions with atmospheric goals include deep-penetration multiprobes to determine elemental compositions of giant planet atmospheres, Venus and Mars atmospheric explorer missions, and a Post-Cassini atmospheric/surface mission to Titan.

  14. Exploring Extrasolar Planetary Systems: New Observations of Extrasolar Planets Enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The search for extrasolar planets has been increasingly success over the last few years. In excess of 700 systems are now known, and Kepler has approx.2500 additional candidate systems, yet to be confirmed. Recently, progress has also been made in directly imaging extrasolar planets, both from the ground and in space. In this presentation will discuss the techniques employed to discover planetary systems, and highlight the capabilities, enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST is a large 6.5 meter aperture infrared telescope that is scheduled for launch in 2018, and will allow us to transition to characterizing the properties of these extrasolar planets and the planetary systems in which they reside.

  15. Stellar Ablation of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, Thomas E.; Horwitz, J. L.

    2007-01-01

    We review observations and theories of the solar ablation of planetary atmospheres, focusing on the terrestrial case where a large magnetosphere holds off the solar wind, so that there is little direct atmospheric impact, but also couples the solar wind electromagnetically to the auroral zones. We consider the photothermal escape flows known as the polar wind or refilling flows, the enhanced mass flux escape flows that result from localized solar wind energy dissipation in the auroral zones, and the resultant enhanced neutral atom escape flows. We term these latter two escape flows the "auroral wind." We review observations and theories of the heating and acceleration of auroral winds, including energy inputs from precipitating particles, electromagnetic energy flux at magnetohydrodynamic and plasma wave frequencies, and acceleration by parallel electric fields and by convection pickup processes also known as "centrifugal acceleration." We consider also the global circulation of ionospheric plasmas within the magnetosphere, their participation in magnetospheric disturbances as absorbers of momentum and energy, and their ultimate loss from the magnetosphere into the downstream solar wind, loading reconnection processes that occur at high altitudes near the magnetospheric boundaries. We consider the role of planetary magnetization and the accumulating evidence of stellar ablation of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Finally, we suggest and discuss future needs for both the theory and observation of the planetary ionospheres and their role in solar wind interactions, to achieve the generality required for a predictive science of the coupling of stellar and planetary atmospheres over the full range of possible conditions.

  16. Extrasolar Planetary Complex Biosphere Organization as Exemplified

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, Martin; Williams, Darren; Doyle, Laurence

    Planetary habitability has usually been defined with reference to the physiological tolerances of human beings, or, in a more general sense, in terms of a modelled planet's ability to retain liquid water (essential for life as we know it) on its surface for a few Gyr. Another way of investigating habitability is with regard to the global mode of biosphere organization. Every combination of stellar composition and main sequence luminosity evolution, planetary characteristics and history, and biosphere organisation is unique, and will have its own specific inner and outer Habitable Zone radii. We illustrate this with modelled equilibrium partial pressures of CO_2. Although, as pointed out by previous workers, plants' CO_2 compensation points (where respiration exactly balances photosynthetic production) are just a few p.p.m. for some species, plants in the real world need to grow, repair tissue loss, reproduce and colonise new areas as they become available. This means that Earth-type forest ecosystems will require CO_2 levels comparable to those of the present day Earth. Reductions in equilibrium CO_2 with progressievely higher insolation, will define different inner margins for the Forest H.Z. with different axial obliquities and continential configurations.

  17. Model Atmospheres and Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, M. S.; Guillot, T.; Saumon, D.; Freedman, R. S.

    1996-09-01

    Of the known extrasolar giant planets, five have estimated effective temperatures below ~ 800K. We report on the application of a radiative-convective equilibrium model, originally developed to study the atmospheres of the solar jovian planets, to these objects (70 Vir b, 47 UMa b, Gl 411 b, 55 Cnc c, and HD 114762 b). The deposition of incident radiation from the various primaries and the estimated internal heat fluxes are included in the models. Condensible species are removed and clouds inserted where appropriate. To span the likely range of planet masses, a variety of surface gravities are considered for each object. Preliminary results suggest that water clouds are present in all these atmospheres except for 70 Vir b and HD 114762 b. Water marginally condenses in the atmosphere of the former while that of the latter should be essentially cloud free. Condensation of trace species (e.g. NH_4Cl and NH_4H_2PO_4) may produce thin hazes in these two cases. Thermochemical equilibrium favors NH_3 and CH_4 in all these atmospheres while N_2 and CO are favored in the atmospheres of the close-orbit, hot companions like 51 Peg b and upsilon And b. The reflected visible and thermal infrared spectra of these objects are dominated by water, methane, and ammonia absorption. We find that the 4 to 5 microns window in CH_4 and H_2O opacity is open for all of these objects. Consequently, as in the case of Jupiter and the brown dwarf Gliese 229 B, the emitted flux in this region is significantly greater than the blackbody flux for the planetary effective temperature. Thus this spectral region is favorable for the detection of extrasolar giant planets and brown dwarfs. Comparison of model spectra with observations would constrain the vertical temperature and cloud structure of these new atmospheres. Burrows et al. (this meeting) use these and other models to examine the evolution of extrasolar giant planets.

  18. IONIZATION OF EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANET ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Koskinen, Tommi T.; Cho, James Y-K.; Achilleos, Nicholas; Aylward, Alan D.

    2010-10-10

    Many extrasolar planets orbit close in and are subject to intense ionizing radiation from their host stars. Therefore, we expect them to have strong, and extended, ionospheres. Ionospheres are important because they modulate escape in the upper atmosphere and can modify circulation, as well as leave their signatures, in the lower atmosphere. In this paper, we evaluate the vertical location Z{sub I} and extent D{sub I} of the EUV ionization peak layer. We find that Z{sub I{approx}}1-10 nbar-for a wide range of orbital distances (a = 0.047-1 AU) from the host star-and D{sub I}/H{sub p{approx}}>15, where H{sub p} is the pressure scale height. At Z{sub I}, the plasma frequency is {approx}80-450 MHz, depending on a. We also study global ion transport, and its dependence on a, using a three-dimensional thermosphere-ionosphere model. On tidally synchronized planets with weak intrinsic magnetic fields, our model shows only a small, but discernible, difference in electron density from the dayside to the nightside ({approx}9 x 10{sup 13} m{sup -3} to {approx}2 x 10{sup 12} m{sup -3}, respectively) at Z{sub I}. On asynchronous planets, the distribution is essentially uniform. These results have consequences for hydrodynamic modeling of the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets.

  19. On Orbital Elements of Extrasolar Planetary Candidates and Spectroscopic Binaries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stepinski, T. F.; Black, D. C.

    2001-01-01

    We estimate probability densities of orbital elements, periods, and eccentricities, for the population of extrasolar planetary candidates (EPC) and, separately, for the population of spectroscopic binaries (SB) with solar-type primaries. We construct empirical cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) in order to infer probability distribution functions (PDFs) for orbital periods and eccentricities. We also derive a joint probability density for period-eccentricity pairs in each population. Comparison of respective distributions reveals that in all cases EPC and SB populations are, in the context of orbital elements, indistinguishable from each other to a high degree of statistical significance. Probability densities of orbital periods in both populations have P(exp -1) functional form, whereas the PDFs of eccentricities can he best characterized as a Gaussian with a mean of about 0.35 and standard deviation of about 0.2 turning into a flat distribution at small values of eccentricity. These remarkable similarities between EPC and SB must be taken into account by theories aimed at explaining the origin of extrasolar planetary candidates, and constitute an important clue us to their ultimate nature.

  20. Investigations on physics of planetary atmospheres and small bodies of the Solar system, extrasolar planets and disk structures around the stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Delets, O. S.; Dlugach, J. M.; Zakhozhay, O. V.; Kostogryz, N. M.; Krushevska, V. M.; Kuznyetsova, Y. G.; Morozhenko, O. V.; Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Ovsak, O. S.; Rozenbush, O. E.; Romanyuk, Ya. O.; Shavlovskiy, V. I.; Yanovitskij, E. G.

    2015-12-01

    The history and main becoming stages of Planetary system physics Department of the Main astronomical observatory of National academy of Sciences of Ukraine are considered. Fundamental subjects of department researches and science achievements of employees are presented. Fields of theoretical and experimental researches are Solar system planets and their satellites; vertical structures of planet atmospheres; radiative transfer in planet atmospheres; exoplanet systems of Milky Way; stars having disc structures; astronomical engineering. Employees of the department carry out spectral, photometrical and polarimetrical observations of Solar system planets, exoplanet systems and stars with disc structures. 1. From the history of department 2. The main directions of department research 3. Scientific instrumentation 4. Telescopes and observation stations 5. Theoretical studies 6. The results of observations of planets and small Solar system bodies and their interpretation 7. The study of exoplanets around the stars of our galaxy 8. Spectral energy distribution of fragmenting protostellar disks 9. Cooperation with the National Technical University of Ukraine (KPI) and National University of Ukraine "Lviv Polytechnic" to study the impact of stratospheric aerosol changes on weather and climate of the Earth 10. International relations. Scientific and organizational work. Scientific conferences, congresses, symposia 11. The main achievements of the department 12. Current researches 13. Anniversaries and awards

  1. Predicting the Atmospheric Composition of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sharp, A. G.; Moses, J. I.; Friedson, A. J.; Fegley, B., Jr.; Marley, M. S.; Lodders, K.

    2004-01-01

    To date, approximately 120 planet-sized objects have been discovered around other stars, mostly through the radial-velocity technique. This technique can provide information about a planet s minimum mass and its orbital period and distance; however, few other planetary data can be obtained at this point in time unless we are fortunate enough to find an extrasolar giant planet that transits its parent star (i.e., the orbit is edge-on as seen from Earth). In that situation, many physical properties of the planet and its parent star can be determined, including some compositional information. Our prospects of directly obtaining spectra from extrasolar planets may improve in the near future, through missions like NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder. Most of the extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) discovered so far have masses equal to or greater than Jupiter's mass, and roughly 16% have orbital radii less than 0.1 AU - extremely close to the parent star by our own Solar-System standards (note that Mercury is located at a mean distance of 0.39 AU and Jupiter at 5.2 AU from the Sun). Although all EGPs are expected to have hydrogen-dominated atmospheres similar to Jupiter, the orbital distance can strongly affect the planet's temperature, physical, chemical, and spectral properties, and the abundance of minor, detectable atmospheric constituents. Thermochemical equilibrium models can provide good zero-order predictions for the atmospheric composition of EGPs. However, both the composition and spectral properties will depend in large part on disequilibrium processes like photochemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric transport, and haze formation. We have developed a photochemical kinetics, radiative transfer, and 1-D vertical transport model to study the atmospheric composition of EGPs. The chemical reaction list contains H-, C-, O-, and N-bearing species and is designed to be valid for atmospheric temperatures ranging from 100-3000 K and pressures up to 50 bar. Here we examine

  2. Extra-solar Oort cloud encounters and planetary impact rates

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, A.

    1987-01-01

    Upper limits are estimated to the number density of extra-solar Oort clouds (ESOC) through which the solar system might pass and to the probable number of attendant planetary impacts by comets. All stars are assumed to have Oort clouds. The model is based on the observed stellar spatial density and the ratio of the total number density to the observed number density. It is estimated that 486 close stellar passages and 12,160 ESOC encounters may have occurred. Each encounter would have produced a shower of hyperbolic comets, with the results of 1-3 ESOC impacts with the earth. It is concluded that the great majority of terrestrial cratering events by comets have and will come from solar Oort cloud comets. 19 references.

  3. Transiting extrasolar planetary candidates in the Galactic bulge.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Kailash C; Casertano, Stefano; Bond, Howard E; Valenti, Jeff; Smith, T Ed; Minniti, Dante; Zoccali, Manuela; Livio, Mario; Panagia, Nino; Piskunov, Nikolai; Brown, Thomas M; Brown, Timothy; Renzini, Alvio; Rich, R Michael; Clarkson, Will; Lubow, Stephen

    2006-10-01

    More than 200 extrasolar planets have been discovered around relatively nearby stars, primarily through the Doppler line shifts owing to reflex motions of their host stars, and more recently through transits of some planets across the faces of the host stars. The detection of planets with the shortest known periods, 1.2-2.5 days, has mainly resulted from transit surveys which have generally targeted stars more massive than 0.75 M(o), where M(o) is the mass of the Sun. Here we report the results from a planetary transit search performed in a rich stellar field towards the Galactic bulge. We discovered 16 candidates with orbital periods between 0.4 and 4.2 days, five of which orbit stars of masses in the range 0.44-0.75 M(o). In two cases, radial-velocity measurements support the planetary nature of the companions. Five candidates have orbital periods below 1.0 day, constituting a new class of ultra-short-period planets, which occur only around stars of less than 0.88 M(o). This indicates that those orbiting very close to more-luminous stars might be evaporatively destroyed or that jovian planets around stars of lower mass might migrate to smaller radii. PMID:17024085

  4. Remote Sensing of Planetary Properties and Biosignatures on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Des Marais, David J.; Harwit, Martin O.; Jucks, Kenneth W.; Kasting, James F.; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Schneider, Jean; Seager, Sara; Traub, Wesley A.; Woolf, Neville J.

    2002-06-01

    The major goals of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the European Space Agency's Darwin missions are to detect terrestrial-sized extrasolar planets directly and to seek spectroscopic evidence of habitable conditions and life. Here we recommend wavelength ranges and spectral features for these missions. We assess known spectroscopic molecular band features of Earth, Venus, and Mars in the context of putative extrasolar analogs. The preferred wavelength ranges are 7-25 μm in the mid-IR and 0.5 to ~1.1 μm in the visible to near-IR. Detection of O2 or its photolytic product O3 merits highest priority. Liquid H2O is not a bioindicator, but it is considered essential to life. Substantial CO2 indicates an atmosphere and oxidation state typical of a terrestrial planet. Abundant CH4 might require a biological source, yet abundant CH4 also can arise from a crust and upper mantle more reduced than that of Earth. The range of characteristics of extrasolar rocky planets might far exceed that of the Solar System. Planetary size and mass are very important indicators of habitability and can be estimated in the mid-IR and potentially also in the visible to near-IR. Additional spectroscopic features merit study, for example, features created by other biosignature compounds in the atmosphere or on the surface and features due to Rayleigh scattering. In summary, we find that both the mid-IR and the visible to near-IR wavelength ranges offer valuable information regarding biosignatures and planetary properties; therefore both merit serious scientific consideration for TPF and Darwin.

  5. Remote sensing of planetary properties and biosignatures on extrasolar terrestrial planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, David J.; Harwit, Martin O.; Jucks, Kenneth W.; Kasting, James F.; Lin, Douglas N C.; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Schneider, Jean; Seager, Sara; Traub, Wesley A.; Woolf, Neville J.

    2002-01-01

    The major goals of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and the European Space Agency's Darwin missions are to detect terrestrial-sized extrasolar planets directly and to seek spectroscopic evidence of habitable conditions and life. Here we recommend wavelength ranges and spectral features for these missions. We assess known spectroscopic molecular band features of Earth, Venus, and Mars in the context of putative extrasolar analogs. The preferred wavelength ranges are 7-25 microns in the mid-IR and 0.5 to approximately 1.1 microns in the visible to near-IR. Detection of O2 or its photolytic product O3 merits highest priority. Liquid H2O is not a bioindicator, but it is considered essential to life. Substantial CO2 indicates an atmosphere and oxidation state typical of a terrestrial planet. Abundant CH4 might require a biological source, yet abundant CH4 also can arise from a crust and upper mantle more reduced than that of Earth. The range of characteristics of extrasolar rocky planets might far exceed that of the Solar System. Planetary size and mass are very important indicators of habitability and can be estimated in the mid-IR and potentially also in the visible to near-IR. Additional spectroscopic features merit study, for example, features created by other biosignature compounds in the atmosphere or on the surface and features due to Rayleigh scattering. In summary, we find that both the mid-IR and the visible to near-IR wavelength ranges offer valuable information regarding biosignatures and planetary properties; therefore both merit serious scientific consideration for TPF and Darwin.

  6. Introduction - Solar and Extra-Solar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Iwan P.

    Over the last decade, there have been many exciting advances in all fields relating to our understanding of planetary systems. There has been a significant increase in our understanding of the general process of star formation, leading to an expectation that matter will be captured in a flattened envelope or nebula surrounding the young Sun. Theoretical models had predicted this for some time, but in the last decade, firm observational evidence of this has become fairly commonplace, with β Pictoris in particular displaying all the characteristics that were expected in systems where planets formed. The discovery of extra-solar planets has also confirmed the view that planetary formation is a normal phenomenon so that our system is no longer regarded as a one off or special. Within the Solar System itself, both space exploration and improved facilities for ground-based observations have increased our knowedge of our own system dramatically. Pluto is now the only planet not to have been visited by a spacecraft, and spacecraft images also exist of asteroids and comets. In addition, it is now known that all the major planets have extensive satellite systems as well as complex ring structures. Finally, two new classes of objects have been discovered: the Centaurs orbiting between the major planets; and the Edgeworth-Kuiper objects beyond Neptune.This book is based on the lectures given at a Pre-Doctoral Summer School held in Ballyvaughn, County Clare, Ireland during 7 - 18 September 1998, supported by the European Astrophysical Doctoral Network (EADN). The aim of the School was to give an authoritative account of these new developments so that a thorough general background in the state of our knowledge would be obtained by all participants. The scientific contents of the School can be divided into a number of broad fields. The areas are: Formation of Planetary Systems; Planets and Satellites; and Small Bodies and Dust. The chapter on Dynamics by Murray spans all of

  7. Photochemistry in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, J. S.; Graedel, T. E.

    1981-01-01

    Widely varying paths of evolutionary history, atmospheric processes, solar fluxes, and temperatures have produced vastly different planetary atmospheres. The similarities and differences between the earth atmosphere and those of the terrestrial planets (Venus and Mars) and of the Jovian planets are discussed in detail; consideration is also given to the photochemistry of Saturn, Uranus, Pluto, Neptune, Titan, and Triton. Changes in the earth's ancient atmosphere are described, and problems of interest in the earth's present troposphere are discussed, including the down wind effect, plume interactions, aerosol nucleation and growth, acid rain, and the fate of terpenes. Temperature fluctuations in the four principal layers of the earth's atmosphere, predicted decreases in the ozone concentration as a function of time, and spectra of particles in the earth's upper atmosphere are also presented. Finally, the vertical structure of the Venus cloud system and the thermal structure of the Jovian planets are shown graphically.

  8. The Prospects for Earth-Like Planets within Known Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gehman, Curtis S.; Adams, Fred C.; Laughlin, Gregory

    1996-11-01

    We consider the possible existence of habitable Earth-like planets in four recently discovered extrasolar planetary systems. Such prospective planets must have orbits that are (1) dynamically stable, and (2) allow for surface temperatures compatible with liquid water. We find that three of the four new systems (51 Peg, rho^1 Cnc, and 47 UMa) are easily capable of supporting habitable planets. The fourth (70 Vir) is capable of having a habitable planet only under rather extreme circumstances. To obtain these results, we develop a probabilistic formulation for the coupled problem of orbital stability and planetary habitability. (SECTION: Extrasolar Planets)

  9. Planetary migration, accretion, and atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbs-Dixon, Ian M.

    mechanisms for stopping this accretion involve either disk dispersal or gap formation. Although mass accretion may eventually be quenched by a global depletion of gas, as in the ease of Uranus and Neptune, such a mechanism is unlikely to have stalled the growth of some known planetary systems which contain relatively low-mass and close-in planets along with more massive and longer period companions. Similarly, the formation of a gap cannot fully explain the decrease in mass accretion. Several groups have shown that, even in the presence of a gap, diffusion allows rapid gas accretion to continue. Here I explore the effect of the growing tidal barrier on the flow within the protoplanetary disk. Using both analytic and numerical approaches I show that accretion rates increases rapidly with the ratio of the protoplanet's Roche to Bondi radii or equivalently to the disk thickness. Mass accretion timescales become comparable to observed disk lifetimes. In regions with loco geometric aspect ratios gas accretion is efficiently quenched with relatively low protoplanetary masses. This mechanism is important for determining the gas- giant planets' mass function, the distribution of their masses within multiple planet systems around solar type stars, and for suppressing the emergence of gas-giants around low mass stars. The final section explores the atmospheric dynamics of short-period gas-giant planets. Ubiquitous among currently observed extrasolar planetary systems these planets receive intense irradiation from their host stars that dominates the energy input into their atmospheres. Characterization of several of these planets through transit observations have revealed information on temperature, structure, and composition. Here we present three-dimensional radiative hydrodynamical simulations of atmospheric circulation on close-in gas giant planets. In contrast to previous Global Climate Models and shallow water algorithms, this method does not assume quasi hydrostatic equilibrium

  10. Extra-Solar Planetary Imager (ESPI) for Space Based Jovian Planetary Detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyon, Rick G.; Melnick, Gary J.; Nisenson, Peter; Papaliolios, Costa; Ridgeway, Steve; Friedman, Edward; Gezari, Dan Y.; Harwit, Martin; Graf, Paul

    2002-01-01

    We report on out Extra-Solar Planetary Imager (ESPI) study for a recent Midex (NASA Medium Class Explorer Mission) proposal. Proposed for ESPI was a 1.5 x 1.5 square meter Jacquinot apodized square aperture telescope. The combination of apodization and a square aperture telescope significantly reduces the diffracted light from a bright central source over much of the telescope focal plane. As a result, observations of very faint astronomical objects next to bright sources with angular separations as small as 0.32 arcseconds become possible. This permits a sensitive search for exo-planets in reflected light. The system is capable of detecting a Jupiter-like planet in a relatively long-period orbit around as many as 160 to 175 stars with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 5 in observations lasting maximally 100 hours per star. We discuss the effects of wavefront error, mirror speckle, pointing error and signal-to-noise issues, as well as the scalability of our ESPI study with respect to NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.

  11. Studies of extended planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunten, D. M.

    1991-01-01

    The following topics are covered: (1) telescopic observations and analysis of planetary atmospheres (including the Moon and Mars) and the Io torus; (2) occultation observations; and (3) supporting laboratory studies.

  12. Radial Velocity Detection of Extra-Solar Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cochran, William D.

    1998-01-01

    The McDonald Observatory Planetary Search (MOPS) was designed to search for Jovian-mass planets in orbit around solar-type stars by making high-precision measurements of the Radial Velocity (RV) of a star, to attempt to detect the reflex orbital motion of the star around the star-planet barycenter. In our solar system, the velocity of the Sun around the Sun-Jupiter barycenter averages 12.3 m/ s. The MOPS survey started operation in September 1987, and searches 36 bright, nearby, solar-type dwarfs to 10 m/s precision. The survey was started using telluric O2 absorption lines as the velocity reference metric. Observations use the McDonald Observatory 2.7-m Harlan Smith Telescope coude spectrograph with the six-foot camera. This spectrograph configuration isolates a single order of the echelle grating on a Texas Instruments 800 x 800 CCD. The telluric line method gave us a routine radial velocity precision of about 15 m/s for stars down to about 5-th magnitude. However, the data obtained with this technique suffered from some source of long-term systematic errors, which was probably the intrinsic velocity variability of the terrestrial atmosphere, i.e. winds. In order to eliminate this systematic error and to improve our overall measurement precision, we installed a stabilized I2 gas absorption cell as the velocity metric for the MOPS in October 1990. In use at the telescope, the cell is placed directly in front of the spectrograph entrance slit, with starlight passing through the cell. The use of this sealed stabilized I2 cell removes potential problems with possible long-term drifts in the velocity metric. The survey now includes a sample of 36 nearby F, G, and K type stars of luminosity class V or IV-V.

  13. The chemistry of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1976-01-01

    Present knowledge concerning the chemistry of planetary atmospheres is reviewed along with the theories which attempt to explain observational data. The known gross atmospheric compositions of the terrestrial and giant planets are listed, differences between the atmospheres of earth and Venus are discussed, and the atmospheres of the giant planets are described. The origin and evolution of the atmospheres of earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus are outlined, and chemical processes in the atmospheres are examined, particularly cloud formation. The question of organic synthesis and evolution in the reducing atmospheres of the giant planets is considered. It is noted that laboratory work on the individual chemical processes and reactions involved in the evolution of organic compounds in planetary atmospheres, comets, and interstellar space points to the inevitability of organic-compound synthesis in all these situations and to the pervasiveness of organic chemistry throughout the universe.

  14. An extrasolar planetary system with three Neptune-mass planets.

    PubMed

    Lovis, Christophe; Mayor, Michel; Pepe, Francesco; Alibert, Yann; Benz, Willy; Bouchy, François; Correia, Alexandre C M; Laskar, Jacques; Mordasini, Christoph; Queloz, Didier; Santos, Nuno C; Udry, Stéphane; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Sivan, Jean-Pierre

    2006-05-18

    Over the past two years, the search for low-mass extrasolar planets has led to the detection of seven so-called 'hot Neptunes' or 'super-Earths' around Sun-like stars. These planets have masses 5-20 times larger than the Earth and are mainly found on close-in orbits with periods of 2-15 days. Here we report a system of three Neptune-mass planets with periods of 8.67, 31.6 and 197 days, orbiting the nearby star HD 69830. This star was already known to show an infrared excess possibly caused by an asteroid belt within 1 au (the Sun-Earth distance). Simulations show that the system is in a dynamically stable configuration. Theoretical calculations favour a mainly rocky composition for both inner planets, while the outer planet probably has a significant gaseous envelope surrounding its rocky/icy core; the outer planet orbits within the habitable zone of this star. PMID:16710412

  15. Can The Periods of Some Extra-Solar Planetary Systems be Quantized?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Fady Morcos, Abd

    A simple formula was derived before by Morcos (2013 ), to relate the quantum numbers of planetary systems and their periods. This formula is applicable perfectly for the solar system planets, and some extra-solar planets , of stars of approximately the same masses like the Sun. This formula has been used to estimate the periods of some extra-solar planet of known quantum numbers. The used quantum numbers were calculated previously by other authors. A comparison between the observed and estimated periods, from the given formula has been done. The differences between the observed and calculated periods for the extra-solar systems have been calculated and tabulated. It is found that there is an error of the range of 10% The same formula has been also used to find the quantum numbers, of some known periods, exo-planet. Keywords: Quantization; Periods; Extra-Planetary; Extra-Solar Planet REFERENCES [1] Agnese, A. G. and Festa, R. “Discretization on the Cosmic Scale Inspirred from the Old Quantum Mechanics,” 1998. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9807186 [2] Agnese, A. G. and Festa, R. “Discretizing ups-Andro- medae Planetary System,” 1999. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9910534. [3] Barnothy, J. M. “The Stability of the Solar Systemand of Small Stellar Systems,” Proceedings of the IAU Sympo-sium 62, Warsaw, 5-8 September 1973, pp. 23-31. [4] Morcos, A.B. , “Confrontation between Quantized Periods of Some Extra-Solar Planetary Systems and Observations”, International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 2013, 3, 28-32. [5] Nottale, L. “Fractal Space-Time and Microphysics, To-wards a Theory of Scale Relativity,” World Scientific, London, 1994. [6] Nottale , L., “Scale-Relativity and Quantization of Extra- Solar Planetary Systems,” Astronomy & Astrophysics, Vol. 315, 1996, pp. L9-L12 [7] Nottale, L., Schumacher, G. and Gay, J. “Scale-Relativity and Quantization of the Solar Systems,” Astronomy & Astrophysics letters, Vol. 322, 1997, pp. 1018-10 [8

  16. Radial Velocity Detection of Extra-Solar Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cochran, William D.

    2004-01-01

    This NASA Origins Program grant supported four closely related research programs at The University of Texas at Austin: 1) The McDonald Observatory Planetary Search (MOPS) Program, using the McDonald Observatory 2.7m Harlan Smith telescope and its 2dcoude spectrometer, 2) A high-precision radial-velocity survey of Hyades dwarfs, using the Keck telescope and its HIRES spectrograph, 3) A program at McDonald Observatory to obtain spectra of the parent stars of planetary systems at R = 210,000, and 4) the start of high precision radial velocity surveys using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The most important results from NASA support of these research programs are described. A list of all papers published under support of this grant is included at the end.

  17. Planetary Formation: From The Earth And Moon To Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary growth, emphasizing the formation of habitable planets, is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost - to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but if they become massive enough before the protoplanetary disk dissipates, then they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas. Specific issues to be discussed include: (1) how do giant planets influence the formation and habitability of terrestrial planets? (2) could a giant impact leading to lunar formation have occurred - 100 million years after the condensation of the oldest meteorites?

  18. Radial Velocity Detection of Extra-Solar Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cochran, William D.

    2004-01-01

    This NASA Origins Program grant supported four closely related research programs at The University of Texas at Austin: 1) The McDonald Observatory Planetary Search (MOPS) Program, using the McDonald Observatory 2.7m Harlan Smith telescope and its 2dcoud6 spectrometer, 2) A high-precision radial-velocity survey of Hyades dwarfs, using the Keck telescope and its HIRES spectrograph, 3) A program at McDonald Observatory to obtain spectra of the parent stars of planetary systems at R = 210,000, and 4) the start of high precision radial velocity surveys using the Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The most important results from NASA support of these research programs are described below. A list of all papers published under support of this grant is included at the end.

  19. The search for extra-solar planetary systems.

    PubMed

    Paresce, F

    1992-01-01

    I review the observational evidence for planetary systems around nearby stars and, using our own solar system as a guide, assess the stringent requirements that new searches need to meet in order to unambiguously establish the presence of another planetary system. Basically, these requirements are: 1 milliarcsecond or better positional accuracy for astrometric techniques, 9 orders of magnitude or better star to planet luminosity ratio discrimination at 0.5 to 1" separation in the optical for direct imaging techniques, 10 meters sec-1 or better radial velocity accuracy for reflex motion techniques and +/-1% or better brightness fluctuation accuracy for planet/star occultation measurements. The astrometric accuracy is in reach of HST, direct imaging will require much larger telescopes and/or a 50 times smoother mirror than HST while the reflex motion and occultation techniques best performed on the ground are just becoming viable and promise exciting new discoveries. On the other band, new indirect evidence on the existence of other planetary systems also comes from the observation of large dusty disks around nearby main sequence stars not too dissimilar from our sun. In one particular case, that of Beta Pictoris, a flattened disk seen nearly edge-on has been imaged in the optical and near IR down to almost 70 AU of the star. It probably represents a young planetary system in its clearing out phase as planetesimals collide, erode and are swept out of the inner system by radiation pressure. The hypothesized Kuiper belt around our solar system may be the analogous structure in a later evolutionary stage. Features of this type have been detected in the far IR and sub-millimeter wavelength regions around 50-100 nearby main sequence and pre-main sequence stars. I discuss a battery of new accurate observations planned in the near future of these objects some of which may actually harbour planets or planetesimals that will certainly dramatically improve our knowledge of

  20. PLANETARY MIGRATION AND ECCENTRICITY AND INCLINATION RESONANCES IN EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Man Hoi; Thommes, Edward W. E-mail: ethommes@physics.uoguelph.ca

    2009-09-10

    The differential migration of two planets due to planet-disk interaction can result in capture into the 2:1 eccentricity-type mean-motion resonances. Both the sequence of 2:1 eccentricity resonances that the system is driven through by continued migration and the possibility of a subsequent capture into the 4:2 inclination resonances are sensitive to the migration rate within the range expected for type II migration due to planet-disk interaction. If the migration rate is fast, the resonant pair can evolve into a family of 2:1 eccentricity resonances different from those found by Lee. This new family has outer orbital eccentricity e {sub 2} {approx}> 0.4-0.5, asymmetric librations of both eccentricity resonance variables, and orbits that intersect if they are exactly coplanar. Although this family exists for an inner-to-outer planet mass ratio m {sub 1}/m {sub 2} {approx}> 0.2, it is possible to evolve into this family by fast migration only for m {sub 1}/m {sub 2} {approx}> 2. Thommes and Lissauer have found that a capture into the 4:2 inclination resonances is possible only for m {sub 1}/m {sub 2} {approx}< 2. We show that this capture is also possible for m {sub 1}/m {sub 2} {approx}> 2 if the migration rate is slightly slower than that adopted by Thommes and Lissauer. There is significant theoretical uncertainty in both the sign and the magnitude of the net effect of planet-disk interaction on the orbital eccentricity of a planet. If the eccentricity is damped on a timescale comparable to or shorter than the migration timescale, e {sub 2} may not be able to reach the values needed to enter either the new 2:1 eccentricity resonances or the 4:2 inclination resonances. Thus, if future observations of extrasolar planetary systems were to reveal certain combinations of mass ratio and resonant configuration, they would place a constraint on the strength of eccentricity damping during migration, as well as on the rate of the migration itself.

  1. Oscillations of relative inclination angles in compact extrasolar planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Juliette C.; Adams, Fred C.

    2016-01-01

    The Kepler mission has detected dozens of compact planetary systems with more than four transiting planets. This sample provides a collection of close-packed planetary systems with relatively little spread in the inclination angles of the inferred orbits. A large fraction of the observational sample contains limited multiplicity, begging the question whether there is a true diversity of multitransiting systems, or if some systems merely possess high mutual inclinations, allowing them to appear as single-transiting systems in a transit-based survey. This paper begins an exploration of the effectiveness of dynamical mechanisms in exciting orbital inclination within exoplanetary systems of this class. For these tightly packed systems, we determine that the orbital inclination angles are not spread out appreciably through self-excitation. In contrast, the two Kepler multiplanet systems with additional non-transiting planets are susceptible to oscillations of their inclination angles, which means their currently observed configurations could be due to planet-planet interactions alone. We also provide constraints and predictions for the expected transit duration variations for each planet. In these multiplanet compact Kepler systems, oscillations of their inclination angles are remarkably hard to excite; as a result, they tend to remain continually mutually transiting (CMT-stable). We study this issue further by augmenting the planet masses and determining the enhancement factor required for oscillations to move the systems out of transit. The oscillations of inclination found here inform the recently suggested dichotomy in the sample of Solar systems observed by Kepler.

  2. Understanding Microbial Contributions to Planetary Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2000-01-01

    Should our search of distant, extrasolar planetary atmospheres encounter evidence of life, that evidence will most likely be the gaseous products of microorganisms. Our biosphere was exclusively microbial for over 80 percent of its history and, even today, microbes strongly influence atmospheric composition. Life's greatest environmental impact arises from its capacity for harvesting energy and creating organic matter. Microorganisms catalyze the equilibration of C, S and transition metal species at temperatures where such reactions can be very slow in the absence of life. Sunlight has been harvested through photosynthesis to create enormous energy reservoirs that exist in the form of coexisting reservoirs of reduced, organic C and S stored in Earth's crust, and highly oxidized species (oxygen, sulfate and ferric iron) stored in the crust, oceans and atmosphere. Our civilization taps that storehouse of energy by burning fossil fuels. As astrobiologists, we identify the chemical consequences of distant biospheres as expressed in the atmospheres of their planets. Our approach must recognize that planets, biospheres and atmospheres evolve and change. For example, a tectonically more active early Earth hosted a thermophilic, non-photosynthetic biosphere and a mildly reducing, carbon dioxide-rich and oxygen-poor atmosphere. Microorganisms acquired energy by consuming hydrogen and sulfide and producing a broad array of reduced C and S gases, most notably, methane. Later, diverse types of bacterial photosynthesis developed that enhanced productivity but were incapable of splitting water to produce oxygen. Later, but still prior to 2.6 billion years ago, oxygenic photosynthesis developed. We can expect to encounter distant biospheres that represent various stages of evolution and that coexist with atmospheres ranging from mildly reducing to oxidizing compositions. Accordinaly, we must be prepared to interpret a broad range of atmospheric compositions, all containing

  3. The role of carbon in extrasolar planetary geodynamics and habitability

    SciTech Connect

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Panero, Wendy R.; Reaman, Daniel M.

    2014-10-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ∼3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  4. The Role of Carbon in Extrasolar Planetary Geodynamics and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.; Kabbes, Jason E.; Pigott, Jeffrey S.; Reaman, Daniel M.; Panero, Wendy R.

    2014-10-01

    The proportions of oxygen, carbon, and major rock-forming elements (e.g., Mg, Fe, Si) determine a planet's dominant mineralogy. Variation in a planet's mineralogy subsequently affects planetary mantle dynamics as well as any deep water or carbon cycle. Through thermodynamic models and high pressure diamond anvil cell experiments, we demonstrate that the oxidation potential of C is above that of Fe at all pressures and temperatures, indicative of 0.1-2 Earth-mass planets. This means that for a planet with (Mg+2Si+Fe+2C)/O > 1, excess C in the mantle will be in the form of diamond. We find that an increase in C, and thus diamond, concentration slows convection relative to a silicate-dominated planet, due to diamond's ~3 order of magnitude increase in both viscosity and thermal conductivity. We assert then that in the C-(Mg+2Si+Fe)-O system, there is a compositional range in which a planet can be habitable. Planets outside of this range will be dynamically sluggish or stagnant, thus having limited carbon or water cycles leading to surface conditions inhospitable to life as we know it.

  5. Spectroscopy of planetary atmospheres in our Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Encrenaz, Thérèse; Coustenis, Athena

    2013-10-01

    About 20 years after the discovery of the first extrasolar planet, the number of planets known has grown by three orders of magnitude, and continues to increase at neck breaking pace. For most of these planets we have little information, except for the fact that they exist and possess an address in our Galaxy. For about one third of them, we know how much they weigh, their size and their orbital parameters. For less than 20, we start to have some clues about their atmospheric temperature and composition. How do we make progress from here? We are still far from the completion of a hypothetical Hertzsprung-Russell diagram for planets comparable to what we have for stars, and today we do not even know whether such classification will ever be possible or even meaningful for planetary objects. But one thing is clear: planetary parameters such as mass, radius and temperature alone do not explain the diversity revealed by current observations. The chemical composition of these planets is needed to trace back their formation history and evolution, as happened for the planets in our Solar System. As in situ measurements are and will remain off-limits for exoplanets, to study their chemical composition we will have to rely on remote sensing spectroscopic observations of their gaseous envelopes. In this paper, we critically review the key achievements accomplished in the study of exoplanet atmospheres in the past ten years. We discuss possible hurdles and the way to overcome those. Finally, we review the prospects for the future. The knowledge and the experience gained with the planets in our solar system will guide our journey among those faraway worlds.

  6. Planetary atmospheres. [reviewing recent research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leovy, Conway

    1987-01-01

    Observations and theoretical models of planetary atmospheres published during the period 1983-1986 are reviewed, including Vega and Voyager data and results from ground-based remote sensing. Consideration is given to water-vapor and sulfur-compound distributions, electrical phenomena, and dynamics in the Venus atmosphere; dust storms, water cycles, and water and ice erosion on Mars; the compositions, temperature profiles, and dynamics of the Jovian and Saturnian atmospheres; chemical processes and zonal winds on Titan; and the radiation budgets and chemical compositions of the outer planets.

  7. Selected Examples of Solar and Extra-Solar Planetary Science with AO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Close, Laird M.; Lenzen, Rainer; Biller, Beth; Brandner, Wolfgang; Hartung, Markus

    High spatial resolution planetary science has seen a large boost from AO observations complementing space missions. Adaptive optics is particularly well suited for planetary astronomy since solar system bodies have temporal behavior well suited to multiple epochs of observation. Here we will just highlight some very recent examples: Uranus's rings (de Pater et al. 2002), volcanoes on Io (Marchis et al. 2002), the surface of 3 Juno (Baliunas et al. 2003), and binary asteroids (Merline et al. 2002). In addition, we will present "first light" sensitivities from a high contrast simultaneous differential imager (SDI) device. This device (called NACO SDI) can detect an extrasolar planet 25,000 times fainter just 0.5" from its parent star in 40 min of VLT time at 6 sigma. These are the highest contrast astronomical images taken to date.

  8. Review of methodology and technology available for the detection of extrasolar planetary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarter, J. C.; Black, D. C.; Billingham, J.

    1986-01-01

    Anyone undertaking an interstellar voyage might wish to be assured of the existence of a safe planetary harbor at the other end! Aside from the obvious interest of the participants in this Symposium, astronomers and astrophysicists are also eager to detect and study other planetary systems in order to better understand the formation of our own Solar System. Scientists involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence argue that planets suitable for the evolution of life may abound elsewhere within our own Milky Way Galaxy. On theoretical grounds, they are probably correct, but they lack any observational support. For in spite of decades of claimed astrometric detections of planetary companions and the recent exciting and tantalizing observations from the IRAS satellite and the IR speckle observations of Van Biesbroeck 8 and other cool stars, there is no unambiguous proof for the existence of another planetary system beyond our own. In this paper we review the various methods for detecting extrasolar planets and briefly describe the Earth and space based technology currently available and discuss the near-term plans to implement these different search techniques. In each case an attempt is made to identify the limiting source of systematic error inherent to the methodology and to assess the potential for technological improvements.

  9. Challenges of Using Earth's Atmosphere as a Proxy for Detecting Biosignatures on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMarines, J.

    2012-06-01

    Assessing the challenges associated with the detectability of primitive biosignatures present on early Earth (methane and ethane) and addressing the observational difficulties when we begin to observe extrasolar atmospheres with a TPF-O mission.

  10. Modelling the formation of atmospheric dust in brown dwarfs and planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Helling, Christiane; Fomins, Aleksejs

    2013-07-13

    Atmospheric dust from volcanoes, sand storms and biogenic products provides condensation seeds for water cloud formation on the Earth. Extrasolar planetary objects such as brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets have no comparable sources of condensation seeds. Hence, understanding cloud formation and further its implications for the climate requires a modelling effort that includes the treatment of seed formation (nucleation), growth and evaporation, in addition to rain-out, mixing and gas-phase depletion. This paper discusses nucleation in the ultra-cool atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets whose chemical gas-phase composition differs largely from the terrestrial atmosphere. A kinetic model for atmospheric dust formation is described, which, in recent work, has become part of a cloud-formation model. For the first time, diffusive replenishment of the upper atmosphere is introduced as a source term into our model equations. This paper further aims to show how experimental and computational chemistry work links into our dust-formation model, which is driven by applications in extraterrestrial environments. PMID:23734048

  11. On the Abundance of Water in Extrasolar Planetary Systems as a Function of Stellar Metallicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominguez, Gerardo

    2016-06-01

    The discovery, to date, of several hundred confirmed extra solar planets and a statistical analysis of their properties has revealed intriguing patterns in the abundance and types of extrasolar planets. The metallicity of the host star appears to be a driver in determining extrasolar planetary system characteristics, although a mechanistic understanding of these relationships is not currently available. Understanding the broad relationship(s) between the characteristics of extrasolar planets and stellar metallicity thus appears timely.Recent work examining the timescales for water production in protoplanetary disks suggest that ionizing radiation required to drive surface chemistry in protoplanetary disks is insufficient and production timescales too slow to account for a significant amount of water in protoplanetary disks. Here we focus on the timescales for water production in cold molecular clouds and examine the relationship of this timescale as a function of molecular cloud metallicity. To do this, we consider the distribution of surface area concentration (dA/dV) in molecular clouds as a function of their metallicity and various MRN-like dust grain size distributions. We find that molecular cloud metallicity is a significant factor in determining upper-limits to the availability of water in molecular clouds and by extension, protoplanetary disks. The spectral index of the MRN distribution affects the upper-limits to H2O abundance, but the effect is not as significant as metallicity. We find that the ratio of H2O/SiO2 produced in a molecular cloud of solar metallicity can easily account for Earth’s present day ratio , supporting the “wet” hypothesis for the origins of Earth’s water. Future studies will focus on the retention of water on interstellar dust grain surfaces in protoplanetary disk environments inside the water line, the abundance of other volatile species, more detailed estimates of H2O destruction timescales in molecular clouds, and

  12. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. III. BREAKDOWN CONDITIONS FOR MINERAL CLOUDS

    SciTech Connect

    Helling, Ch.; Jardine, M.; Stark, C.; Diver, D.

    2013-04-20

    Electric discharges were detected directly in the cloudy atmospheres of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, are debatable for Venus, and indirectly inferred for Neptune and Uranus in our solar system. Sprites (and other types of transient luminous events) have been detected only on Earth, and are theoretically predicted for Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus. Cloud formation is a common phenomenon in ultra-cool atmospheres such as in brown dwarf and extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Cloud particles can be expected to carry considerable charges which may trigger discharge events via small-scale processes between individual cloud particles (intra-cloud discharges) or large-scale processes between clouds (inter-cloud discharges). We investigate electrostatic breakdown characteristics, like critical field strengths and critical charge densities per surface, to demonstrate under which conditions mineral clouds undergo electric discharge events which may trigger or be responsible for sporadic X-ray emission. We apply results from our kinetic dust cloud formation model that is part of the DRIFT-PHOENIX model atmosphere simulations. We present a first investigation of the dependence of the breakdown conditions in brown dwarf and giant gas exoplanets on the local gas-phase chemistry, the effective temperature, and primordial gas-phase metallicity. Our results suggest that different intra-cloud discharge processes dominate at different heights inside mineral clouds: local coronal (point discharges) and small-scale sparks at the bottom region of the cloud where the gas density is high, and flow discharges and large-scale sparks near, and maybe above, the cloud top. The comparison of the thermal degree of ionization and the number density of cloud particles allows us to suggest the efficiency with which discharges will occur in planetary atmospheres.

  13. Planetary Atmospheres at High Resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurwell, M.; Butler, B.; Moullet, A.

    2013-10-01

    The long millimeter through submillimeter bands are particularly well suited for studying the wide variety of planetary atmospheres in our solar system. Temperatures ranging from a few 10s to hundreds of degrees, coupled with typically high densities (relative to the ISM) mean that thermal ‘continuum’ emission can be strong and molecular rotational transitions can be well-populated. Large bodies (Jovian and terrestrial planets) can be reasonably well studied by current interferometers such as the Submillimeter Array, IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, and Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy, yet many smaller bodies with atmospheres can only be crudely studied, primarily due to lack of sensitivity on baselines long enough to well resolve the object. Newly powerful interferometers such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array will usher in a new era of planetary atmospheric exploration. The vast sensitivity and spatial resolution of these arrays will increase our ability to image all bodies with extremely fine fidelity (due to the large number of antennas), and for study of smaller objects by resolving their disks into many pixels while providing the sensitivity necessary to detect narrow and/or weak line emission. New science topics will range from detailed mapping of HDO, ClO, and sulfur species in the mesosphere of Venus and PH3 and H2S in the upper tropospheres of the gas and ice giants, high SNR mapping of winds on Mars, Neptune and Titan, down to spectroscopic imaging of volcanic eruptions within the tenuous atmosphere on Io, resolved imaging of CO and other species in the atmosphere of Pluto, and even potentially detection of gases within the plumes of Enceladus.

  14. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS. II. PREDICTIONS FOR OUTER EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Raymond, Sean N.; Armitage, Philip J.; Gorelick, Noel

    2010-03-10

    We develop an idealized dynamical model to predict the typical properties of outer extrasolar planetary systems, at radii comparable to the Jupiter-to-Neptune region of the solar system. The model is based upon the hypothesis that dynamical evolution in outer planetary systems is controlled by a combination of planet-planet scattering and planetary interactions with an exterior disk of small bodies ('planetesimals'). Our results are based on 5000 long duration N-body simulations that follow the evolution of three planets from a few to 10 AU, together with a planetesimal disk containing 50 M{sub +} from 10 to 20 AU. For large planet masses (M {approx}> M{sub Sat}), the model recovers the observed eccentricity distribution of extrasolar planets. For lower-mass planets, the range of outcomes in models with disks is far greater than that which is seen in isolated planet-planet scattering. Common outcomes include strong scattering among massive planets, sudden jumps in eccentricity due to resonance crossings driven by divergent migration, and re-circularization of scattered low-mass planets in the outer disk. We present the distributions of the eccentricity and inclination that result, and discuss how they vary with planet mass and initial system architecture. In agreement with other studies, we find that the currently observed eccentricity distribution (derived primarily from planets at a {approx}< 3 AU) is consistent with isolated planet-planet scattering. We explain the observed mass dependence-which is in the opposite sense from that predicted by the simplest scattering models-as a consequence of strong correlations between planet masses in the same system. At somewhat larger radii, initial planetary mass correlations and disk effects can yield similar modest changes to the eccentricity distribution. Nonetheless, strong damping of eccentricity for low-mass planets at large radii appears to be a secure signature of the dynamical influence of disks. Radial velocity

  15. Chemical kinetics on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Moses, Julianne I

    2014-04-28

    Chemical kinetics plays an important role in controlling the atmospheric composition of all planetary atmospheres, including those of extrasolar planets. For the hottest exoplanets, the composition can closely follow thermochemical-equilibrium predictions, at least in the visible and infrared photosphere at dayside (eclipse) conditions. However, for atmospheric temperatures approximately <2000K, and in the uppermost atmosphere at any temperature, chemical kinetics matters. The two key mechanisms by which kinetic processes drive an exoplanet atmosphere out of equilibrium are photochemistry and transport-induced quenching. I review these disequilibrium processes in detail, discuss observational consequences and examine some of the current evidence for kinetic processes on extrasolar planets. PMID:24664912

  16. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeg, Hans; Belmonte, Juan Antonio; Aparicio, Antonio

    2012-03-01

    Participants; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Extrasolar planet detection methods Laurance R. Doyle; 2. Statistical properties of exoplanets Stéphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Günther Wuchterl; 5. Abundances in stars with extrasolar planetary systems Garik Israelian; 6. Brown dwarfs: the bridge between stars and planets Rafael Rebolo; 7. The perspective: a panorama of the Solar System Agustín Sánchez-Lavega; 8. Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars James F. Kasting; 9. Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability Franck Selsis, Jimmy Paillet and France Allard; Index.

  17. Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deeg, Hans; Belmonte, Juan Antonio; Aparicio, Antonio

    2007-10-01

    Participants; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Extrasolar planet detection methods Laurance R. Doyle; 2. Statistical properties of exoplanets Stéphane Udry; 3. Characterizing extrasolar planets Timothy M. Brown; 4. From clouds to planet systems: formation and evolution of stars and planets Günther Wuchterl; 5. Abundances in stars with extrasolar planetary systems Garik Israelian; 6. Brown dwarfs: the bridge between stars and planets Rafael Rebolo; 7. The perspective: a panorama of the Solar System Agustín Sánchez-Lavega; 8. Habitable planets around the Sun and other stars James F. Kasting; 9. Biomarkers of extrasolar planets and their observability Franck Selsis, Jimmy Paillet and France Allard; Index.

  18. Isotopic ratios in planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    de Bergh, C

    1995-03-01

    Recent progress on measurements of isotopic ratios in planetary or satellite atmospheres include measurements of the D/H ratio in the methane of Uranus, Neptune and Titan and in the water of Mars and Venus. Implications of these measurements on our understanding of the formation and evolution of the planets and satellite are discussed. Our current knowledge of the carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotopic ratios in the atmospheres of these planets, as well as on Jupiter and Saturn, is also reviewed. We finally show what progress can be expected in the very near future due to some new ground-based instrumentation particularly well suited to such studies, and to forthcoming space missions. PMID:11539257

  19. The role of planetary formation and evolution in shaping the composition of exoplanetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turrini, D.; Nelson, R. P.; Barbieri, M.

    2015-12-01

    Over the last twenty years, the search for extrasolar planets has revealed the rich diversity of outcomes from the formation and evolution of planetary systems. In order to fully understand how these extrasolar planets came to be, however, the orbital and physical data we possess are not enough, and they need to be complemented with information about the composition of the exoplanets. Ground-based and space-based observations provided the first data on the atmospheric composition of a few extrasolar planets, but a larger and more detailed sample is required before we can fully take advantage of it. The primary goal of a dedicated space mission like the Exoplanet Characterization Observatory (EChO) proposal is to fill this gap and to expand the limited data we possess by performing a systematic survey of extrasolar planets. The full exploitation of the data that space-based and ground-based facilities will provide in the near future, however, requires knowledge about the sources and sinks of the chemical species and molecules that will be observed. Luckily, the study of the past history of the Solar System provides several indications about the effects of processes like migration, late accretion and secular impacts, and on the time they occur in the life of planetary systems. In this work we will review what is already known about the factors influencing the composition of planetary atmospheres, focusing on the case of gaseous giant planets, and what instead still need to be investigated.

  20. Physics of planetary atmospheres and ionospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S. J.

    1981-01-01

    The traditional atmospheric regions, the distinction between homosphere and heterosphere, and changing atmospheric composition are discussed. The validity of the barometric law based on a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, for the major part of a planetary atmosphere and its breakdown in the exosphere due to escape of atmospheric particles is considered. The formation and maintenance of photochemical and diffusion-controlled ionospheric layers are treated. Their applicability to planetary ionospheres is dealt with. The spatial extent of magnetic and nonmagnetic planet ionospheres is investigated. Thermal and nonthermal processes responsible for the mass loss of planetary atmospheres are surveyed.

  1. Impact erosion of terrestrial planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    I review current ideas about the nature of the planetesimals - composition, size distribution, and the planetary encounter velocity. Previous papers on accretion and erosion of planetary atmospheres as a result of multiple impacts are reviewed. Finally, the effects of blowing off a substantial fraction of the atmosphere from a terrestrial planet due to a single giant body impact are discussed.

  2. A SEARCH FOR WIDE COMPANIONS TO THE EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY SYSTEM HR 8799

    SciTech Connect

    Close, Laird M.; Males, Jared R.

    2010-01-20

    The extrasolar planetary system around HR 8799 is the first multiplanet system ever imaged. It is also, by a wide margin, the highest mass system with >27 Jupiters of planetary mass past 25 AU. This is a remarkable system with no analog in any other known planetary system. In the first part of this paper, we investigated the nature of two faint objects imaged near the system. These objects are considerably fainter (H = 20.4 and 21.6 mag) and more distant (projected separations of 612 and 534 AU) than the three known planetary companions b, c, and d (68-24 AU). It is possible that these two objects could be lower mass planets (of mass approx5M{sub Jup} and approx3M{sub Jup}) that have been scattered to wider orbits. We make the first direct comparison of newly reduced archival Gemini adaptive optics images to archival Hubble Space Telescope/NICMOS images. With nearly a decade between these epochs, we can accurately assess the proper motion nature of each candidate companion. We find that both objects are unbound to HR 8799 and are background. We estimate that HR 8799 has no companions of H < 22 from approx5'' to 15''. Any scattered giant planets in the HR 8799 system are >600 AU or less than 3 M{sub Jup} in mass. In the second part of this paper, we search for any sign of a 'reverse parallax signature' in the astrometric residuals of HR 8799b. No such signal was found and we conclude, as expected, that HR 8799b has the same parallax as HR 8799A. In the third part of this paper, we carry out a search for wider common proper motion objects. We found one object within 1 deg{sup 2} in the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey-Digitized Sky Survey images with similar (<2sigma) proper motions to HR 8799 at a separation of 4.'0. We conclude that it is not likely a bound companion to HR 8799 based on available photometry.

  3. Eccentricity Evolution of Extrasolar Multiple Planetary Systems Due to the Depletion of Nascent Protostellar Disks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagasawa, M.; Lin, D. N. C.; Ida, S.

    2003-04-01

    Most extrasolar planets are observed to have eccentricities much larger than those in the solar system. Some of these planets have sibling planets, with comparable masses, orbiting around the same host stars. In these multiple planetary systems, eccentricity is modulated by the planets' mutual secular interaction as a consequence of angular momentum exchange between them. For mature planets, the eigenfrequencies of this modulation are determined by their mass and semimajor axis ratios. However, prior to the disk depletion, self-gravity of the planets' nascent disks dominates the precession eigenfrequencies. We examine here the initial evolution of young planets' eccentricity due to the apsidal libration or circulation induced by both the secular interaction between them and the self-gravity of their nascent disks. We show that as the latter effect declines adiabatically with disk depletion, the modulation amplitude of the planets' relative phase of periapsis is approximately invariant despite the time-asymmetrical exchange of angular momentum between planets. However, as the young planets' orbits pass through a state of secular resonance, their mean eccentricities undergo systematic quantitative changes. For applications, we analyze the eccentricity evolution of planets around υ Andromedae and HD 168443 during the epoch of protostellar disk depletion. We find that the disk depletion can change the planets' eccentricity ratio. However, the relatively large amplitude of the planets' eccentricity cannot be excited if all the planets had small initial eccentricities.

  4. Characterizing extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Timothy M.

    Transiting extrasolar planets provide the best current opportunities for characterizing the physical properties of extrasolar planets. In this review, I first describe the geometry of planetary transits, and methods for detecting and refining the observations of such transits. I derive the methods by which transit light curves and radial velocity data can be analyzed to yield estimates of the planetary radius, mass, and orbital parameters. I also show how visible-light and infrared spectroscopy can be valuable tools for understanding the composition, temperature, and dynamics of the atmospheres of transiting planets. Finally, I relate the outcome of a participatory lecture-hall exercise relating to one term in the Drake equation, namely the lifetime of technical civilizations.

  5. The photochemistry of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dalgarno, A.

    1988-01-01

    Recent theoretical and observational investigations of photochemical processes in the atmospheres of the planets and their satellites are reviewed. Particular attention is given to the CO2-dominated atmospheres of Mars and Venus, the hydrogen-dominated atmospheres of the Jovian planets, the SO2 atmosphere of Io, and the massive atmospheres of Titan and Triton. The principal reaction paths involved are listed and briefly characterized, and numerical data on atmospheric compositions are given in tables.

  6. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Lissauer, J J; Marcy, G W; Ida, S

    2000-11-01

    The first known extrasolar planet in orbit around a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995. This object, as well as over two dozen subsequently detected extrasolar planets, were all identified by observing periodic variations of the Doppler shift of light emitted by the stars to which they are bound. All of these extrasolar planets are more massive than Saturn is, and most are more massive than Jupiter. All orbit closer to their stars than do the giant planets in our Solar System, and most of those that do not orbit closer to their star than Mercury is to the Sun travel on highly elliptical paths. Prevailing theories of star and planet formation, which are based on observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that planets should form in orbit about most single stars. However, these models require some modifications to explain the properties of the observed extrasolar planetary systems. PMID:11035782

  7. Extrasolar planets

    PubMed Central

    Lissauer, Jack J.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Ida, Shigeru

    2000-01-01

    The first known extrasolar planet in orbit around a Sun-like star was discovered in 1995. This object, as well as over two dozen subsequently detected extrasolar planets, were all identified by observing periodic variations of the Doppler shift of light emitted by the stars to which they are bound. All of these extrasolar planets are more massive than Saturn is, and most are more massive than Jupiter. All orbit closer to their stars than do the giant planets in our Solar System, and most of those that do not orbit closer to their star than Mercury is to the Sun travel on highly elliptical paths. Prevailing theories of star and planet formation, which are based on observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments, predict that planets should form in orbit about most single stars. However, these models require some modifications to explain the properties of the observed extrasolar planetary systems. PMID:11035782

  8. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1975-01-01

    Electrostatic charging of dust and its effect on planetary atmospheres is discussed, along with its applications to Martian atmosphere. Laboratory and field experiments in dust storms indicate that the major atmospheric parameters on Mars include: (1) pressure, temperature, and relative humidity; (2) wind velocity and direction; (3) particulate size and composition; and (4) electrostatic charge and field gradient. Various instrumentation techniques adapted for a Mars Lander are briefly reviewed. The effect of exoelectron emission on surface catalysis is studied.

  9. Studies of planetary upper atmospheres through occultations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliot, J. L.

    1982-01-01

    The structure, composition, dynamics and energy balance of planetary upper atmospheres through interpretation of steller occultation data from Uranus is discussed. The wave-optical problem of modelling strong scintillation for arbitrary turbulent atmospheres is studied, as well as influence of turbulence. It was concluded that quasi-global features of atmospheric structure are accurately determined by numerical inversion. Horizontally inhomogeneous structures are filtered out and have little effect on temperature profiles.

  10. Work on Planetary Atmospheres and Planetary Atmosphere Probes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lester, Peter

    1999-01-01

    A summary final report of work accomplished is presented. Work was performed in the following areas: (1) Galileo Probe science analysis, (2) Galileo probe Atmosphere Structure Instrument, (3) Mars Pathfinder Atmosphere Structure/Meteorology instrument, (4) Mars Pathfinder data analysis, (5) Science Definition for future Mars missions, (6) Viking Lander data analysis, (7) winds in Mars atmosphere Venus atmospheric dynamics, (8) Pioneer Venus Probe data analysis, (9) Pioneer Venus anomaly analysis, (10) Discovery Venus Probe Titan probe instrument design, and (11) laboratory studies of Titan probe impact phenomena. The work has resulted in more than 10 articles published in archive journals, 2 encyclopedia articles, and many working papers. This final report is organized around the four planets on which there was activity, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Titan, with a closing section on Miscellaneous Activities. A major objective was to complete the fabrication, test, and evaluation of the atmosphere structure experiment on the Galileo probe, and to receive, analyze and interpret data received from the spacecraft. The instrument was launched on April 14, 1989. Calibration data were taken for all experiment sensors. The data were analyzed, fitted with algorithms, and summarized in a calibration report for use in analyzing and interpreting data returned from Jupiter's atmosphere. The sensors included were the primary science pressure, temperature and acceleration sensors, and the supporting engineering temperature sensors. Computer programs were written to decode the Experiment Data Record and convert the digital numbers to physical quantities, i.e., temperatures, pressures, and accelerations. The project office agreed to obtain telemetry of checkout data from the probe. Work to extend programs written for use on the Pioneer Venus project included: (1) massive heat shield ablation leading to important mass loss during entry; and (2) rapid planet rotation, which introduced

  11. Convective storms in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hueso, R.; Sánchez-Lavega, A.

    2013-05-01

    The atmospheres of the planets in the Solar System have different physical properties that in some cases can be considered as extreme when compared with our own planet's more familiar atmosphere. From the tenuous and cold atmosphere of Mars to the dense and warm atmosphere of Venus in the case of the terrestrial planets, to the gigantic atmospheres of the outer planets, or the nitrogen and methane atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, we can find a large variety of physical environments. The comparative study of these atmospheres provides a better understanding of the physics of a geophysical fluid. In many of these worlds convective storms of different intensity appear. They are analogous to terrestrial atmospheres fed by the release of latent heat when one of the gases in the atmosphere condenses and they are therefore called moist convective storms. In many of these planets they can produce severe meteorological phenomena and by studying them in a comparative way we can aspire to get a further insight in the dynamics of these atmospheres even beyond the scope of moist convection. A classical example is the structure of the complex systems of winds in the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. These winds are zonal and alternate in latitude but their deep structure is not accessible to direct observation. However the behaviour of large--scale convective storms vertically extending over the "weather layer" allows to study the buried roots of these winds. Another interesting atmosphere with a rather different structure of convection is Titan, a world where methane is close to its triple point in the atmosphere and can condense in bright clouds with large precipitation fluxes that may model part of the orography of the surface making Titan a world with a methane cycle similar to the hydrological cycle of Earth's atmosphere.

  12. Dynamics and Origin of Extra-solar Planetary Systems and Microlensing Detection of Extra-solar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peale, S. J.

    2003-01-01

    We compare a space-based microlensing search for planets, with a ground based microlensing search originally proposed by D. Tytler (Beichman, et al. 1996). Perturbations of microlensing light curves when the lens star has a planetary companion are sought by one wide angle survey telescope and an array of three or four followup narrow angle telescopes distributed in longitude that follow events with high precision, high time resolution photometry. Alternative ground based programs are considered briefly. With the four 2 meter telescopes distributed in longitude in the southern hemisphere in the Tytler proposal, observational constraints on a ground-based search for planets during microlensing events toward the center of the galaxy are severe. Probably less than 100 events could be monitored per year with high precision, high time resolution photometry with only about 42% coverage on the average regardless of how many events were discovered by the survey telescope. Statistics for the occurrence and properties for Jupiter-mass planets would be meaningful but relatively meager four years after the program was started, and meaningful statistics for Earth-mass planets would be non existent. In contrast, the 14,500 events in a proposed 4 year space based program (GEST = Galactic Exoplanet Survey Telescope) would yield very sound statistics on the occurrence, masses and separations of Jupiter-mass planets, and significant constraints on similar properties for Earth-mass planets. The significance of the Jupiter statistics would be to establish the frequency of planetary systems like our own, where terrestrial planets could exist inside the orbits of the giants.

  13. Work on Planetary Atmospheres and Planetary Atmosphere Probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lester, Peter

    1999-01-01

    A summary final report of work accomplished is presented. Work was performed in the following areas: (1) Galileo Probe science analysis, (2) Galileo probe Atmosphere Structure Instrument, (3) Mars Pathfinder Atmosphere Structure/Meteorology instrument, (4) Mars Pathfinder data analysis, (5) Science Definition for future Mars missions, (6) Viking Lander data analysis, (7) winds in Mars atmosphere Venus atmospheric dynamics, (8) Pioneer Venus Probe data analysis, (9) Pioneer Venus anomaly analysis, (10) Discovery Venus Probe Titan probe instrument design, and (11) laboratory studies of Titan probe impact phenomena. The work has resulted in more than 10 articles published in archive journals, 2 encyclopedia articles, and many working papers. This final report is organized around the four planets on which there was activity, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Titan, with a closing section on Miscellaneous Activities. A major objective was to complete the fabrication, test, and evaluation of the atmosphere structure experiment on the Galileo probe, and to receive, analyze and interpret data received from the spacecraft. The instrument was launched on April 14, 1989. Calibration data were taken for all experiment sensors. The data were analyzed, fitted with algorithms, and summarized in a calibration report for use in analyzing and interpreting data returned from Jupiter's atmosphere. The sensors included were the primary science pressure, temperature and acceleration sensors, and the supporting engineering temperature sensors. Computer programs were written to decode the Experiment Data Record and convert the digital numbers to physical quantities, i.e., temperatures, pressures, and accelerations. The project office agreed to obtain telemetry of checkout data from the probe. Work to extend programs written for use on the Pioneer Venus project included: (1) massive heat shield ablation leading to important mass loss during entry; and (2) rapid planet rotation, which introduced

  14. Chemical kinetics and modeling of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Yuk L.

    1990-01-01

    A unified overview is presented for chemical kinetics and chemical modeling in planetary atmospheres. The recent major advances in the understanding of the chemistry of the terrestrial atmosphere make the study of planets more interesting and relevant. A deeper understanding suggests that the important chemical cycles have a universal character that connects the different planets and ultimately link together the origin and evolution of the solar system. The completeness (or incompleteness) of the data base for chemical kinetics in planetary atmospheres will always be judged by comparison with that for the terrestrial atmosphere. In the latter case, the chemistry of H, O, N, and Cl species is well understood. S chemistry is poorly understood. In the atmospheres of Jovian planets and Titan, the C-H chemistry of simple species (containing 2 or less C atoms) is fairly well understood. The chemistry of higher hydrocarbons and the C-N, P-N chemistry is much less understood. In the atmosphere of Venus, the dominant chemistry is that of chlorine and sulfur, and very little is known about C1-S coupled chemistry. A new frontier for chemical kinetics both in the Earth and planetary atmospheres is the study of heterogeneous reactions. The formation of the ozone hole on Earth, the ubiquitous photochemical haze on Venus and in the Jovian planets and Titan all testify to the importance of heterogeneous reactions. It remains a challenge to connect the gas phase chemistry to the production of aerosols.

  15. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. I. THE ROLE OF ELECTRON AVALANCHE

    SciTech Connect

    Helling, Ch.; Jardine, M.; Witte, S.; Diver, D. A.

    2011-01-20

    Brown dwarf and extrasolar planet atmospheres form clouds which strongly influence the local chemistry and physics. These clouds are globally neutral obeying dust-gas charge equilibrium which is, on short timescales, inconsistent with the observation of stochastic ionization events of the solar system planets. We argue that a significant volume of the clouds in brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets is susceptible to local discharge events. These are electron avalanches triggered by charged dust grains. Such intra-cloud discharges occur on timescales shorter than the time needed to neutralize the dust grains by collisional processes. An ensemble of discharges is likely to produce enough free charges to suggest a partial and stochastic coupling of the atmosphere to a large-scale magnetic field.

  16. Work on Planetary Atmospheres and Planetary Atmosphere Probes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seiff, Alvin; Lester, Peter

    1999-01-01

    A major objective of the grant was to complete the fabrication, test, and evaluation of the atmosphere structure experiment on the Galileo Probe, and to receive, analyze, and interpret data received from the spacecraft. The grantee was competitively selected to be Principal Investigator of Jupiter's atmosphere structure on the Galileo Probe. His primary motivation was to learn as much as possible about Jupiter's atmosphere by means of a successful atmosphere structure experiment, and to support the needs and schedule of the Galileo Project. After a number of launch delays, the Flight instrument was shipped to Kennedy Space Center 2 years after the start of this collaboration, on April 14, 1989, at which time it was determined from System level tests of the ASI on the Probe that the instrument was in good working order and ready for flight. The spacecraft was launched on October 18, 1989. Data analysis of test and calibration data taken over a period of years of instrument testing was continued in preparation for the encounter. The initial instrument checkout in space was performed on October 26, 1989. The data set received by telemetry was thoroughly analyzed, and a report of the findings was transmitted to the Probe Operations Office on Feb. 28, 1990. Key findings reported were that the accelerometer biases had shifted by less than 1 mg through launch and since calibration at Bell Aerospace in 1983; accelerometer scale factors, evaluated by means of calibration currents, fell on lines of variation with temperature established in laboratory calibrations; pressure sensor offsets, correlated as a function of temperature, fell generally within the limits of several years of ground test data; atmospheric and engineering temperature sensor data were internally consistent within a few tenths of a degree; and the instrument electronics performed all expected functions without any observable fault. Altogether, this checkout was highly encouraging of the prospects of

  17. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.

    1972-01-01

    The research for the development of new types of detectors for analysis of planetary atmospheres is summarized. Topics discussed include: corona discharge humidity detector, surface catalysis and exo-electron emission, and analysis of soil samples by means of exo-electron emission. A report on the exo-electron emission during heterogeneous catalysis is included.

  18. Submillimeter Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry Exploration Sounder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlecht, Erich T.; Allen, Mark A.; Gill, John J.; Choonsup, Lee; Lin, Robert H.; Sin, Seth; Mehdi, Imran; Siegel, Peter H.; Maestrini, Alain

    2013-01-01

    Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry Exploration Sounder (SPACES), a high-sensitivity laboratory breadboard for a spectrometer targeted at orbital planetary atmospheric analysis. The frequency range is 520 to 590 GHz, with a target noise temperature sensitivity of 2,500 K for detecting water, sulfur compounds, carbon compounds, and other atmospheric constituents. SPACES is a prototype for a powerful tool for the exploration of the chemistry and dynamics of any planetary atmosphere. It is fundamentally a single-pixel receiver for spectral signals emitted by the relevant constituents, intended to be fed by a fixed or movable telescope/antenna. Its front-end sensor translates the received signal down to the 100-MHz range where it can be digitized and the data transferred to a spectrum analyzer for processing, spectrum generation, and accumulation. The individual microwave and submillimeter wave components (mixers, LO high-powered amplifiers, and multipliers) of SPACES were developed in cooperation with other programs, although with this type of instrument in mind. Compared to previous planetary and Earth science instruments, its broad bandwidth (approx. =.13%) and rapid tunability (approx. =.10 ms) are new developments only made possible recently by the advancement in submillimeter circuit design and processing at JPL.

  19. Infrared laboratory studies of synthetic planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D.

    1973-01-01

    Previous research dealing with telluric gases is briefly reviewed. Current research concerning absorption-line broadening, and particulate constituents of planetary atmospheres are discussed. Two articles are included: optical constants of liquid ammonia in the infrared, and broadening of infrared absorption lines at reduced temperatures for nitrous oxide.

  20. Studies of Tenuous Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Combi, Michael R.

    1998-01-01

    The final report includes an overall project overview as well as scientific background summaries of dust and sodium in comets, and tenuous atmospheres of Jupiter's natural satellites. Progress and continuing work related to dust coma and tenuous atmospheric studies are presented. Also included are published articles written during the course of the report period. These are entitled: (1) On Europa's Magnetospheric Interaction: An MHD Simulation; (2) Dust-Gas Interrelations in Comets: Observations and Theory; and (3) Io's Plasma Environment During the Galileo Flyby: Global Three Dimensional MHD Modeling with Adaptive Mesh Refinement.

  1. Atmospheric escape, redox evolution, and planetary habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catling, D. C.; Zahnle, K. J.

    2011-12-01

    Through the greenhouse effect, the presence and composition of an atmosphere is critical for defining a (conventional) circumstellar habitable zone in terms of planetary surface temperatures suitable for liquid water. Lack of knowledge of planetary atmospheres is likely to frustrate attempts to say with any certainty whether detected terrestrial-sized exoplanets may or may not be habitable. Perhaps an underappreciated role in such considerations is the evolutionary effect of atmospheric escape for determining atmospheric composition or whether an atmosphere exists in the first place. Whether atmospheres exist at all on planets is demonstrably connected to the effect of integrated atmospheric escape. When we observe our own Solar System and transiting exoplanets, the existence of an atmosphere is clearly delineated by a relative vulnerability to thermal escape and impact erosion. The prevalence of thermal escape as a key evolutionary determinant for the presence of planetary atmosphere is shown by a relationship between the relative solar (or stellar) heating and the escape velocity. Those bodies with too much stellar heating and too smaller escape velocity end up devoid of atmospheres. Impact erosion is evident in the relationship between impact velocity and escape velocity. Escape due to impacts is particularly important for understanding the large differences in the atmospheres of giant planet moons, such as Ganymede versus Titan. It is also significant for Mars-sized planets. The oxidation state of atmospheres is important for some theories of the origin of life (where an early reducing atmosphere is helpful for organic synthesis) and the evolution of advanced life (where free molecular oxygen is the best source of high energy metabolism). Surfaces on some relatively small planets and moons are observed to have evolved to an oxidized state, which theory and observation can explain through atmospheric escape. There are several examples in the Solar System where a

  2. Comparative Planetary Atmospheres of Pluto and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobel, D. F.; Zhu, X.

    2015-10-01

    Both atmospheres of Pluto and Neptune's largest satellite Triton have cold surfaces with similar surface gravities and atmospheric surface pressures. We have updated the Zhu et al.Icarus 228 , 301, 2014) model for Pluto's atmosphere by adopting Voigt line profiles in the radiation code with the latest spectral database and extended the model to Triton's atmosphere by including additional parameterized heating due to the magnetospheric electron energy deposition. Numerical experiments show that the escape rate of an atmosphere for an icy planetary body similar to Pluto or Triton is quite sensitive to the methane abundance and planetary surface gravity. Together this leads to a cumulative effect on the density variation with the altitude that significantly changes the atmospheric scale height at the exobase together with the exobase altitude. The atmospheric thermal structure near the exobase is sensitive to the atmospheric escape rate only when it is significantly greater than 10 26 molecules s-1 above which an enhanced escape rate corresponds to a stronger radial velocity that adiabatically cools the atmosphere to a lower temperature.

  3. Spectral signatures of photosynthesis. II. Coevolution with other stars and the atmosphere on extrasolar worlds.

    PubMed

    Kiang, Nancy Y; Segura, Antígona; Tinetti, Giovanna; Govindjee; Blankenship, Robert E; Cohen, Martin; Siefert, Janet; Crisp, David; Meadows, Victoria S

    2007-02-01

    As photosynthesis on Earth produces the primary signatures of life that can be detected astronomically at the global scale, a strong focus of the search for extrasolar life will be photosynthesis, particularly photosynthesis that has evolved with a different parent star. We take previously simulated planetary atmospheric compositions for Earth-like planets around observed F2V and K2V, modeled M1V and M5V stars, and around the active M4.5V star AD Leo; our scenarios use Earth's atmospheric composition as well as very low O2 content in case anoxygenic photosynthesis dominates. With a line-by-line radiative transfer model, we calculate the incident spectral photon flux densities at the surface of the planet and under water. We identify bands of available photosynthetically relevant radiation and find that photosynthetic pigments on planets around F2V stars may peak in absorbance in the blue, K2V in the red-orange, and M stars in the near-infrared, in bands at 0.93-1.1 microm, 1.1-1.4 microm, 1.5-1.8 microm, and 1.8-2.5 microm. However, underwater organisms will be restricted to wavelengths shorter than 1.4 microm and more likely below 1.1 microm. M star planets without oxygenic photosynthesis will have photon fluxes above 1.6 microm curtailed by methane. Longer-wavelength, multi-photo-system series would reduce the quantum yield but could allow for oxygenic photosystems at longer wavelengths. A wavelength of 1.1 microm is a possible upper cutoff for electronic transitions versus only vibrational energy; however, this cutoff is not strict, since such energetics depend on molecular configuration. M star planets could be a half to a tenth as productive as Earth in the visible, but exceed Earth if useful photons extend to 1.1 microm for anoxygenic photosynthesis. Under water, organisms would still be able to survive ultraviolet flares from young M stars and acquire adequate light for growth. PMID:17407410

  4. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.

    1978-01-01

    The application of detectors developed for analysis of planetary atmospheres under partial vacuum conditions, and data obtained during dust charging studies to various industrial problems is summarized. A specialized apparatus for dust measurements on a planetary lander was designed with the capability of measuring ambient dust density as a function of particle size, as well as for observing the charge of the collected dust. the optical system operates on an intermittent basis and requires only low power. No radioactive source or delicate detection equipment is required. Advances in monitoring catalyst operation by means of exoelection emission are also reported.

  5. Radiative transfer in realistic planetary atmospheres. [bibliographies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plass, G. N.; Kattawar, G. W.

    1982-01-01

    Some 40 publications that appeared in scientific journals from 1973 to 1981 as well as 45 scientific reports issued during the grant period are listed by title. Topics cover the development of a matrix operator theory of radiative transfer which made possible the exact model calculations of the radiance as a function of height in planetary atmospheres; calculation of the Mie phase matrix for various types of particles as well as for radiance and polarization in planetary atmospheres; analysis of high dispersion spectroscopic observations of Venus; calculation of curves of growth for Venus; the development of a theory for calculating radiative transfer in spherical shell atmospheres; investigations of zonal winds on Venus; and examination of Rayleigh scattering.

  6. Atmospheric planetary wave response to external forcing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevens, D. E.; Reiter, E. R.

    1985-01-01

    The tools of observational analysis, complex general circulation modeling, and simpler modeling approaches were combined in order to attack problems on the largest spatial scales of the earth's atmosphere. Two different models were developed and applied. The first is a two level, global spectral model which was designed primarily to test the effects of north-south sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) gradients between the equatorial and midlatitude north Pacific. The model is nonlinear, contains both radiation and a moisture budget with associated precipitation and surface evaporation, and utilizes a linear balance dynamical framework. Supporting observational analysis of atmospheric planetary waves is briefly summarized. More extensive general circulation models have also been used to consider the problem of the atmosphere's response, especially in the horizontal propagation of planetary scale waves, to SSTA.

  7. The Next Generation of Planetary Atmospheric Probes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard

    2005-01-01

    Entry probes provide useful insights into the structures of planetary atmospheres, but give only one-dimensional pictures of complex four-dimensional systems that vary on all temporal and spatial scales. This makes the interpretation of the results quite challenging, especially as regards atmospheric dynamics. Here is a planetary meteorologist's vision of what the next generation of atmospheric entry probe missions should be: Dedicated sounding instruments get most of the required data from orbit. Relatively simple and inexpensive entry probes are released from the orbiter, with low entry velocities, to establish ground truth, to clarify the vertical structure, and for adaptive observations to enhance the dataset in preparation for sensitive operations. The data are assimilated onboard in real time. The products, being immediately available, are of immense benefit for scientific and operational purposes (aerobraking, aerocapture, accurate payload delivery via glider, ballooning missions, weather forecasts, etc.).

  8. Chemistry of Planetary Atmospheres: Insights and Prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yung, Yuk

    2015-11-01

    Using observations from the Mariners, Pioneers, Vikings, Voyagers, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Venus Express, Curiosity, Cassini, New Horizons, and numerous observatories both in orbit of Earth and on the ground, I will give a survey of the major chemical processes that control the composition of planetary atmospheres. For the first time since the beginning of the space age, we understand the chemistry of planetary atmospheres ranging from the primitive atmospheres of the giant planets to the highly evolved atmospheres of terrestrial planets and small bodies. Our understanding can be distilled into three important ideas: (1) The stability of planetary atmospheres against escape of their constituents to space, (2) the role of equilibrium chemistry in determining the partitioning of chemical species, and (3) the role of disequilibrium chemistry, which produces drastic departures from equilibrium chemistry. To these three ideas we must also add a fourth: the role of biochemistry at Earth's surface, which makes its atmospheric chemistry unique in the cosmochemical environment. Only in the Earth's atmosphere do strong reducing and oxidizing species coexist to such a degree. For example, nitrogen species in the Earth's atmosphere span eight oxidation states from ammonia to nitric acid. Much of the Earth's atmospheric chemistry consists of reactions initiated by the degradation of biologically produced molecules. Life uses solar energy to drive chemical reactions that would otherwise not occur; it represents a kind of photochemistry that is special to Earth, at least within the Solar System. It remains to be seen how many worlds like Earth there are beyond the Solar System, especially as we are now exploring the exoplanets using Kepler, TESS, HST, Spitzer, soon to be launched missions such as JWST and WFIRST, and ground-based telescopes. The atmospheres of the Solar System provide a benchmark for studying exoplanets, which in turn serve to test and extend our current

  9. Ultraviolet emissions in the planetary atmospheres.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, V. I.

    2008-12-01

    Actual state and perspectives of the observations of the plan- etary atmospheres in the ultraviolet range of wavelengths are discussed. The main features of the planetary aeronomy for terrestrial planets, giant planets and exoplanets-transits are given. The following hot problems of the plane- tary astronomy in the UV wavelength range are discussed: (i) UV observations of hot coronas of the terrestrial planets; (ii) formation and morphology of the rarefied H2O-, O2 - and O-dominant atmospheres of the icy satellites in the gi- ant planet systems; (iii) formation and evolution of the neutral gas clouds in the giant planet systems; (iv) studies of the extended hydrogen coronae of the transit-exoplanets formed due to the stellar UV and plasma wind forcing. The mathematical models such as the Monte Carlo model for the electron, proton, and heavy-ion precipitation into the planetary atmospheres are also discussed. Such models are currently used to calculate the excitation rates of the atmo- spheric UV emissions and will be used for the interpretation of the expected UV observations of the planetary atmospheres with the space observatory World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) [1, 2].

  10. Metal Hydride and Alkali Halide Opacities in Extrasolar Giant Planets and Cool Stellar Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weck, Philippe F.; Stancil, Phillip C.; Kirby, Kate; Schweitzer, Andreas; Hauschildt, Peter H.

    2006-01-01

    The lack of accurate and complete molecular line and continuum opacity data has been a serious limitation to developing atmospheric models of cool stars and Extrasolar Giant Planets (EGPs). We report our recent calculations of molecular opacities resulting from the presence of metal hydrides and alkali halides. The resulting data have been included in the PHOENIX stellar atmosphere code (Hauschildt & Baron 1999). The new models, calculated using spherical geometry for all gravities considered, also incorporate our latest database of nearly 670 million molecular lines, and updated equations of state.

  11. Ionization in atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets VI: Properties of large-scale discharge events

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, R. L.; Helling, Ch.; Hodosán, G.; Bilger, C.; Stark, C. R.

    2014-03-20

    Mineral clouds in substellar atmospheres play a special role as a catalyst for a variety of charge processes. If clouds are charged, the surrounding environment becomes electrically activated, and ensembles of charged grains are electrically discharging (e.g., by lightning), which significantly influences the local chemistry creating conditions similar to those thought responsible for life in early planetary atmospheres. We note that such lightning discharges contribute also to the ionization state of the atmosphere. We apply scaling laws for electrical discharge processes from laboratory measurements and numerical experiments to DRIFT-PHOENIX model atmosphere results to model the discharge's propagation downward (as lightning) and upward (as sprites) through the atmospheric clouds. We evaluate the spatial extent and energetics of lightning discharges. The atmospheric volume affected (e.g., by increase of temperature or electron number) is larger in a brown dwarf atmosphere (10{sup 8}-10{sup 10} m{sup 3}) than in a giant gas planet (10{sup 4}-10{sup 6} m{sup 3}). Our results suggest that the total dissipated energy in one event is <10{sup 12} J for all models of initial solar metallicity. First attempts to show the influence of lightning on the local gas phase indicate an increase of small carbohydrate molecules like CH and CH{sub 2} at the expense of CO and CH{sub 4}. Dust-forming molecules are destroyed and the cloud particle properties are frozen in unless enough time is available for complete evaporation. We summarize instruments potentially suitable to observe lightning on extrasolar objects.

  12. A stability limit for the atmospheres of giant extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Aylward, Alan D; Miller, Steve

    2007-12-01

    Recent observations of the planet HD209458b indicate that it is surrounded by an expanded atmosphere of atomic hydrogen that is escaping hydrodynamically. Theoretically, it has been shown that such escape is possible at least inside an orbit of 0.1 au (refs 4 and 5), and also that H3+ ions play a crucial role in cooling the upper atmosphere. Jupiter's atmosphere is stable, so somewhere between 5 and 0.1 au there must be a crossover between stability and instability. Here we show that there is a sharp breakdown in atmospheric stability between 0.14 and 0.16 au for a Jupiter-like planet orbiting a solar-type star. These results are in contrast to earlier modelling that implied much higher thermospheric temperatures and more significant evaporation farther from the star. (We use a three-dimensional, time-dependent coupled thermosphere-ionosphere model and properly include cooling by H3+ ions, allowing us to model globally the redistribution of heat and changes in molecular composition.) Between 0.2 and 0.16 au cooling by H3+ ions balances heating by the star, but inside 0.16 au molecular hydrogen dissociates thermally, suppressing the formation of H3+ and effectively shutting down that mode of cooling. PMID:18064005

  13. Relativistic breakdown in planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Dwyer, J. R.

    2007-04-15

    In 2003, a new electrical breakdown mechanism involving the production of runaway avalanches by positive feedback from runaway positrons and energetic photons was introduced. This mechanism, which shall be referred to as 'relativistic feedback', allows runaway discharges in gases to become self-sustaining, dramatically increasing the flux of runaway electrons, the accompanying high-energy radiation, and resulting ionization. Using detailed Monte Carlo calculations, properties of relativistic feedback are investigated. It is found that once relativistic feedback fully commences, electrical breakdown will occur and the ambient electric field, extending over cubic kilometers, will be discharged in as little as 2x10{sup -5} s. Furthermore, it is found that the flux of energetic electrons and x rays generated by this mechanism can exceed the flux generated by the standard relativistic runaway electron model by a factor of 10{sup 13}, making relativistic feedback a good candidate for explaining terrestrial gamma-ray flashes and other high-energy phenomena observed in the Earth's atmosphere.

  14. Atmospheric Excitation of Planetary Normal Modes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tanimoto, Toshiro

    2001-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to: (1) understand the phenomenon of continuous free oscillations of the Earth and (2) examine the idea of using this phenomenon for planetary seismology. We first describe the results on (1) and present our evaluations of the idea (2) in the final section. In 1997, after almost forty years since the initial attempt by Benioff et al, continuous free oscillations of the Earth were discovered. Spheroidal fundamental modes between 2 and 7 millihertz are excited continuously with acceleration amplitudes of about 0.3-0.5 nanogals. The signal is now commonly found in virtually all data recorded by STS-1 type broadband seismometers at quiet sites. Seasonal variation in amplitude and the existence of two coupled modes between the atmosphere and the solid Earth support that these oscillations are excited by the atmosphere. Stochastic excitation due to atmospheric turbulence is a favored mechanism, providing a good match between theory and data. The atmosphere has ample energy to support this theory because excitation of these modes require only 500-10000 W whereas the atmosphere contains about 117 W of kinetic energy. An application of this phenomenon includes planetary seismology, because other planets may be oscillating due to atmospheric excitation. The interior structure of planets could be learned by determining the eigenfrequencies in the continuous free oscillations. It is especially attractive to pursue this idea for tectonically quiet planets, since quakes may be too infrequent to be recorded by seismic instruments.

  15. Diurnal Forcing of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard C.

    1997-01-01

    Much progress has been made on calculations of the Martian seasonal water cycle using the Mars Climate Model developed for this purpose. Two papers, documenting the model and the water transport results obtained with it have been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets. An additional paper describing results related to the evolution of the seasonal water cycle as a result of orbital changes was published in Advances in Space Research. Since that time, further studies have concentrated on the consequences of the soil adsorption required to match the observed water cycle and its relation to the stability of ground ice and other potential water reservoirs. Earth-related studies have concentrated on incorporating an efficient and realistic microphysical model into the Ames Stratospheric General Circulation Model used to simulate the spread of the ML Pinatubo and other volcanic clouds in the stratosphere. In addition, visualizations of the simulations are being incorporated into a video describing the UARS mission. A paper describing the new stratospheric aerosol microphysics package (and its consequences for volcanic cloud evolution) will be submitted in the near future. The paper will discuss the relative importance of condensation and coagulation to early particle growth and the separation of the cloud by sedimentation of the larger particles. A more general paper which highlights the observation that particle number densities did not increase dramatically after the ML Pinatubo eruption is planned. Simulations of atmospheric transport will be extended to include studies of terrestrial tropospheric tracers using the Fifth-Generation Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model.

  16. Moon formation and orbital evolution in extrasolar planetary systems - A literature review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, K.

    2011-02-01

    With over 450 extrasolar planets detected, the possibility of searching for moons of these planets is starting to be investigated. In order to make efficient use of limited observing resources, it would be useful if the types of moons that a given planet is likely to host was known prior to detection. Fortunately, informed by simulations of moon formation in our own solar system, as well as more general theoretical investigations of moon orbital evolution, such information is now available. I present a review of literature results concerning the likely physical and orbital properties of extra-solar moons, and how these properties are predicted to vary with the properties of their host planet.

  17. Planetary atmospheric physics and solar physics research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    An overview is presented on current and planned research activities in the major areas of solar physics, planetary atmospheres, and space astronomy. The approach to these unsolved problems involves experimental techniques, theoretical analysis, and the use of computers to analyze the data from space experiments. The point is made that the research program is characterized by each activity interacting with the other activities in the laboratory.

  18. Infrared line widths at planetary atmospheric temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varanasi, Prasad

    1988-01-01

    Recent theoretical models and measurements of the variation of collision-broadened line width with temperature in the infrared are discussed for temperatures relevant to planetary atmospheres. The present review is restricted to lines broadened by H2, N2, O2, CO2, and He, the lines formed in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The design for a low-temperature absorption cell consisting of a nickel-coated copper tube is described. The lack of an adequate theoretical model for variation of the collision-broadened line width with temperature in terms of the molecular constants of the colliding partners is pointed out.

  19. Constraints on planetary formation from the discovery & study of transiting Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Triaud, A. H. M. J.

    2011-08-01

    Earth-Sun distance. In Astronomy, we cannot do experiments; we are a part of it. Instead, we search and characterise several similar objects in order to extract information out of them statistically. To answer our question, we needed to find several objects and detect the clues from their past history bringing us back to the processes that led to their formation. There are several manners with which one can find planets. For this thesis, the so-called transit method was used. It consists in detecting a periodic loss of light from a star in front of which a planet passes: a transit. This method is particularly sensitive to the presence of hot Jupiters. During this thesis, about fifty planets of such type have been discovered, about a third of the known hot Jupiters. Those planets are confirmed thanks to radial velocity measurements, the same technique that led to the discovery of the first extrasolar planet, around the star 51 Pegasi. The analysis of the stellar light affected by the presence of a planet around it, notably the light received during transit, allows us to know about the mass, the size of the planet, its orbital period, the shape of its orbit, its temperature, even the chemical composition of its atmosphere. Furthermore, these observations give us the occasion to study the star around which is found the planet, such as its mass, its size, its rotation speed, as well as give estimates on its age. One type of observations was employed in particular: the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. During transit, this effect creates an anomaly compared to the expected radial velocities. Through a modelisation of this anomaly, it is possible to measure the projection of the angle between the orbital plane of the planet and the equatorial plane of the star, on the sky. In our System, all planets are located more or less in a same plane : the ecliptic. The equatorial plane of the Sun is also almost aligned with the ecliptic. This observation led Kant and Laplace to postulate on

  20. Origin and evolution of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, John S.

    1992-01-01

    This report concerns several research tasks related to the origin and evolution of planetary atmospheres and the large-scale distribution of volatile elements in the Solar System. These tasks and their present status are as follows: (1) we have conducted an analysis of the volatility and condensation behavior of compounds of iron, aluminum, and phosphorus in the atmosphere of Venus in response to publish interpretations of the Soviet Venera probe XRF experiment data, to investigate the chemistry of volcanic gases, injection of volatiles by cometary and asteroidal impactors, and reactions in the troposphere; (2) we have completed and are now writing up our research on condensation-accretion modeling of the terrestrial planets; (3) we have laid the groundwork for a detailed study of the effects of water transport in the solar nebula on the bulk composition, oxidation state, and volatile content of preplanetary solids; (4) we have completed an extensive laboratory study of cryovolcanic materials in the outer solar system; (5) we have begun to study the impact erosion and shock alteration of the atmosphere of Mars resulting from cometary and asteroidal bombardment; and (6) we have developed a new Monte Carlo model of the cometary and asteroidal bombardment flux on the terrestrial planets, including all relevant chemical and physical processes associated with atmospheric entry and impact, to assess both the hazards posed by this bombardment to life on Earth and the degree of cross-correlation between the various phenomena (NO(x) production, explosive yield, crater production, iridium signature, etc.) that characterize this bombardment. The purpose of these investigations has been to contribute to the developing understanding of both the dynamics of long-term planetary atmosphere evolution and the short-term stability of planetary surface environments.

  1. Atmosphere Models for the Brown Dwarf Gliese 229 B and the Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marley, Mark S.

    1996-01-01

    Brown dwarfs inhabit a realm intermediate between the more massive stars and the less massive planets. Their thermal infrared emission is powered by the release of gravitational potential energy as regulated by their atmospheres. Long known only as theoretical constructs. the discovery of the first unimpeachable brown dwarf. Gliese 229 has opened up a new field: the study of brown dwarf atmospheres. The subsequent discoverv of numerous extrasolar giant planets circling nearby stars, further demonstrated the need for a comprehensive modeling effort to understand this new class of jovian atmospheres. Although no spectra are yet available of the new planets, the next generation of groundbased and spacebased telescopes will return such data. Here author report on the effort with Ames collaborator Dr. Christopher McKay to better understand these new atmospheres.

  2. The Undiscovered Country: Can We Estimate the Likelihood of Extrasolar Planetary Habitability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unterborn, C. T.; Panero, W. R.; Hull, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    Plate tectonics have operated on Earth for a majority of its lifetime. Tectonics regulates atmospheric carbon and creates a planetary-scale water cycle, and is a primary factor in the Earth being habitable. While the mechanism for initiating tectonics is unknown, as we expand our search for habitable worlds, understanding which planetary compositions produce planets capable of supporting long-term tectonics is of paramount importance. On Earth, this sustentation of tectonics is a function of both its structure and composition. Currently, however, we have no method to measure the interior composition of exoplanets. In our Solar system, though, Solar abundances for refractory elements mirror the Earth's to within ~10%, allowing the adoption of Solar abundances as proxies for Earth's. It is not known, however, whether this mirroring of stellar and terrestrial planet abundances holds true for other star-planet systems without determination of the composition of initial planetesimals via condensation sequence calculations. Currently, all code for ascertaining these sequences are commercially available or closed-source. We present, then, the open-source Arbitrary Composition Condensation Sequence calculator (ArCCoS) for converting the elemental composition of a parent star to that of the planet-building material as well as the extent of oxidation within the planetesimals. These data allow us to constrain the likelihood for one of the main drivers for plate tectonics: the basalt to eclogite transition subducting plates. Unlike basalt, eclogite is denser than the surrounding mantle and thus sinks into the mantle, pulling the overlying slab with it. Without this higher density relative to the mantle, plates stagnate at shallow depths, shutting off plate tectonics. Using the results of ArCCoS as abundance inputs into the MELTS and HeFESTo thermodynamic models, we calculate phase relations for the first basaltic crust and depleted mantle of a terrestrial planet produced from

  3. Molecular Line and Continuum Opacities for Modeling of Extrasolar Giant Planet and Cool Stellar Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weck, P. F.; Schweitzer, A.; Stancil, P. C.; Hauschildt, P. H.; Kirby, K.; Yamaguchi, Y.; Allen, W. D.

    2002-01-01

    The molecular line and continuum opacities are investigated in the atmospheres of cool stars and Extrasolar Giant Planets (EGPs). Using a combination of ab inito and experimentally derived potential curves and dipole transition moments, accurate data have been calculated for rovibrationally-resolved oscillator strengths and photodissociation cross sections in the B' (sup 2)Sigma+ (left arrow) X (sup 2)Sigma+ and A (sup 2)Pi (left arrow) X (sup 2)Sigma+ band systems in MgH. We also report our progress on the study of the electronic structure of LiCl and FeH.

  4. Origin and evolution of planetary and satellite atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Atreya, S.K.; Pollack, J.B.; Matthews, M.S.

    1989-01-01

    The present volume on the origin and evolution of planet and satellite atmospheres discusses the chemistry of interstellar gas and grains, planetary accretion, cometary composition, the inventories of asteroid volatiles, key similarities and differences among the terrestrial planets' atmospheric compositions, and planets' atmospheric escape and water loss. Also discussed are planetary atmosphere-planetary interior evolutionary coupling, the atmospheric composition of the outer planets, the structure and composition of giant planet interiors, the tenuous atmosphere of Io, the sources of the atmospheres of the outer solar system's satellites, the present state and chemical evolution of the Titan, Triton, and Pluto atmospheres, and the thermal structure and heat balance of the outer planets.

  5. Updated Review of Planetary Atmospheric Electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, Y.; Fischer, G.; Simões, F.; Renno, N.; Zarka, P.

    This paper reviews the progress achieved in planetary atmospheric electricity, with focus on lightning observations by present operational spacecraft, aiming to fill the hiatus from the latest review published by Desch et al. (Rep. Prog. Phys. 65:955-997, 2002). The information is organized according to solid surface bodies (Earth, Venus, Mars and Titan) and gaseous planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune), and each section presents the latest results from space-based and ground-based observations as well as laboratory experiments. Finally, we review planned future space missions to Earth and other planets that will address some of the existing gaps in our knowledge.

  6. Updated Review of Planetary Atmospheric Electricity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yair, Y.; Fischer, G.; Simões, F.; Renno, N.; Zarka, P.

    2008-06-01

    This paper reviews the progress achieved in planetary atmospheric electricity, with focus on lightning observations by present operational spacecraft, aiming to fill the hiatus from the latest review published by Desch et al. (Rep. Prog. Phys. 65:955 997, 2002). The information is organized according to solid surface bodies (Earth, Venus, Mars and Titan) and gaseous planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune), and each section presents the latest results from space-based and ground-based observations as well as laboratory experiments. Finally, we review planned future space missions to Earth and other planets that will address some of the existing gaps in our knowledge.

  7. Planetary Atmospheres and Evolution of Complex Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catling, D.

    2014-04-01

    Let us define "complex life" as actively mobile organisms exceeding tens of centimeter size scale with specialized, differentiated anatomy comparable to advanced metazoans. Such organisms on any planet will need considerable energy for growth and metabolism, and an atmosphere is likely to play a key role. The history of life on Earth suggests that there were at least two major hurdles to overcome before complex life developed. The first was biological. Large, three-dimensional multicellular animals and plants are made only of eukaryotic cells, which are the only type that can develop into a large, diverse range of cell types unlike the cells of microbes. Exactly how eukaryotes allow 3D multicellularity and how they originated are matters of debate. But the internal structure and bigger and more modular genomes of eukaryotes are important factors. The second obstacle for complex life was having sufficient free, diatomic oxygen (O2). Aerobic metabolism provides about an order of magnitude more energy for a given intake of food than anaerobic metabolism, so anaerobes don't grow multicellular beyond filaments because of prohibitive growth efficiencies. A precursor to a 2.4 Ga rise of oxygen was the evolution of water-splitting, oxygen-producing photosynthesis. But although the atmosphere became oxidizing at 2.4 Ga, sufficient atmospheric O2 did not occur until about 0.6 Ga. Earth-system factors were involved including planetary outgassing (as affected by size and composition), hydrogen escape, and processing of organic carbon. An atmosphere rich in O2 provides the largest feasible energy source per electron transfer in the Periodic Table, which suggests that O2 would be important for complex life on exoplanets. But plentiful O2 is unusual in a planetary atmosphere because O2 is easily consumed in chemical reactions with reducing gases or surface materials. Even with aerobic metabolism, the partial pressure of O2 (pO2) must exceed ~10^3 Pa to allow organisms that rely

  8. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.

    1971-01-01

    The development of new types of detectors for analysis of planetary atmospheres is discussed. Initially, the interest was in detectors for use under partial vacuum conditions. The program has been extended to include detectors for use at one atmosphere and adsorption system for control and separation of gases. Results to date have included detectors for O2 and H2 under partial vacuum conditions. Experiments on detectors for use at high pressures began in 1966, and systems for CO, H2, and O2, were reported. Electrically controlled adsorbent was developed. It was demonstrated that under proper conditions a thin film of semiconductor material could be electrically cycled to adsorb and desorb a specific gas. This work was extended to obtain quantitative data on the use of semiconductors as controllable adsorbents.

  9. Detection techniques for tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenig, S. A.; Summerton, J. E.; Kirchner, J. D.; Allred, J. B.

    1974-01-01

    The development of new types of detectors for analysis of planetary atmospheres is discussed. Initially, the interest was in detectors for use under partial vacuum conditions; recently, the program has been extended to include detectors for use at one atmosphere and adsorption systems for control and separation of gases. Results to date have included detector for O2 and H2 under partial vacuum conditions. Experiments on detectors for use at high pressures began in 1966; and systems for CO, H2, and O2 were reported in 1967 and 1968. In 1968 studies began on an electrically controlled adsorbent. It was demonstrated that under proper conditions a thin film of semiconductor material could be electrically cycled to absorb and desorb a specific gas. This work was extended to obtain quantitative data on the use of semiconductors as controllable adsorbents.

  10. The Blue Dot Workshop: Spectroscopic Search for Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, David J. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    This workshop explored the key questions and challenges associated with detecting life on an extrasolar planet. The final product will be a NASA Conference Publication which includes the abstracts from 21 talks, summaries of key findings, and recommendations for future research. The workshop included sessions on three related topics: the biogeochemistry of biogenic gases in the atmosphere, the chemistry and spectroscopy of planetary atmospheres, and the remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. With the observation that planetary formation is probably a common phenomenon, together with the advent of the technical capability to locate and describe extrasolar planets, this research area indeed has an exciting future.

  11. Observations and Modeling of Tropical Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laraia, Anne

    2016-01-01

    This thesis is a comprised of three different projects within the topic of tropical atmospheric dynamics. First, I analyze observations of thermal radiation from Saturn's atmosphere and from them, determine the latitudinal distribution of ammonia vapor near the 1.5-bar pressure level. The most prominent feature of the observations is the high brightness temperature of Saturn's subtropical latitudes on either side of the equator. After comparing the observations to a microwave radiative transfer model, I find that these subtropical bands require very low ammonia relative humidity below the ammonia cloud layer in order to achieve the high brightness temperatures observed. We suggest that these bright subtropical bands represent dry zones created by a meridionally overturning circulation. Second, I use a dry atmospheric general circulation model to study equatorial superrotation in terrestrial atmospheres. A wide range of atmospheres are simulated by varying three parameters: the pole-equator radiative equilibrium temperature contrast, the convective lapse rate, and the planetary rotation rate. A scaling theory is developed that establishes conditions under which superrotation occurs in terrestrial atmospheres. The scaling arguments show that superrotation is favored when the off-equatorial baroclinicity and planetary rotation rates are low. Similarly, superrotation is favored when the convective heating strengthens, which may account for the superrotation seen in extreme global-warming simulations. Third, I use a moist slab-ocean general circulation model to study the impact of a zonally-symmetric continent on the distribution of monsoonal precipitation. I show that adding a hemispheric asymmetry in surface heat capacity is sufficient to cause symmetry breaking in both the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation. This spatial symmetry breaking can be understood from a large-scale energetic perspective, while the temporal symmetry breaking requires

  12. Multiple transiting extrasolar planetary systems - follow-up and Kepler discoveries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pál, A.; Borkovits, T.; Szakáts, R.

    2011-10-01

    In this work we present a method that can be used as a tool for investigating such planetary systems in the framework of classic regression analysis. The base of the method is the employment of the Lie-integration method [3] that provides the solution of the differential equations (that describe the interacting planetary dynamics) in the form of power series and therefore provides a way to exploit the properties of the integrator for further analytical computations, such as error propagation calculations. This analytical description is rather relevant in the cases of not-so-well constrained orbital elements (for instance, mutual inclination): letting these parameters be varied might yield an unexpectedly high correlation that affects badly the otherwise efficient alternative methods, such as Monte- Carlo estimations. This analytical treatment aids us to perform almost any kind of regression analysis method as simple as it would be in case of well-known and or other well-behaved functions. Based on previously developed methods for similar types of analysis of radial velocity variations in multiple planetary systems [4], we present further possible applications discussing the above mentioned aspects of multiple transiting planetary systems. These applications include creating observation strategies for follow-up of Kepler discoveries after the mission, adaptive observation scheduling focusing on the more effective refinement of selected orbital parameters and of course, precise and accurate estimation of masses, orbital elements and their respective uncertainties.

  13. Dynamical Simulations of Extrasolar Planetary Systems with Debris Disks Using a GPU Accelerated N-Body Code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Alexander

    This thesis begins with a description of a hybrid symplectic integrator named QYMSYM which is capable of planetary system simulations. This integrator has been programmed with the Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) language which allows for implementation on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). With the enhanced compute performance made available by this choice, QYMSYM was used to study the effects debris disks have on the dynamics of the extrasolar planetary systems HR 8799 and KOI-730. The four planet system HR 8799 was chosen because it was known to have relatively small regions of stability in orbital phase space. Using this fact, it can be shown that a simulated debris disk of moderate mass around HR 8799 can easily pull this system out of these regions of stability. In other cases it is possible to migrate the system to a region of stability - although this requires significantly more mass and a degree of fine tuning. These findings suggest that previous studies on the stability of HR 8799 which do not include a debris disk may not accurately report on the size and location of the stable orbital phase space available for the planets. This insight also calls into question the practice of using dynamical simulations to help constrain observed planetary orbital data. Next, by studying the stability of another four planet system, KOI-730, whose planets are in an 8:6:4:3 mean motion resonance, we were additionally able to determine mass constraints on debris disks for KOI-730 like Kepler objects. Noting that planet inclinations increase by a couple of degrees when migrating through a Neptune mass debris disk, and that planet candidates discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope are along the line of site, it is concluded that significant planetary migration did not occur among the Kepler objects. This result indicates that Kepler objects like KOI-730 have relatively small or stable debris disks which did not cause migration of their planets - ruling out late

  14. Galactic cosmic rays on extrasolar Earth-like planets. II. Atmospheric implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grießmeier, J.-M.; Tabataba-Vakili, F.; Stadelmann, A.; Grenfell, J. L.; Atri, D.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Theoretical arguments indicate that close-in terrestial exoplanets may have weak magnetic fields. As described in the companion article (Paper I), a weak magnetic field results in a high flux of galactic cosmic rays to the top of the planetary atmosphere. Aims: We investigate effects that may result from a high flux of galactic cosmic rays both throughout the atmosphere and at the planetary surface. Methods: Using an air shower approach, we calculate how the atmospheric chemistry and temperature change under the influence of galactic cosmic rays for Earth-like (N2-O2 dominated) atmospheres. We evaluate the production and destruction rate of atmospheric biosignature molecules. We derive planetary emission and transmission spectra to study the influence of galactic cosmic rays on biosignature detectability. We then calculate the resulting surface UV flux, the surface particle flux, and the associated equivalent biological dose rates. Results: We find that up to 20% of stratospheric ozone is destroyed by cosmic-ray protons. The effect on the planetary spectra, however, is negligible. The reduction of the planetary ozone layer leads to an increase in the weighted surface UV flux by two orders of magnitude under stellar UV flare conditions. The resulting biological effective dose rate is, however, too low to strongly affect surface life. We also examine the surface particle flux: For a planet with a terrestrial atmosphere (with a surface pressure of 1033 hPa), a reduction of the magnetic shielding efficiency can increase the biological radiation dose rate by a factor of two, which is non-critical for biological systems. For a planet with a weaker atmosphere (with a surface pressure of 97.8 hPa), the planetary magnetic field has a much stronger influence on the biological radiation dose, changing it by up to two orders of magnitude. Conclusions: For a planet with an Earth-like atmospheric pressure, weak or absent magnetospheric shielding against galactic cosmic

  15. AN ALUMINUM/CALCIUM-RICH, IRON-POOR, WHITE DWARF STAR: EVIDENCE FOR AN EXTRASOLAR PLANETARY LITHOSPHERE?

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.; Koester, D.; Dufour, P.; Melis, Carl

    2011-10-01

    The presence of elements heavier than helium in white dwarf atmospheres is often a signpost for the existence of rocky objects that currently or previously orbited these stars. We have measured the abundances of various elements in the hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs G149-28 and NLTT 43806. In comparison with other white dwarfs with atmospheres polluted by heavy elements, NLTT 43806 is substantially enriched in aluminum but relatively poor in iron. We compare the relative abundances of Al and eight other heavy elements seen in NLTT 43806 with the elemental composition of bulk Earth, with simulated extrasolar rocky planets, with solar system meteorites, with the atmospheric compositions of other polluted white dwarfs, and with the outer layers of the Moon and Earth. The best agreement is found with a model that involves accretion of a mixture of terrestrial crust and upper mantle material onto NLTT 43806. The implication is that NLTT 43806 is orbited by a differentiated rocky planet, perhaps quite similar to Earth, that has suffered a collision that stripped away some of its outer layers.

  16. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.

    2000-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave I pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach to determine significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  17. Arctic Climate and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Haekkinen, S.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Analysis of a fifty-year record (1946-1995) of monthly-averaged sea level pressure data provides a link between the phases of planetary-scale sea level pressure waves and Arctic Ocean and ice variability. Results of this analysis show: (1) a breakdown of the dominant wave 1 pattern in the late 1960's, (2) shifts in the mean phase of waves 1 and 2 since this breakdown, (3) an eastward shift in the phases of both waves 1 and 2 during the years of simulated cyclonic Arctic Ocean circulation relative to their phases during the years of anticyclonic circulation, (4) a strong decadal variability of wave phase associated with simulated Arctic Ocean circulation changes. Finally, the Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns that emerge when waves 1 and 2 are in their extreme eastern and western positions suggest an alternative approach for determining significant forcing patterns of sea ice and high-latitude variability.

  18. Meteoroids in solar corona and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamy, Herve; Mann, Ingrid; Lemaire, Emeritus Joseph

    We simulate the meteoroid entry into the solar corona with a model similar to the one-dimensional ablation model developed by Campbell-Brown and Koschny (2004) for the Earth's atmosphere and by McAuliffe and Christou (2005) for the case of the atmosphere of Venus. We present the results of mass deposition profiles for a wide range of masses for objects falling into the Sun. Several representative chemical compositions of these objects are also considered in-cluding refractory and volatile materials. Our main focus is in the bigger objects (mass ¿ 1 Kg) for which most of the mass is deposited in the lower layers of the solar corona. The interaction of sungrazing comets with the solar corona is studied with a two-dimensional generalization of the model. The cumulative profile of mass deposition is calculated and we look for the actual effects on the coronal heavy ions composition. In particular we discuss possible implications for the FIP (First Ionization Potential) effect and for the formation of pick-up ions that are measured in the solar wind. We consider the similarities and differences of the entry process in the Solar corona and in planetary atmospheres and we shortly address the survival probability of molecular species.

  19. Ionisation and discharge in cloud-forming atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helling, Ch; Rimmer, P. B.; Rodriguez-Barrera, I. M.; Wood, Kenneth; Robertson, G. B.; Stark, C. R.

    2016-07-01

    Brown dwarfs and giant gas extrasolar planets have cold atmospheres with rich chemical compositions from which mineral cloud particles form. Their properties, like particle sizes and material composition, vary with height, and the mineral cloud particles are charged due to triboelectric processes in such dynamic atmospheres. The dynamics of the atmospheric gas is driven by the irradiating host star and/or by the rotation of the objects that changes during its lifetime. Thermal gas ionisation in these ultra-cool but dense atmospheres allows electrostatic interactions and magnetic coupling of a substantial atmosphere volume. Combined with a strong magnetic field \\gg {{B}\\text{Earth}} , a chromosphere and aurorae might form as suggested by radio and x-ray observations of brown dwarfs. Non-equilibrium processes like cosmic ray ionisation and discharge processes in clouds will increase the local pool of free electrons in the gas. Cosmic rays and lighting discharges also alter the composition of the local atmospheric gas such that tracer molecules might be identified. Cosmic rays affect the atmosphere through air showers in a certain volume which was modelled with a 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code to be able to visualise their spacial extent. Given a certain degree of thermal ionisation of the atmospheric gas, we suggest that electron attachment to charge mineral cloud particles is too inefficient to cause an electrostatic disruption of the cloud particles. Cloud particles will therefore not be destroyed by Coulomb explosion for the local temperature in the collisional dominated brown dwarf and giant gas planet atmospheres. However, the cloud particles are destroyed electrostatically in regions with strong gas ionisation. The potential size of such cloud holes would, however, be too small and might occur too far inside the cloud to mimic the effect of, e.g. magnetic field induced star spots.

  20. Insights into Planet Formation from Debris Disks - II. Giant Impacts in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyatt, Mark C.; Jackson, Alan P.

    2016-03-01

    Giant impacts refer to collisions between two objects each of which is massive enough to be considered at least a planetary embryo. The putative collision suffered by the proto-Earth that created the Moon is a prime example, though most Solar System bodies bear signatures of such collisions. Current planet formation models predict that an epoch of giant impacts may be inevitable, and observations of debris around other stars are providing mounting evidence that giant impacts feature in the evolution of many planetary systems. This chapter reviews giant impacts, focussing on what we can learn about planet formation by studying debris around other stars. Giant impact debris evolves through mutual collisions and dynamical interactions with planets. General aspects of this evolution are outlined, noting the importance of the collision-point geometry. The detectability of the debris is discussed using the example of the Moon-forming impact. Such debris could be detectable around another star up to 10 Myr post-impact, but model uncertainties could reduce detectability to a few 100 yr window. Nevertheless the 3 % of young stars with debris at levels expected during terrestrial planet formation provide valuable constraints on formation models; implications for super-Earth formation are also discussed. Variability recently observed in some bright disks promises to illuminate the evolution during the earliest phases when vapour condensates may be optically thick and acutely affected by the collision-point geometry. The outer reaches of planetary systems may also exhibit signatures of giant impacts, such as the clumpy debris structures seen around some stars.

  1. The Presence of Methane in the Atmosphere of an Extrasolar Planet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swain, Mark R.; Vasisht, Gautam; Tinetti, Giovanna

    2008-01-01

    Molecules present in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets are expected to influence strongly the balance of atmospheric radiation, to trace dynamical and chemical processes, and to indicate the presence of disequilibrium effects. As molecules have the potential to reveal atmospheric conditions and chemistry, searching for them is a high priority. The rotational-vibrational transition bands of water, carbon monoxide and methane are anticipated to be the primary sources of non-continuum opacity in hot-Jupiter planets. As these bands can overlap in wavelength, and the corresponding signatures from them are weak, decisive identification requires precision infrared spectroscopy. Here we report a near-infrared transmission spectrum of the planet HD 189733b that shows the presence of methane. Additionally, a resolved water vapour band at 1.9 (micro)m confirms the recent claim4 of water in this object. On thermochemical grounds, carbon monoxide is expected to be abundant in the upper atmosphere of hot-Jupiter planets, but is not identifiable here; therefore the detection of methane rather than carbon monoxide in such a hot planet could signal the presence of a horizontal chemical gradient away from the permanent dayside, or it may imply an ill-understood photochemical mechanism that leads to an enhancement of methane.

  2. A theoretical framework for volcanic degassing chemistry in a comparative planetology perspective and implications for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaillard, Fabrice; Scaillet, Bruno

    2014-10-01

    Magmatic degassing is ubiquitous and enduring, yet its impact on both planetary surficial chemistry and how it may have varied among planetary systems remains imprecise. A large number of factors are likely to be involved in the control of magmatic gas compositions, leading roles being given to the redox state and volatile abundances in planetary interiors, and the fate of the latter during mantle melting. We however show that the pressure at which degassing occurs, that is the atmospheric pressure in most sensible cases, has a prime influence on the composition of subaerial volcanic gases on planets: high surface pressure produces N2- and CO2-rich and dry volcanic gases, while low pressure promotes sulfur-rich gases. In-between, atmospheric pressures close to 1 bar trigger volcanic gases dominated by H2O. This simple pattern broadly mirrors the atmospheres of Venus-Earth-Mars-Io planetary suite and constitutes benchmarks for the prediction and interpretation of atmospheric features of extra-solar planets. Volatile abundances within the planetary body interiors also matter but they play a secondary role. Furthermore, our analysis shows that any difference in redox conditions prevailing during partial melting tends to disappear with the degassing process itself, converging toward a unique - planetary oxygen fugacity - at the venting pressure. A feedback relationship between volcanic gas compositions and atmospheric pressure implies a runaway drying during atmospheric growth; that is volcanic gases must become CO2 richer as the atmospheric mass increases. This may explain some features of the Venusian atmosphere. On Earth, impact ejection of the atmosphere and CO2-sink mechanisms, such as carbonate precipitation and plate tectonics, must have decreased atmospheric pressure allowing the reestablishment of water-rich volcanic gases.

  3. Abundances of isotopes in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.

    1978-01-01

    Carbon and oxygen isotopes show no large anomalies on Venus (no more than 10-15%) or Mars (less than 5%); the high value of N-15/N-14 found on Mars is explained by nonthermal escape of nitrogen. The isotopes of nonradiogenic noble gases in the atmosphere of Mars exhibit abundance patterns similar to those in the primordial component of meteoritic gases and in the earth's atmosphere. This implies that gas fractionation took place in the inner solar nebula prior to planet formation. The relatively high value of Xe-129 on Mars emphasizes its deficiency on earth, implying a difference in accretion histories of volatiles for the two planets. In the outer solar system, normal isotope ratios for nitrogen and carbon on Jupiter, and for carbon on Saturn are found, but precision is low (+ or - 15% at best). Controversy exists about the correct value of D/H, with current estimates ranging from 2.3 plus or minus 1.1 to 5.1 plus or - 0.7 times 10 to the minus 5th. Planetary missions planned for the next few years should add considerably to the quantity and quality of these data.

  4. The ELODIE survey for northern extra-solar planets. III. Three planetary candidates detected with ELODIE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naef, D.; Mayor, M.; Beuzit, J. L.; Perrier, C.; Queloz, D.; Sivan, J. P.; Udry, S.

    2004-01-01

    We present our ELODIE radial-velocity measurements of HD 74156 and 14 Her (HD 145675). These stars exhibit low-amplitude radial-velocity variations induced by the presence of low-mass companions. The radial-velocity data of HD 74156 reveal the presence of two planetary companions: a 1.86 MJup planet on a 51.64-d orbit and a 6.2 MJup planet on a long-period (≃5.5 yr) orbit. Both orbits are fairly eccentric (e = 0.64 and 0.58). The 4.7 MJup companion to 14 Her has a long period (4.9 yr) and a moderately eccentric orbit (e = 0.34). We detect an additional linear radial-velocity trend superimposed on the periodic signal for this star. We also compute updated orbital solutions for HD 209458 and 51 Peg (HD 217014). Finally, we present our ELODIE radial-velocity data and orbital solutions for 5 stars known to host planetary companions: Ups And (HD 9826), 55 Cnc (HD 75732), 47 UMa (HD 95128), 70 Vir (HD 117176) and HD 187123. We confirm the previously published orbital solutions for Ups And, 70 Vir and HD 187123. Our data are not sufficient to fully confirm the orbital solutions for 55 Cnc and 47 UMa. Based on observations made with the ELODIE echelle spectrograph mounted on the 1.93-m Telescope at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS) and with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph mounted on the 1.2-m Euler Swiss Telescope at ESO-La Silla Observatory. The ELODIE and CORALIE measurements discussed in this paper are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/414/351

  5. Meteoric Material: An Important Component of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grebowsky, Joseph M.; Moses, Julianne I.; Pesnell, W. Dean; Vondrak, Richard R. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) interact with all planetary atmospheres and leave their imprint as perturbations of the background atmospheric chemistry and structure. They lead to layers of metal ions that can become the dominant positively charged species in lower ionospheric regions. Theoretical models and radio occultation measurements provide compelling evidence that such layers exist in all planetary atmospheres. In addition IDP ablation products can affect neutral atmospheric chemistry, particularly at the outer planets where the IDPs supply oxygen compounds like water and carbon dioxide to the upper atmospheres. Aerosol or smoke particles from incomplete ablation or recondensation of ablated IDP vapors may also have a significant impact on atmospheric properties.

  6. Planetary Atmosphere Dynamics and Radiative Transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atkinson, David H.

    1996-01-01

    This research program has dealt with two projects in the field of planetary atmosphere dynamics and radiative energy transfer, one theoretical and one experimental. The first project, in radiative energy transfer, incorporated the capability to isolate and quantify the contribution of individual atmospheric components to the Venus radiative balance and thermal structure to greatly improve the current understanding of the radiative processes occurring within the Venus atmosphere. This is possible by varying the mixing ratios of each gas species, and the location, number density and aerosol size distributions of the clouds. This project was a continuation of the work initiated under a 1992 University Consortium Agreement. Under the just completed grant, work has continued on the use of a convolution-based algorithm that provided the capability to calculate the k coefficients of a gas mixture at different temperatures, pressures and spectral intervals from the separate k-distributions of the individual gas species. The second primary goal of this research dealt with the Doppler wind retrieval for the Successful Galileo Jupiter probe mission in December, 1995. In anticipation of the arrival of Galileo at Jupiter, software development continued to read the radioscience and probe/orbiter trajectory data provided by the Galileo project and required for Jupiter zonal wind measurements. Sample experiment radioscience data records and probe/orbiter trajectory data files provided by the Galileo Radioscience and Navigation teams at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, respectively, were used for the first phase of the software development. The software to read the necessary data records was completed in 1995. The procedure by which the wind retrieval takes place begins with initial consistency checks of the raw data, preliminary data reductions, wind recoveries, iterative reconstruction of the probe descent profile, and refined wind recoveries. At each stage of the wind recovery

  7. The Circumstellar Imager: Direct detection of extra-solar planetary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ftaclas, Christ; Nonnenmacher, Andreas L.; Terrile, Richard J.; Pravdo, Steven H.; Gatewood, George D.; Levy, Eugene

    1994-01-01

    The Astrometric Imaging Telescope (AIT) is designed to probe the circumstellar environment by both direct imaging and indirect astrometric measurements. The Circumstellar Imager (CI) is a coronagraphic camera and is the direct imaging component of the AIT. The CI is designed to obtain high-sensitivity images of the circumstellar region. It provides crucial non-inferential information relating to the frequency, origin, and evolution of planetary systems and all forms of circumstellar matter. Such imaging is usually limited by the scattered and diffracted light halos of the star itself, which are greatly suppressed in the CI by mating a novel high-efficiency coronagraph with a phase-compensated optical system. For faint point sources in the circumstellar region, the CI will have a sensitivity in excess of 5 magnitudes fainter than the as-designed Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Laboratory data are shown for the coronagraph, which, in a diffraction-limited environment, is capable of suppressing the stellar diffraction sidelobes by several orders of magnitude without significant sacrifice of field of view. In order to realize the high rejection levels inherent in the coronagraph design, it is necessary to limit scatter in the optical systems, imposing a mid-spatial frequency figure error requirement an order of magnitude smaller than that of the HST. Experimental data directed toward meeting this requirement are also shown.

  8. Planetary Formation: From the Earth and Moon to Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases-such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Specific issues to be discussed include: (1) how large a solid core is needed to initiate rapid accumulation of gas? (2) can giant planets form very close to stars? (3) could a giant impact leading to lunar formation have occurred approx. 100 million years after the condensation of the oldest meteorites?

  9. Planetary Formation: From the Earth and Moon to Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    An overview of current theories of star and planet formation is presented. These models are based upon observations of the Solar System and of young stars and their environments. They predict that rocky planets should form around most single stars, although it is possible that in some cases such planets are lost to orbital decay within the protoplanetary disk. The frequency of formation of gas giant planets is more difficult to predict theoretically. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but they become massive enough that they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas before the protoplanetary disk dissipates. Specific issues to be discussed include: (1) how large a solid core is needed to initiate rapid accumulation of gas? (2) can giant planets form very close to stars? (3) could a giant impact leading to lunar formation have occurred approximately 100 million years after the condensation of the oldest meteorites?

  10. Periastron precession measurements in transiting extrasolar planetary systems at the level of general relativity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pál, András; Kocsis, Bence

    2008-09-01

    Transiting exoplanetary systems are surpassingly important among the planetary systems since they provide the widest spectrum of information for both the planet and the host star. If a transiting planet is on an eccentric orbit, the duration of transits TD is sensitive to the orientation of the orbital ellipse relative to the line of sight. The precession of the orbit results in a systematic variation in both the duration of individual transit events and the observed period between successive transits, Pobs. The periastron of the ellipse slowly precesses due to general relativity and possibly the presence of other planets in the system. This secular precession can be detected through the long-term change in Pobs (transit timing variations, TTV) or in TD (transit duration variations, TDV). We estimate the corresponding precession measurement precision for repeated future observations of the known eccentric transiting exoplanetary systems (XO-3b, HD 147506b, GJ 436b and HD 17156b) using existing or planned space-borne instruments. The TDV measurement improves the precession detection sensitivity by orders of magnitude over the TTV measurement. We find that TDV measurements over a approximately 4yr period can typically detect the precession rate to a precision well exceeding the level predicted by general relativity.

  11. Cloudless Atmospheres for L/T Dwarfs and Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S.; Mourier, P.; Venot, O.

    2016-02-01

    The admitted, conventional scenario to explain the complex spectral evolution of brown dwarfs (BDs) since their first detection 20 years ago has always been the key role played by micron-size condensates, called “dust” or “clouds,” in their atmosphere. This scenario, however, faces major problems, in particular the J-band brightening and the resurgence of FeH absorption at the L to T transition, and a physical first-principle understanding of this transition is lacking. In this Letter, we propose a new, completely different explanation for BD and extrasolar giant planet (EGP) spectral evolution, without the need to invoke clouds. We show that, due to the slowness of the CO/CH4 and N2/NH3 chemical reactions, brown dwarf (L and T, respectively) and EGP atmospheres are subject to a thermo-chemical instability similar in nature to the fingering or chemical convective instability present in Earth oceans and at the Earth core/mantle boundary. The induced small-scale turbulent energy transport reduces the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, explaining the observed increase in near-infrared J-H and J-K colors of L dwarfs and hot EGPs, while a warming up of the deep atmosphere along the L to T transition, as the CO/CH4 instability vanishes, naturally solves the two aforementioned puzzles, and provides a physical explanation of the L to T transition. This new picture leads to a drastic revision of our understanding of BD and EGP atmospheres and their evolution.

  12. Cloudless Atmospheres for L/T Dwarfs and Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S.; Mourier, P.; Venot, O.

    2016-01-01

    The admitted, conventional scenario to explain the complex spectral evolution of brown dwarfs (BDs) since their first detection 20 years ago has always been the key role played by micron-size condensates, called "dust" or "clouds," in their atmosphere. This scenario, however, faces major problems, in particular the J-band brightening and the resurgence of FeH absorption at the L to T transition, and a physical first-principle understanding of this transition is lacking. In this Letter, we propose a new, completely different explanation for BD and extrasolar giant planet (EGP) spectral evolution, without the need to invoke clouds. We show that, due to the slowness of the CO/ CH4 and N2/NH3 chemical reactions, brown dwarf (L and T, respectively) and EGP atmospheres are subject to a thermo-chemical instability similar in nature to the fingering or chemical convective instability present in Earth oceans and at the Earth core/mantle boundary. The induced small-scale turbulent energy transport reduces the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, explaining the observed increase in near-infrared J-H and J-K colors of L dwarfs and hot EGPs, while a warming up of the deep atmosphere along the L to T transition, as the CO/CH4 instability vanishes, naturally solves the two aforementioned puzzles, and provides a physical explanation of the L to T transition. This new picture leads to a drastic revision of our understanding of BD and EGP atmospheres and their evolution.

  13. Spectroscopic analyses of the parent stars of extrasolar planetary system candidates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez, Guillermo

    1998-06-01

    The stars rho () 1 Cnc, rho CrB, 16 Cyg B, 51 Peg, 47 UMa, 70 Vir, and HD 114762 have recently been proposed to harbor planetary mass companions based on small amplitude radial velocity variations. From spectroscopic analyses we derive the following values of [Fe/H] for these stars: 0.29, -0.29, 0.06, 0.21, 0.01, -0.03, and -0.60 (all with an uncertainty of 0.06 dex), respectively; the [Fe/H] value for 16 Cyg A is 0.11. The four 51 Peg-like systems, upsilon And, tau Boo, rho () 1 Cnc, and 51 Peg, have a mean [Fe/H] value of 0.25. Otherwise, the abundance patterns, expressed as [X/Fe], are approximately solar. We used Fourier analysis, supplemented by line profile synthesis, to derive the following v sin i values: <1.3, 1.4 +/- 0.3, 1.7 +/- 0.4, < 0.5, and < 1.5 km s(-1) for rho () 1 Cnc, 51 Peg, 47 UMa, 70 Vir, and HD 114762, respectively. A similar analysis of the spectrum of rho CrB (with a lower resolving power) yields a value of ~ 1.5 km s() -1. Combining these data with published estimates of v sin i and rotation periods and assuming that the radial velocity variations are due to the presence of planets, we derive the following masses for the companions: >0.66, 2.9(+13.6}_{-1.3) , 0.49+/-0.03, 3.4() +3.1_-1.1, >9.4, and >10.4 cal M_J for rho () 1 Cnc, rho CrB, 51 Peg, 47 UMa, 70 Vir, and HD 114762, respectively; the mass of 16 Cyg B b, calculated using a published estimate for sin i, is 2.0() +1.1_-0.3 cal M_J. The masses of the companions to upsilon And and tau Boo, which were analyzed in a previous paper, are 0.76() +0.19_-0.03 and 5.9() +43.9_-1.8 cal M_J, respectively. We confirm previous claims that rho () 1 Cnc appears to be a subgiant. However, the theoretical isochrone-derived age is much greater than the age of the universe. At this time we have insufficient data to determine the true nature of rho () 1 Cnc, but we suggest that it may be an unresolved stellar binary viewed nearly pole-on. A search for line profile variations might help to resolve this

  14. Vibrational-Rotational Spectroscopy For Planetary Atmospheres, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, M. J. (Editor); Fox, K. (Editor); Hornstein, J. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Comprehensive information on the composition and dynamics of the varied planetary atmospheres is summarized. New observations resulted in new demands for supporting laboratory studies. Spectra observed from spacecraft used to interpret planetary atmospheric structure measurements, to aid in greenhouse and cloud physics calculations, and to plan future experiments are discussed. Current findings and new ideas of physicists, chemists, and planetry astronomers relating to the knowledge of the structure of things large and small, of planets and of molecules are summarized.

  15. First International Conference on Laboratory Research for Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, Kenneth (Editor); Allen, John E., Jr. (Editor); Stief, Louis J. (Editor); Quillen, Diana T. (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    Proceedings of the First International Conference on Laboratory Research for Planetary Atmospheres are presented. The covered areas of research include: photon spectroscopy, chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and charged particle interactions. This report contains the 12 invited papers, 27 contributed poster papers, and 5 plenary review papers presented at the conference. A list of attendees and a reprint of the Report of the Subgroup on Strategies for Planetary Atmospheres Exploration (SPASE) are provided in two appendices.

  16. Franklin Lecture: Lightning in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurnett, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    A broad overview is given of lightning in planetary atmospheres. Searches for lightning using spacecraft-borne instrumentation have now been conducted at almost all of the planets in the solar system, the exceptions being Mercury, which has no appreciable atmosphere, and Pluto which has not yet been visited by a spacecraft. The techniques used include (1) imaging observations to detect optical flashes produced by lightning; (2) high-frequency radio measurements to detect the impulsive broadband radio bursts, called spherics, produced by lightning discharges; and (3) low-frequency plasma wave measurements to detect the whistling tones, called whistlers, produced by lightning. Using these techniques, lightning has been reported at five planets other than Earth. These are: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Of these, the existence of lightning at Venus is doubtful, and the evidence of lightning at Neptune is at best marginal. Jupiter and Saturn have by far the most intense and well documented lightning activity. During the Voyager 1 flyby of Jupiter, whistlers and intense optical flashes, comparable to those from terrestrial superbolts, were observed by the plasma wave and optical imaging instruments. However, no impulsive high-frequency radio bursts were observed. Two factors may be responsible for the absence of high-frequency radio signals: (1) the very strong magnetic field of Jupiter, which blocks the escape of the extra-ordinary mode; and (2) the relatively high electron collision frequency in the ionosphere, which increases the absorption of radio waves. During the Voyager 1 and 2 flybys of Saturn many very strong high-frequency radio bursts, called Saturn Electrostatic Discharges (SEDs), were detected. Although the origin of these impulsive radio bursts was initially uncertain, strong evidence now exists that SEDs are produced by lightning. Recent optical imaging and radio measurements from the Cassini spacecraft clearly show that SEDs originate from

  17. Infrared experiments for spaceborne planetary atmospheres research. Full report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The role of infrared sensing in atmospheric science is discussed and existing infrared measurement techniques are reviewed. Proposed techniques for measuring planetary atmospheres are criticized and recommended instrument developments for spaceborne investigations are summarized for the following phenomena: global and local radiative budget; radiative flux profiles; winds; temperature; pressure; transient and marginal atmospheres; planetary rotation and global atmospheric activity; abundances of stable constituents; vertical, lateral, and temporal distribution of abundances; composition of clouds and aerosols; radiative properties of clouds and aerosols; cloud microstructure; cloud macrostructure; and non-LTE phenomena.

  18. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    SciTech Connect

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V.; Lavvas, P.; Cho, J. Y-K.

    2014-11-20

    Strong ionization on close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) suggests that their atmospheres may be affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Recent models of ion drag on these planets, however, are based on thermal ionization only and do not include the upper atmosphere above the 1 mbar level. These models are also based on simplified equations of resistive magnetohydrodynamics that are not always valid in extrasolar planet atmospheres. We show that photoionization dominates over thermal ionization over much of the dayside atmosphere above the 100 mbar level, creating an upper ionosphere dominated by ionization of H and He and a lower ionosphere dominated by ionization of metals such as Na, K, and Mg. The resulting dayside electron densities on close-in exoplanets are higher than those encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the conductivities are comparable to the chromosphere of the Sun. Based on these results and assumed magnetic fields, we constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in EGPs and use a generalized Ohm's law to study the basic effects of electrodynamics in their atmospheres. We find that ion drag is important above the 10 mbar level where it can also significantly alter the energy balance through resistive heating. Due to frequent collisions of the electrons and ions with the neutral atmosphere, however, ion drag is largely negligible in the lower atmosphere below the 10 mbar level for a reasonable range of planetary magnetic moments. We find that the atmospheric conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude in the night side of tidally locked planets, leading to a potentially interesting large-scale dichotomy in electrodynamics between the day and night sides. A combined approach that relies on UV observations of the upper atmosphere, phase curve and Doppler measurements of global dynamics, and visual transit observations to probe the alkali metals can potentially be

  19. A systematic retrieval analysis of secondary eclipse spectra. III. Diagnosing chemical disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Line, Michael R.; Yung, Yuk L.

    2013-12-10

    Chemical disequilibrium has recently become a relevant topic in the study of the atmospheres of transiting extrasolar planets, brown dwarfs, and directly imaged exoplanets. We present a new way of assessing whether or not a Jovian-like atmosphere is in chemical disequilibrium from observations of detectable or inferred gases such as H{sub 2}O, CH{sub 4}, CO, and H{sub 2}. Our hypothesis, based on previous kinetic modeling studies, is that cooler atmospheres will show stronger signs of disequilibrium than hotter atmospheres. We verify this with chemistry-transport models and show that planets with temperatures less than ∼1200 K are likely to show the strongest signs of disequilibrium due to the vertical quenching of CO, and that our new approach is able to capture this process. We also find that in certain instances a planetary composition may appear in equilibrium when it actually is not due to the degeneracy in the shape of the vertical mixing ratio profiles. We determine the state of disequilibrium in eight exoplanets using the results from secondary eclipse temperature and abundance retrievals. We find that all of the planets in our sample are consistent with thermochemical equilibrium to within 3σ. Future observations are needed to further constrain the abundances in order to definitively identify disequilibrium in exoplanet atmospheres.

  20. MEP and planetary climates: insights from a two-box climate model containing atmospheric dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Jupp, Tim E.; Cox, Peter M.

    2010-01-01

    A two-box model for equator-to-pole planetary heat transport is extended to include simple atmospheric dynamics. The surface drag coefficient CD is treated as a free parameter and solutions are calculated analytically in terms of the dimensionless planetary parameters η (atmospheric thickness), ω (rotation rate) and ξ (advective capability). Solutions corresponding to maximum entropy production (MEP) are compared with solutions previously obtained from dynamically unconstrained two-box models. As long as the advective capability ξ is sufficiently large, dynamically constrained MEP solutions are identical to dynamically unconstrained MEP solutions. Consequently, the addition of a dynamical constraint does not alter the previously obtained MEP results for Earth, Mars and Titan, and an analogous result is presented here for Venus. The rate of entropy production in an MEP state is shown to be independent of rotation rate if the advective capability ξ is sufficiently large (as for the four examples in the solar system), or if the rotation rate ω is sufficiently small. The model indicates, however, that the dynamical constraint does influence the MEP state when ξ is small, which might be the case for some extrasolar planets. Finally, results from the model developed here are compared with previous numerical simulations in which the effect of varying surface drag coefficient on entropy production was calculated. PMID:20368254

  1. MEP and planetary climates: insights from a two-box climate model containing atmospheric dynamics.

    PubMed

    Jupp, Tim E; Cox, Peter M

    2010-05-12

    A two-box model for equator-to-pole planetary heat transport is extended to include simple atmospheric dynamics. The surface drag coefficient CD is treated as a free parameter and solutions are calculated analytically in terms of the dimensionless planetary parameters eta (atmospheric thickness), omega (rotation rate) and xi (advective capability). Solutions corresponding to maximum entropy production (MEP) are compared with solutions previously obtained from dynamically unconstrained two-box models. As long as the advective capability xi is sufficiently large, dynamically constrained MEP solutions are identical to dynamically unconstrained MEP solutions. Consequently, the addition of a dynamical constraint does not alter the previously obtained MEP results for Earth, Mars and Titan, and an analogous result is presented here for Venus. The rate of entropy production in an MEP state is shown to be independent of rotation rate if the advective capability xi is sufficiently large (as for the four examples in the solar system), or if the rotation rate omega is sufficiently small. The model indicates, however, that the dynamical constraint does influence the MEP state when xi is small, which might be the case for some extrasolar planets. Finally, results from the model developed here are compared with previous numerical simulations in which the effect of varying surface drag coefficient on entropy production was calculated. PMID:20368254

  2. Planetary Research Center. [astronomical photography of planetary surfaces and atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baum, W. A.; Millis, R. L.; Bowell, E. L. G.

    1974-01-01

    Extensive Earth-based photography of Mars, Jupiter, and Venus is presented which monitors the atmospheric and/or surface changes that take place day to day. Color pictures are included of the 1973 dust storm on Mars, showing the daily cycle of the storm's regeneration. Martian topography, and the progress of the storm is examined. Areas most affected by the storm are summarized.

  3. Infrared experiments for spaceborne planetary atmospheres research. Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The role of 0.5 to 300 micron remote sensing in planetary atmospheres exploration was evaluated by examining a broad range of measurement techniques including quantitative intercomparisons of existing and planned instruments by the phenomenological method. Key areas of infrared instrumentation requiring development for the investigations of atmospheres were identified.

  4. Time-dependent simulations of disk-embedded planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stökl, A.; Dorfi, E. A.

    2014-03-01

    At the early stages of evolution of planetary systems, young Earth-like planets still embedded in the protoplanetary disk accumulate disk gas gravitationally into planetary atmospheres. The established way to study such atmospheres are hydrostatic models, even though in many cases the assumption of stationarity is unlikely to be fulfilled. Furthermore, such models rely on the specification of a planetary luminosity, attributed to a continuous, highly uncertain accretion of planetesimals onto the surface of the solid core. We present for the first time time-dependent, dynamic simulations of the accretion of nebula gas into an atmosphere around a proto-planet and the evolution of such embedded atmospheres while integrating the thermal energy budget of the solid core. The spherical symmetric models computed with the TAPIR-Code (short for The adaptive, implicit RHD-Code) range from the surface of the rocky core up to the Hill radius where the surrounding protoplanetary disk provides the boundary conditions. The TAPIR-Code includes the hydrodynamics equations, gray radiative transport and convective energy transport. The results indicate that diskembedded planetary atmospheres evolve along comparatively simple outlines and in particular settle, dependent on the mass of the solid core, at characteristic surface temperatures and planetary luminosities, quite independent on numerical parameters and initial conditions. For sufficiently massive cores, this evolution ultimately also leads to runaway accretion and the formation of a gas planet.

  5. A New Perspective on Trapped Radiation Belts in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, A.; Lodhi, M. A. K.; Wilson, T. L.

    2005-01-01

    The charged particle fluxes trapped in the magnetic dipole fields of certain planets in our Solar System are interesting signatures of planetary properties in space physics. They also represent a source of potentially hazardous radiation to spacecraft during planetary and interplanetary exploration. The Earth s trapped radiation belts have been studied for years and the physical mechanisms by which primary radiation from the Sun and Galaxy is captured is well understood. The higher-energy particles collide with molecules in the planetary atmosphere and initiate large cascades of secondary radiation which itself becomes trapped by the magnetic dipole field of the planet. Some of it is even backscattered as albedo neutrons.

  6. Planetary Atmospheres and the Search for Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Owen, Tobias

    1982-01-01

    Different ways in which the atmospheres of different planets have originated and evolved are discussed. Includes tables on the atmospheric composition of: (1) Earth; (2) Mars; (3) Venus; (4)Titan (Saturn's Satellite); and (5) the outer planets. (SK)

  7. NASA Planetary Astronomy Lunar Atmospheric Imaging Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan

    1996-01-01

    Authors have conducted a program of research focused on studies of the lunar atmosphere. Also present preliminary results of an ongoing effort to determine the degree that metal abundances in the lunar atmosphere are stoichiometric, that is, reflective of the lunar surface composition. We make the first-ever mid-ultraviolet spectroscopic search for emission from the lunar atmosphere.

  8. Scientific program in planetary atmospheric studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Broadfoot, A. L.

    1983-01-01

    The Voyager encounters with Jupiter led to two main areas of investigation: (1) the definition of the structure and composition of the upper atmosphere and the interaction of the magnetosphere and atmosphere, and (2) the study of the plasma torus using the EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) data in conjunction with ground-based and in-situ measurements. In the course of these investigations, the atmosphere studies were extended to a comparative study with the bound atmospheres of Saturn and Titan; and the torus study expanded to include the extended atmospheres of Titan (the H torus) and the rings of Saturn.

  9. Observations of Planetary and Satellite Atmospheres and Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lellouch, E.

    2001-07-01

    The full opening of the submillimeter range with the operation of Herschel is expected to prove very useful for the study of planetary atmospheres and surfaces. Areas of anticipated progress include: (i) the origin and evolution of the Giant Planets, from improved determinations of the abundance of deuterium and helium (ii) the origin of the external source of oxygen in the Giant Planets and Titan (iii) several compositional and physical aspects of planetary atmospheres, especially the issue of vertical transport in Uranus and Neptune and the martian photochemistry and (iv) the thermophysical and compositional properties of planetary surfaces, including the size distribution of transneptunian objects. The high sensitivity of all instruments and the diversity of their spectral resolutions is well suited to the diversity of size and atmospheric pressure within the bodies of the Solar System.

  10. Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) for Planetary Atmospheric Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bocanegra Bahamon, Tatiana; Cimo, Giuseppe; Duev, Dmitry; Gurvits, Leonid; Molera Calves, Guifre; Pogrebenko, Sergei

    2015-04-01

    The Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) is a technique that allows the determination of the radial velocity and lateral coordinates of planetary spacecraft with very high accuracy (Duev, 2012). The setup of the experiment consists of several ground stations from the European VLBI Network (EVN) located around the globe, which simultaneously perform Doppler tracking of a spacecraft carrier radio signal, and are subsequently processed in a VLBI-style in phase referencing mode. Because of the accurate examination of the changes in phase and amplitude of the radio signal propagating from the spacecraft to the multiple stations on Earth, the PRIDE technique can be used for several fields of planetary research, among which planetary atmospheric studies, gravimetry and ultra-precise celestial mechanics of planetary systems. In the study at hand the application of this technique for planetary atmospheric investigations is demonstrated. As a test case, radio occultation experiments were conducted with PRIDE having as target ESA's Venus Express, during different observing sessions with multiple ground stations in April 2012 and March 2014. Once each of the stations conducts the observation, the raw data is delivered to the correlation center at the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) located in the Netherlands. The signals are processed with a high spectral resolution and phase detection software package from which Doppler observables of each station are derived. Subsequently the Doppler corrected signals are correlated to derive the VLBI observables. These two sets of observables are used for precise orbit determination. The reconstructed orbit along with the Doppler observables are used as input for the radio occultation processing software, which consists of mainly two modules, the geometrical optics module and the ray tracing inversion module, from which vertical density profiles, and subsequently, temperature and pressure profiles of Venus

  11. A spectrum of an extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Richardson, L Jeremy; Deming, Drake; Horning, Karen; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph

    2007-02-22

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, 14 exhibit transits in front of their parent stars as seen from Earth. Spectroscopic observations of the transiting planets can probe the physical conditions of their atmospheres. One such technique can be used to derive the planetary spectrum by subtracting the stellar spectrum measured during eclipse (planet hidden behind star) from the combined-light spectrum measured outside eclipse (star + planet). Although several attempts have been made from Earth-based observatories, no spectrum has yet been measured for any of the established extrasolar planets. Here we report a measurement of the infrared spectrum (7.5-13.2 microm) of the transiting extrasolar planet HD 209458b. Our observations reveal a hot thermal continuum for the planetary spectrum, with an approximately constant ratio to the stellar flux over this wavelength range. Superposed on this continuum is a broad emission peak centred near 9.65 microm that we attribute to emission by silicate clouds. We also find a narrow, unidentified emission feature at 7.78 microm. Models of these 'hot Jupiter' planets predict a flux peak near 10 microm, where thermal emission from the deep atmosphere emerges relatively unimpeded by water absorption, but models dominated by water fit the observed spectrum poorly. PMID:17314975

  12. Comparative Planetary Atmospheres of the Galilean Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobel, Darrell F.

    We know that each of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter has a tenuous atmosphere by terrestrial standards. Io has an SO2 atmosphere with column densities ~ 1016 cm-2 in the equatorial regions and at least an order of magnitude smaller densities in the polar regions. Europa and Ganymede have O2 atmospheres with column densities in the range of (1-10) x 1014 cm-2 whereas Callisto has an CO2 atmosphere of comparable column density. I will give exploratory comparisons of the composition of these atmospheres and their production and loss rates to estimate residence times of the dominant molecules. Based on measured and calculated ionospheric density profiles the ionospheric Pedersen and Hall conductances can be computed to estimate the strengths of their electrodynamic interactions with the Io plasma torus. As a result of these interactions large electric currents flow through their ionospheres (~ 106 A) accompanied by large Joule heating rates that can be the dominant heating mechanism of their atmospheres. Production mechanisms for HST/STIS observed UV airglow/auroras will be discussed in terms of neutral composition electron densities and temperatures necessary to achieve measured brightnesses.

  13. The runaway greenhouse: implications for future climate change, geoengineering and planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Goldblatt, Colin; Watson, Andrew J

    2012-09-13

    The ultimate climate emergency is a 'runaway greenhouse': a hot and water-vapour-rich atmosphere limits the emission of thermal radiation to space, causing runaway warming. Warming ceases only after the surface reaches approximately 1400 K and emits radiation in the near-infrared, where water is not a good greenhouse gas. This would evaporate the entire ocean and exterminate all planetary life. Venus experienced a runaway greenhouse in the past, and we expect that the Earth will in around 2 billion years as solar luminosity increases. But could we bring on such a catastrophe prematurely, by our current climate-altering activities? Here, we review what is known about the runaway greenhouse to answer this question, describing the various limits on outgoing radiation and how climate will evolve between these. The good news is that almost all lines of evidence lead us to believe that is unlikely to be possible, even in principle, to trigger full a runaway greenhouse by addition of non-condensible greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. However, our understanding of the dynamics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer and cloud physics of hot and steamy atmospheres is weak. We cannot therefore completely rule out the possibility that human actions might cause a transition, if not to full runaway, then at least to a much warmer climate state than the present one. High climate sensitivity might provide a warning. If we, or more likely our remote descendants, are threatened with a runaway greenhouse, then geoengineering to reflect sunlight might be life's only hope. Injecting reflective aerosols into the stratosphere would be too short-lived, and even sunshades in space might require excessive maintenance. In the distant future, modifying Earth's orbit might provide a sustainable solution. The runaway greenhouse also remains relevant in planetary sciences and astrobiology: as extrasolar planets smaller and nearer to their stars are detected, some will be in

  14. Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres - From Earth to Exoplanets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Genio, Anthony Del

    2013-01-01

    The past decade has been an especially exciting time to study atmospheres, with a renaissance in fundamental studies of Earths general circulation and hydrological cycle, stimulated by questions about past climates and the urgency of projecting the future impacts of humankinds activities. Long-term spacecraft and Earth-based observation of solar system planets have now reinvigorated the study of comparative planetary climatology. The explosion in discoveries of planets outside our solar system has made atmospheric science integral to understanding the diversity of our solar system and the potential habitability of planets outside it. Thus, the AGU Chapman Conference Crossing the Boundaries in Planetary Atmospheres From Earth to Exoplanets, held in Annapolis, MD from June 24-27, 2013 gathered Earth, solar system, and exoplanet scientists to share experiences, insights, and challenges from their individual disciplines, and discuss areas in which thinking broadly might enhance our fundamental understanding of how atmospheres work.

  15. Atmospheric circulation modeling of super Earths and terrestrial extrasolar planets using the SPARC/MITgcm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kataria, T.; Showman, A. P.; Haberle, R. M.; Marley, M. S.; Fortney, J. J.; Freedman, R. S.

    2013-12-01

    The field of exoplanets continues to be a booming field of research in astronomy and planetary science, with numerous ground-based (e.g., SuperWASP, HARPS-N and S) and space-based surveys (e.g., Kepler) that detect and characterize planets ranging from hot Jupiters, Jovian-sized planets orbiting less than 0.1 AU from their star, to super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets, planets that have masses equal to or less than 10 times that of Earth with a range of orbital distances. Atmospheric circulation modeling plays an important role in the characterization of these planets, helping to constrain observations that probe their atmospheres. These models have proven successful in understanding observations of transiting exoplanets (when the planet passes in front of the star along our line of sight) particularly when the planet is passing through secondary eclipse (when the planet's dayside is visible). In modeling super Earths and terrestrial exoplanets, we must consider not only planets with thick fluid envelopes, but also traditional terrestrial planets with solid surfaces and thinner atmospheres. To that end, we present results from studies investigating the atmospheric circulation of these classes of planets using the SPARC/MITgcm, a state-of-the-art model which couples the MIT General Circulation Model with a plane-parallel, two-stream, non-gray radiative transfer model. We will present results from two studies, the first focusing on the circulation of GJ 1214b, a super-Earth detected by the MEarth ground-based survey, and a second study which explores the circulation of terrestrial exoplanets orbiting M-dwarfs.

  16. Consequences of planetary migration: Kuiper belt dynamics and atmospheric escape from hot Jupiters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray-Clay, Ruth Ann

    The current resonance structure of the Kuiper belt suggests that during the late stages of planet formation, Neptune migrated outward as it scattered residual planetesimal debris. Extrasolar planetary systems also show evidence for planetary migration. Approximately 1/5 of the extrasolar planets discovered to date are "hot Jupiters," which likely exchanged angular momentum with gas disks, migrating large distances inward to reach their current semi-major axes of ~0.05 AU. In this thesis, I discuss three consequences of planetary migration. (1) During its migration, Neptune captured Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) into mean motion resonances. The current spatial distribution of KBOs in a particular resonance, the 2:1, acts as a celestial speedometer--fast planetary migration generates a larger population of 2:1 resonant KBOs trailing rather than leading Neptune on the sky. We provide an explanation of this phenomenon for the first time. Central to our understanding is how planetary migration shifts the equilibrium points of the superposed direct and indirect potentials felt by a KBO. The currently observed distribution of 2:1 KBOs excludes total migration times < 20 Myr with >99.65% confidence and is statistically consistent with the even population generated by slow migration. However, these observations are beset by systematic uncertainties. Observations with new telescopes such as PanSTARRS or LSST will tell us how quickly Neptune could have migrated. (2) Neptune's migration, powered by scattering planetesimal debris, was stochastic ("noisy"). Extreme stochasticity defeats resonance capture. We construct a theory analogous to Brownian motion for how a planet's orbital semi-major axis fluctuates in response to random planetesimal scatterings. The degree of stochasticity in Neptune's migration depends both on the sizes of the planetesimals driving migration and on their orbital elements and cannot currently be computed using N-body simulations. We find that capture of

  17. An application of gas chromatography to planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oyama, V.

    1974-01-01

    A gas chromatography developed for the Viking experiment is described. The instrument is designed to measure gases in planetary atmospheres and head space in a chamber. It is hoped that the chromatograph will also measure any biological activity present in these environments.

  18. HITRAN2012 and Remote Sensing of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, I. E.; Rothman, L. S.; Li, G.

    2013-06-01

    For the recently-released HITRAN2012 edition of the database, a substantial effort was taken to extend the HITRAN database to have capabilities for studying a variety of planetary atmospheres. Spectroscopic parameters for gases and spectral bands of molecules that are germane to the studies of planetary atmospheres have been assembled. These parameters include the types of data that have already been considered for transmission and radiance algorithms, such as line position, intensity, broadening coefficients, lower-state energies, and temperature dependence values. Besides adding new bands and isotopologues to the relevant molecules that already exist in HITRAN (methane, hydrogen halides, hydrogen disulfide, etc.), a number of new molecules, namely H_2, CS, C_4H_2, HC_3N and SO_3 have been incorporated into the HITRAN2012 database. For some of the molecules, additional parameters, beyond what is currently considered for the terrestrial atmosphere, have been archived. Examples are pressure-broadened half widths due to various foreign partners. Collision-induced absorption data for a large variety of the collision partners are provided in HITRAN for the first time. Future efforts, including preparation of a new edition of the HITEMP database, will be discussed. Note that another talk is given in the "Atmospheric Species" session, describing HITRAN improvements towards remote sensing of terrestrial atmosphere. This effort is supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres program, under the grant NNX10AB94G. L. S. Rothman, I. E. Gordon, et al. "The HITRAN 2012 molecular spectroscopic database," JQSRT, submitted 2013.

  19. Composition of early planetary atmospheres - I. Connecting disc astrochemistry to the formation of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cridland, A. J.; Pudritz, R. E.; Alessi, M.

    2016-09-01

    We present a model of the early chemical composition and elemental abundances of planetary atmospheres based on the cumulative gaseous chemical species that are accreted on to planets forming by core accretion from evolving protoplanetary discs. The astrochemistry of the host disc is computed using an ionization-driven, non-equilibrium chemistry network within viscously evolving disc models. We accrete gas giant planets whose orbital evolution is controlled by planet traps using the standard core accretion model and track the chemical composition of the material that is accreted on to the protoplanet. We choose a fiducial disc model and evolve planets in three traps - water ice line, dead zone and heat transition. For a disc with a lifetime of 4.1 Myr, we produce two hot Jupiters (M = 1.43, 2.67 MJupiter, r = 0.15, 0.11 au) in the heat transition and ice line trap and one failed core (M = 0.003 MJupiter, r = 3.7 au) in the dead zone. These planets are found with mixing ratios for CO and H2O of 1.99 × 10-4 and 5.0 × 10-4, respectively, for both hot Jupiters. Additionally, for these planets we find CO2 and CH4, with mixing ratios of 1.8 × 10-6 → 9.8 × 10-10 and 1.1 × 10-8 → 2.3 × 10-10, respectively. These ranges correspond well with the mixing ratio ranges that have been inferred through the detection of emission spectra from hot Jupiters by multiple authors. We compute a carbon-to-oxygen ratio of 0.227 for the ice line planet and 0.279 for the heat transition planet. These planets accreted their gas inside the ice line, hence the sub-solar C/O.

  20. Non-LTE Gas in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, O. A.; Kutepov, A. A.

    2003-01-01

    The new model of radiative cooling/heating of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) in the ro-vibrational bands of atmospheric gases (CO2, O3, H2O, CO, NO, N2O and others) accounts for vibrational and rotational non-LTE, line-overlapping, and absorption and transformation of the near-infrared solar radiation. The model utilizes ALI technique for the solution of the system of kinetic equations and the DFE radiative transfer algorithm. The contributions of various band to the total cooling/heating are analyzed. The model is applied to the calculation of the MLT cooling/heating for atmospheric data retrieved from the CRISTA limb radiance measurements. Implications for modeling of the MLT region are discussed.

  1. Infrared quantitative spectroscopy and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flaud, J.-M.

    2009-04-01

    Optical measurements of atmospheric minor constituents are carried out using spectrometers working in the UV-visible, infrared and microwave spectral ranges. In all cases the quality of the analysis and of the interpretation of the atmospheric spectra requires the best possible knowledge of the molecular parameters of the species of interest. To illustrate this point we will concentrate on recent laboratory studies of nitric acid, chlorine nitrate and formaldehyde. Nitric acid is one of the important minor constituent of the terrestrial atmosphere. Using new and accurate experimental results concerning the spectroscopic properties of the H14NO3 and H15NO3 molecules, as well as improved theoretical methods (Perrin et al., 2004), it has been possible to generate an improved set of line parameters for these molecules in the 11.2 μm spectral region. These line parameters were used to detect for the first time the H15NO3 molecule in the atmosphere analyzing atmospheric spectra recorded by the MIPAS experiment. The retrievals of chlorine nitrate profiles are usually performed using absorption cross sections (Birk and Wagner, 2003). Following a high resolution analysis of the ν3 and ν4bands of this species in the 12.8 μm region wepropose, as a possibility, to use line by line calculation simulating its ν4Q-branch for the atmospheric temperature and pressure ranges. For the measurement of atmospheric formaldehyde concentrations, mid-infrared and ultraviolet absorptions are both used by ground, air or satellite instruments. It is then of the utmost importance to have consistent spectral parameters in these various spectral domains. Consequently the aim of the study performed at LISA (Gratien et al., 2007) was to intercalibrate formaldehyde spectra in the infrared and ultraviolet regions acquiring simultaneously UV and IR spectra using a common optical cell. The results of the work will be presented. Also high resolution infrared data derived from Perrin et al., 2003

  2. A Study on Planetary Atmospheric Circulations using THOR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendonça, João; Grosheintz, Luc; Lukas Grimm, Simon; Heng, Kevin

    2015-12-01

    The large variety of planetary parameters observed leads us to think that exoplanets may show a large range of possible climates. It is therefore of the uttermost importance to investigate the influence of astronomical and planetary bulk parameters in driving the atmospheric circulations. In the solar system the results from planetary spacecraft missions have demonstrated how different the planetary climate and atmospheric circulations can be. The study of exoplanets will require probing a far wider range of physical and orbital parameters than the ones of our neighbor planets. For this reason, such a study will involve exploring an even larger diversity of circulation and climate regimes. Our new atmospheric model, THOR, is intended to be extremely flexible and to explore the large diversity of planetary atmospheres.THOR is part of the Exoclimes Simulation Platform, and is a project of the Exoplanet and Exoclimes Group (see www.exoclime.org). THOR solves the complex atmospheric fluid equations in a rotating sphere (fully compressible - nonhydrostatic system) using an icosahedral grid. The main advantages of using our new platform against other recent exoplanet models is that 1) The atmospheric fluid equations are completely represented and no approximations are used that could compromise the physics of the problem; 2) The model uses for the first time in exoplanet studies, a specific icosahedral grid that solves the pole problem; 3) The interface is user friendly and can be easily adapted to a multitude of atmospheric conditions; 4) By using GPU computation, our code greatly improves the typical code running time.We will present and discuss the first detailed results of our simulations, more specifically of two benchmark tests that are a representative sample of the large range of exoplanetary parameters: Earth-like conditions (the Held-Suarez test) and a tidally locked hot-Jupiter. THOR has successfully passed these tests and is able to determine the main

  3. Infrared laboratory studies of synthetic planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D.

    1972-01-01

    The initial stages of the research were involved with a test of Burch's law of multiplicative transmittance for mixed absorbing gases when their lines are broadened by H2 and He, which are constituents of the atmospheres of the major planets. The broadening of individual lines in the CO fundamental by various gases was investigated. Line strength and half-width for individual CO lines were studied as a function of temperature. Measurements of total band absorptance as a function of absorber thickness and total effective pressure were made at various temperatures for bands of CO and N2O. Attempts were made to develop a phenomenological theory of line broadening that would account for the phenomena observed for the CO fundamental and those reported for more highly polar gases. Laboratory measurements of nitric acid vapor absorptance were compared with balloon measurements in arriving at an estimate of the quantity of nitric acid vapor present in the earth's atmosphere in the region of the ozone layer.

  4. Volcanic Degassing and the Atmosphere of Planetary Suites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaillard, F.; Scaillet, B.

    2012-12-01

    How unique the Earth is requires an urgent definition in front of the myriad of spatial observations revealing extra solar planets with variable spectral signatures. In the close solar system, high water abundance, atmospheric pressure at 1 bar and an O2-rich atmosphere constitute the main features of the Earth surface. This contrasts with dry Venus and its nearly 100 bar of reduced atmosphere dominated by CO2. This also contrasts with Mars, once flowed by water, today dominated by sulphate deposits, with 0.01 bar of atmospheric pressure and its oxidized surface. Such diversity in the physic and chemistry of planetary surfaces constitutes our most robust observation and benchmark for deciphering the remote exoplanets and defining the possible development of clement conditions for extra-terrestrial life. Volcanic degassing is a fundamental planetary process that conveys igneous volatiles species regulating important physical and chemical features of the exosphere. Understanding the planetary chemical fix supplied by volcanoes and how it can vary is therefore critical for a better definition of systems favorable to life emergence. We show that the atmospheric pressure, defining the minimum pressure of volcanic degassing, is the chief parameter controlling the composition of volcanic gases. On Venus, volcanic degassing occurring at minimum pressure of 100 bar can only be composed of CO2, whereas water and sulfur remain dissolved in the lavas. This explains the dry Venusian atmosphere. Degassing at 1 bar (minimum) on Earth produces mixtures dominated by water, explaining the Earth's wet surface. On Mars, gases produced at less than 0.05 bar contain more sulfur than water and Jupiter moon, Io, emits, in vacuum, gases that are dominated by sulfite. The composition of volcanic gases is therefore merely regulated by the atmospheric pressure. The latter is, in turn, mainly controlled by the size of the planet, even if little certitude exists about the most influential

  5. Atmospheric planetary waves induced by solar rotation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krivolutsky, A. A.

    1989-01-01

    It is known that there are variations in the atmospheric processes with a period close to that of the rotation of the Sun (27 days). The variations are discovered in tropospheric processes, rainfalls, geopotential and in stratosphere. The main theoretical problem is the identification of the physical process by which these heterogeneous solar and meteorological phenomena are connected. Ivanovsky and Krivolutsky proposed that the periodic heating of the ozone layer by the short wave radiation would be the reason of excitation the 27-day oscillations. It was also assumed that excitement takes place in condition of resonance with an excited mode corresponding to the conditions present in the stratospheric circulations. The possibility is discussed of the resonant excitation and presentation is made of the data analysis results which support this idea.

  6. Searching for extra-solar planets and probing the atmosphere of Bulge giant stars through gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassan, Arnaud

    2005-12-01

    A galactic microlensing effect occurs when a luminous object (the source) located in the Bulge of the Milky Way is temporarily magnified by an intervening star (the "microlens'') passing close to its line of sight. This phenomenom is used for searching extra-solar planets and constraining their abundance, as well as probing the atmosphere of Bulge giant stars. The PLANET collaboration (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) monitors carefully chosen ongoing microlensing events on a round-the-clock basis from observatories in the southern hemisphere. Mathematical and numerical methods are developed to deal with both the highly non-linear equations and the wide parameter space plagued with many local minima. Microlensing exoplanet detection is possible because planets can induce perturbations to the standard lensing light curves. Its sensitivity can go down to Earth-mass planets, thanks to gravitational caustics that arise from a binary lens. If crossed by the source, additional secondary magnification peaks in the light curve can occur. OGLE 2005-BLG-390Lb is the third extra-solar planet detected by this method so far, and its discovery is reported here. It is the lightest exoplanet to date - about five Earth masses - located at a rather large distance of its star, that is about three astronomical units. A selection of microlensing events monitored during the 1995-2004 period was used to derive limits on exoplanets abundance around red dwarf stars. The method is described and detection efficiency diagrams are provided as a basis of the statistical analysis. Last, a differential magnification effect over the disk of the source star is used as a tool to probe Bulge giants stellar atmospheres. Limb-darkening parameters of a set of stars have been measured and compared to atmosphere models. Moreover, a high-resolution spectroscopic monitoring of a Bulge G5III giant at 9 kpc made possible both the measurement of the individual lines equivalent width and the direct detection

  7. A Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Hampton University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterson, W. R.; McCormick, M. P.; Russell, J. M.; Anderson, J.; Kireev, S.; Loughman, R. P.; Smith, W. L.

    2006-12-01

    With this presentation we discuss the status of plans for a Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Hampton University. Hampton University is a privately endowed, non-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational, and historically black university with 38 baccalaureate, 14 masters, and 4 doctoral degree programs. The graduate program in physics currently offers advanced degrees with concentration in Atmospheric Science. The 10 students now enrolled benefit substantially from the research experience and infrastructure resident in the university's Center for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS), which is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Promoting a greater diversity of participants in geosciences is an important objective for CAS. To accomplish this, we require reliable pipelines of students into the program. One such pipeline is our undergraduate minor in Space, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (SEAS minor). This minor concentraton of study is contributing to awareness of geosciences on the Hampton University campus, and beyond, as our students matriculate and join the workforce, or pursue higher degrees. However, the current graduate program, with its emphasis on physics, is not necessarily optimal for atmospheric scientists, and it limits our ability to recruit students who do not have a physics degree. To increase the base of candidate students, we have proposed creation of a Department of Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, which could attract students from a broader range of academic disciplines. The revised curriculum would provide for greater concentration in atmospheric and planetary sciences, yet maintain a degree of flexibility to allow for coursework in physics or other areas to meet the needs of individual students. The department would offer the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and maintain the SEAS minor. The university's administration and faculty have approved our plan for this new department pending authorization by the university's board of trustees, which will

  8. Ultraviolet imaging and spectroscopy of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerard, Jean-Claude

    1994-01-01

    The main scientific results of the participation of the Institute of Astrophysics (Belgium) in the NASA's Pioneer Venus mission are reported on. The data were obtained with the Pioneer Orbiter's Ultraviolet Spectrometer (POUVS). The instrument provided a morphological study of the nitric oxide ultraviolet night glow. Information concerning the altitude of the airglow emitting layer was also collected and used to constrain models of turbulent transport on the night side of the planet. Models of the odd nitrogen thermospheric chemistry and transport were developed to analyze the observations and derive the properties of the global circulation of Venus' upper atmosphere. Images of the Jovian ultraviolet aurora were obtained. The morphology and the time variations of the HI Ly-alpha and H2 Lyman and Werner bands were acquired at different longitudes. The observed distribution was compared with the results of the spectrometric observations made with the Voyager and the International Ultraviolet Explorer missions. Images concerning the Io surface albedo and Saturn's disk and ring's reflectivity were also obtained.

  9. Upper atmospheric planetary-wave and gravity-wave observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Justus, C. G.; Woodrum, A.

    1973-01-01

    Previously collected data on atmospheric pressure, density, temperature and winds between 25 and 200 km from sources including Meteorological Rocket Network data, ROBIN falling sphere data, grenade release and pitot tube data, meteor winds, chemical release winds, satellite data, and others were analyzed by a daily-difference method, and results on the magnitude of atmospheric perturbations interpreted as gravity waves and planetary waves are presented. Traveling planetary-wave contributions in the 25-85 km range were found to have significant height and latitudinal variation. It was found that observed gravity-wave density perturbations and wind are related to one another in the manner predicted by gravity-wave theory. It was determined that, on the average, gravity-wave energy deposition or reflection occurs at all altitudes except the 55-75 km region of the mesosphere.

  10. Photochemical hazes in planetary atmospheres: solar system bodies and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imanaka, Hiroshi; Cruikshank, Dale P.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2015-11-01

    Recent transit observations of exoplanets have demonstrated the possibility of a wide prevalence of haze/cloud layers at high altitudes. Hydrocarbon photochemical haze could be the candidate for such haze particles on warm sub-Neptunes, but the lack of evidence for methane poses a puzzle for such hydrocarbon photochemical haze. The CH4/CO ratios in planetary atmospheres vary substantially from their temperature and dynamics. An understanding of haze formation rates and plausible optical properties in a wide diversity of planetary atmospheres is required to interpret the current and future observations.Here, we focus on how atmospheric compositions, specifically CH4/CO ratios, affect the haze production rates and their optical properties. We have conducted a series of cold plasma experiments to constrain the haze mass production rates from gas mixtures of various CH4/CO ratios diluted either in H2 or N2 atmosphere. The mass production rates in the N2-CH4-CO system are much greater than those in the H2-CH4-CO system. They are rather insensitive to the CH4/CO ratios larger than at 0.3. Significant formation of solid material is observed both in H2-CO and N2-CO systems without CH4 in the initial gas mixtures. The complex refractive indices were derived for haze samples from N2-CH4, H2-CH4, and H2-CO gas mixtures. These are the model atmospheres for Titan, Saturn, and exoplanets, respectively. The imaginary part of the complex refractive indices in the UV-Vis region are distinct among these samples, which can be utilized for modeling these planetary atmospheres.

  11. Detection of the Magnetospheric Emissions from Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, J.

    2014-12-01

    Planetary-scale magnetic fields are a window to a planet's interior and provide shielding of the planet's atmosphere. The Earth, Mercury, Ganymede, and the giant planets of the solar system all contain internal dynamo currents that generate planetary-scale magnetic fields. These internal dynamo currents arise from differential rotation, convection, compositional dynamics, or a combination of these. If coupled to an energy source, such as the incident kinetic or magnetic energy from the solar wind, a planet's magnetic field can produce electron cyclotron masers in its magnetic polar regions. The most well known example of this process is the Jovian decametric emission, but all of the giant planets and the Earth contain similar electron cyclotron masers within their magnetospheres. Extrapolated to extrasolar planets, the remote detection of the magnetic field of an extrasolar planet would provide a means of obtaining constraints on the thermal state, composition, and dynamics of its interior as well as improved understanding of the basic planetary dynamo process. The magnetospheric emissions from solar system planets and the discovery of extrasolar planets have motivated both theoretical and observational work on magnetospheric emissions from extrasolar planets. Stimulated by these advances, the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies hosted a workshop entitled "Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability." I summarize the current observational status of searches for magnetospheric emissions from extrasolar planets, based on observations from a number of ground-based radio telescopes, and future prospects for ground-based studies. Using the solar system planetary magnetic fields as a guide, future space-based missions will be required to study planets with magnetic field strengths lower than that of Jupiter. I summarize mission concepts identified in the KISS workshop, with a focus on the detection of planetary electron cyclotron maser emission. The

  12. Disequilibrium in planetary atmospheres and the search for habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoncini, E.

    It has long been observed that Earth's atmosphere is uniquely far from its thermochemical equilibrium state in terms of its chemical composition. Studying this state of disequilibrium is important for its potential role in the detection of life on other suitable planets \\citep{Lovelock_1965,Kleidon_2010,Simoncini_2015}. We developed a methodology to calculate the extent of atmospheric chemical disequilibrium\\citep{Simoncini_2015,Kondepudi_1996}. This tool allows us to understand, on a thermodynamic basis, how life affected - and still affects - geochemical processes on Earth, and if other planetary atmospheres are habitable or have a disequilibrium similar to the Earth's one. A new computational framework called KROME has been applied to atmospheric models in order to give a correct computation of reactions´ kinetics \\citep{Grassi_2015}. In this work we present a first computation of the extent of disequilibrium for the present Earth atmosphere, considering the specific contribution of the different atmospheric processes, such as thermochemical reactions, eddy diffusion, photochemistry, deposition, and the effect of the biosphere. We then assess the effect of life on atmospheric disequilibrium of the Earth and provide a useful discussion about how the study of atmospheric disequilibrium can help in finding habitable (exo)planets. We finally compare the chemical disequilibrium of Earth and Mars atmospheres, for present and early conditions.

  13. Modeling Planetary Atmospheric Energy Deposition By Energetic Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, Christopher; Bougher, Stephen; Gronoff, Guillaume; Barthelemy, Mathieu

    2016-07-01

    The structure, dynamics, chemistry, and evolution of planetary upper atmospheres are in large part determined by the available sources of energy. In addition to the solar EUV flux, the solar wind and solar energetic particle (SEP) events are also important sources. Both of these particle populations can significantly affect an atmosphere, causing atmospheric loss and driving chemical reactions. Attention has been paid to these sources from the standpoint of the radiation environment for humans and electronics, but little work has been done to evaluate their impact on planetary atmospheres. At unmagnetized planets or those with crustal field anomalies, in particular, the solar wind and SEPs of all energies have direct access to the atmosphere and so provide a more substantial energy source than at planets having protective global magnetic fields. Additionally, solar wind and energetic particle fluxes should be more significant for planets orbiting more active stars, such as is the case in the early history of the solar system for paleo-Venus and Mars. Therefore quantification of the atmospheric energy input from the solar wind and SEP events is an important component of our understanding of the processes that control their state and evolution. We have applied a full Lorentz motion particle transport model to study the effects of particle precipitation in the upper atmospheres of Mars and Venus. Such modeling has been previously done for Earth and Mars using a guiding center precipitation model. Currently, this code is only valid for particles with small gyroradii in strong uniform magnetic fields. There is a clear necessity for a Lorentz formulation, hence, a systematic study of the ionization, excitation, and energy deposition has been conducted, including a comparison of the influence relative to other energy sources (namely EUV photons). The result is a robust examination of the influence of energetic ion transport on the Venus and Mars upper atmosphere which

  14. Formation of spectral lines in planetary atmospheres. I - Theory for cloudy atmospheres: Application to Venus.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, G. E.

    1972-01-01

    The theory of the formation of spectral lines in a cloudy planetary atmosphere is studied in detail. It is shown that models based upon homogeneous, isotropically scattering atmospheres cannot be used to reproduce observed spectroscopic features of phase effect and the shape of spectral lines for weak and strong bands. The theory must, therefore, be developed using an inhomogeneous (gravitational) model of a planetary atmosphere, accurately incorporating all the physical processes of radiative transfer. Such a model of the lower Venus atmosphere, consistent with our present knowledge, is constructed. The results discussed in this article demonstrate the effects of the parameters that describe the atmospheric model on the spectroscopic features of spectral line profile and phase effect, at visible and near infrared wavelengths. This information enables us to develop a comprehensive theory of line formation in a Venus atmosphere.

  15. Dications and thermal ions in planetary atmospheric escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilensten, J.; Simon Wedlund, C.; Barthélémy, M.; Thissen, R.; Ehrenreich, D.; Gronoff, G.; Witasse, O.

    2013-01-01

    In the recent years, the presence of dications in the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Earth and Titan has been modeled and assessed. These studies also suggested that these ions could participate to the escape of the planetary atmospheres because a large fraction of them is unstable and highly energetic. When they dissociate, their internal energy is transformed into kinetic energy which may be larger than the escape energy. The goal of this study is to assess the impact of the doubly-charged ions in the escape of CO2-dominated planetary atmospheres and to compare it to the escape of thermal photo-ions. We solve a Boltzmann transport equation at daytime taking into account the dissociative states of CO2++ for a simplified single constituent atmosphere of a case-study planet. We compute the escape of fast ions using a Beer-Lambert approach. We study three test-cases. On a Mars-analog planet in today's conditions, we retrieve the measured electron escape flux. When comparing the two mechanisms (i.e. excluding solar wind effects, sputtering, etc.), the escape due to the fast ions issuing from the dissociation of dications may account for up to 6% of the total and the escape of thermal ions for the remaining. We show that these two mechanisms cannot explain the escape of the atmosphere since the magnetic field vanished and even contribute only marginally to this loss. We show that with these two mechanisms, the atmosphere of a Mars analog planet would empty in another giga years and a half. At Venus orbit, the contribution of the dications in the escape rate is negligible. When simulating the hot Jupiter HD 209458 b, the two processes cannot explain the measured escape flux of C+. This study shows that the dications may constitute a source of the escape of planetary atmospheres which had not been taken into account until now. This source, although marginal, is not negligible. The influence of the photoionization is of course large, but cannot explain alone the loss of Mars

  16. Gas chromatographic concepts for the analysis of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valentin, J. R.; Cullers, D. K.; Hall, K. W.; Krekorian, R. L.; Phillips, J. B.

    1991-01-01

    Over the last few years, new gas chromatographic (GC) concepts were developed for use on board spacecraft or any other restricted environments for determining the chemical composition of the atmosphere and surface material of various planetary bodies. Future NASA Missions include an entry probe that will be sent to Titan and various spacecraft that will land on Mars. In order to be able to properly respond to the mission science requirements and physical restrictions imposed on the instruments by these missions, GC analytical techniques are being developed. Some of these techniques include hardware and mathematical techniques that will improve GC sensitivity and increase the sampling rate of a GC descending through a planetary atmosphere. The technique of Multiplex Gas Chromatography (MGC) is an example of a technique that was studied in a simulated Titan atmosphere. In such an environment, the atmospheric pressure at instrument deployment is estimated to be a few torr. Thus, at such pressures, the small amount of sample that is acquired might not be enough to satisfy the detection requirements of the gas chromatograph. In MGC, many samples are pseudo-randomly introduced to the chromatograph without regard to elution of preceding components. The resulting data is then reduced using mathematical techniques such as cross-correlation of Fourier Transforms. Advantages realized from this technique include: improvement in detection limits of several orders of magnitude and increase in the number of analyses that can be conducted in a given period of time. Results proving the application of MGC at very low pressures emulating the same atmospheric pressures that a Titan Probe will encounter when the instruments are deployed are presented. The sample used contained hydrocarbons that are expected to be found in Titan's atmosphere. In addition, a new selective modulator was developed to monitor water under Martian atmospheric conditions. Since this modulator is selective only

  17. Theoretical studies of important processes in planetary and comet atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guberman, Steven L.

    1991-01-01

    This is the fifth semi-annual progress report describing research on dissociative recombination reactions in planetary and comet atmospheres. The Appendix has two papers that describe NASA supported research. Both papers have been recently accepted for publication. The first paper, 'The Generation of O(S-1) from the Dissociative Recombination of O2(+)', describes in detail the Multichannel Quantum Defect (MQDT) theory used for the calculation of dissociative recombination (DR) cross sections and rates. The application to the generation of the upper state of the atomic oxygen green line emission is of great importance to the modelling of planetary atmospheres. The second paper in the Appendix, 'Dissociative Recombination of the Ground State of N2(+)', applies the methods described in the first paper to N2(+). We find remarkable agreement with the prior microwave afterglow experiments for both the total recombination rate and for its electron temperature dependence. However, the results disagree with recent merged beams results which gave cross sections that are a factor of five below the microwave afterglow experiments and the current results. DR of N2(+) is an important mechanism for generating energetic N atoms which can escape the atmosphere of Mars. Currently we are also continuing additional work on the DR of O2(+) which is aimed at calculating both the total DR rate as a function of ion vibrational level and the rate for production of O(D-1).

  18. Studies on possible propagation of microbial contamination in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dimmick, R. L.; Wolochow, H.; Chatigny, M. A.

    1975-01-01

    Maintained aerosols were studied to demonstrate the metabolism and propagation of microbes in clouds which could occur in the course of a probe of a planetary atmosphere. Bacteriophage was used as a tool to test whether the mechanisms for DNA production remain intact and functional within the airborne bacterial cell. In one test method, bacteria were mixed with coliphage in an atomizer to allow attachment before aerosolization; in another, two suspensions were atomized saperately into a common air stream prior to aerosolization. Results show that biochemical and physiological mechanisms to allow aerobic microbes to propagate in the airborne state do exist.

  19. AN ANALYTIC RADIATIVE-CONVECTIVE MODEL FOR PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Catling, David C.

    2012-09-20

    We present an analytic one-dimensional radiative-convective model of the thermal structure of planetary atmospheres. Our model assumes that thermal radiative transfer is gray and can be represented by the two-stream approximation. Model atmospheres are assumed to be in hydrostatic equilibrium, with a power-law scaling between the atmospheric pressure and the gray thermal optical depth. The convective portions of our models are taken to follow adiabats that account for condensation of volatiles through a scaling parameter to the dry adiabat. By combining these assumptions, we produce simple, analytic expressions that allow calculations of the atmospheric-pressure-temperature profile, as well as expressions for the profiles of thermal radiative flux and convective flux. We explore the general behaviors of our model. These investigations encompass (1) worlds where atmospheric attenuation of sunlight is weak, which we show tend to have relatively high radiative-convective boundaries; (2) worlds with some attenuation of sunlight throughout the atmosphere, which we show can produce either shallow or deep radiative-convective boundaries, depending on the strength of sunlight attenuation; and (3) strongly irradiated giant planets (including hot Jupiters), where we explore the conditions under which these worlds acquire detached convective regions in their mid-tropospheres. Finally, we validate our model and demonstrate its utility through comparisons to the average observed thermal structure of Venus, Jupiter, and Titan, and by comparing computed flux profiles to more complex models.

  20. Circular polarization of sunlight reflected by planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kawata, Y.

    1978-01-01

    Multiple scattering calculations are performed in order to investigate the nature of the circular polarization of sunlight reflected by planetary atmospheres. Contour diagrams as a function of size parameter and phase angle are made for the integrated light from a spherical but locally plane-parallel atmosphere of spherical particles. To investigate the origin of the circular polarization, results are also computed for second-order scattering and for a simpler semiquantitative model of scattering by two particles. Observations of the circular polarization of the planets are presently too meager for accurate deduction of cloud particle properties. However, certain very broad constraints can be placed on the properties of the dominant cloud particles on Jupiter and Saturn. The cloud particle size and refractive index deduced for the Jupiter clouds by Loskutov, Morozhenko, and Yanovitskii from analyses of the linear polarization are not consistent with the circular polarization. The few available circular polarization observations of Venus are also examined.

  1. Constructing an advanced software tool for planetary atmospheric modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, Richard M.; Sims, Michael; Podolak, Ester; Mckay, Christopher

    1990-01-01

    Scientific model building can be an intensive and painstaking process, often involving the development of large and complex computer programs. Despite the effort involved, scientific models cannot be easily distributed and shared with other scientists. In general, implemented scientific models are complex, idiosyncratic, and difficult for anyone but the original scientist/programmer to understand. We believe that advanced software techniques can facilitate both the model building and model sharing process. In this paper, we describe a prototype for a scientific modeling software tool that serves as an aid to the scientist in developing and using models. This tool includes an interactive intelligent graphical interface, a high level domain specific modeling language, a library of physics equations and experimental datasets, and a suite of data display facilities. Our prototype has been developed in the domain of planetary atmospheric modeling, and is being used to construct models of Titan's atmosphere.

  2. Composition/Structure/Dynamics of comet and planetary satellite atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Combi, Michael R. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    This research program addresses two cases of tenuous planetary atmospheres: comets and Io. The comet atmospheric research seeks to analyze a set of spatial profiles of CN in comet Halley taken in a 7.4-day period in April 1986; to apply a new dust coma model to various observations; and to analyze observations of the inner hydrogen coma, which can be optically thick to the resonance scattering of Lyman-alpha radiation, with the newly developed approach that combines a spherical radiative transfer model with our Monte Carlo H coma model. The Io research seeks to understand the atmospheric escape from Io with a hybrid-kinetic model for neutral gases and plasma given methods and algorithms developed for the study of neutral gas cometary atmospheres and the earth's polar wind and plasmasphere. Progress is reported on cometary Hydrogen Lyman-alpha studies; time-series analysis of cometary spatial profiles; model analysis of the dust comae of comets; and a global kinetic atmospheric model of Io.

  3. Determination of the habitable zone through planetary atmospheric absorption analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poffo, D. A.; Caranti, G. M.; Comes, R. A.

    2014-03-01

    The so-called Habitable Zone (HZ) is a region around a star where a planet without atmosphere and considered as a black body, is subjected to a radiative flux appropriate to maintain liquid water on its surface. The location of this region is closely related to the physical properties of the star and in particular with its luminosity. It is important to note that being a planet within the HZ region is a necessary condition but may not be a sufficient one to be habitable. The concept of Planetary Habitability means that not only orbital conditions must be satisfied, but also that the planet itself must be able to develop and maintain a biosphere (Porto de Mello et al. 2006). This paper aims to determine the planetary HZ for a planet with similar conditions than the Earth, i.e. having an atmosphere, using a simple model based on the interactions between the star radiation and the radiation emitted by the planet with the atmosphere. The absorption spectrum for the proposed atmospheric chemical composition is calculated as a function of temperature by means of the HITRAN database. Another important factor taken into account in this model is cloud cover. Clouds act as "traps" to the long wave radiation emitted by the surface of the planet, resulting in an additional warming contributing to the greenhouse effect, but at the same time, reflect solar radiation back into space (albedo), producing surface cooling (Porto de Mello 2010). Taken these effects into account on a global level, we find a relationship between the orbital location of the planet and the average surface temperature that allows us to extend the habitable limits proposed by Kasting et al (1993).

  4. Planetary Companions to HD 12661, HD 92788, and HD 38529 and Variations in Keplerian Residuals of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Debra A.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Butler, R. Paul; Vogt, Steven S.; Frink, Sabine; Apps, Kevin

    2001-04-01

    Precision Doppler observations at the Lick and Keck observatories have revealed Keplerian velocity variations in the stars HD 12661, HD 92788, and HD 38529. HD 12661 (G6 V) has an orbital period of 252.7+/-2.7 days, velocity semiamplitude K=88.4+/-2.0 m s-1, and orbital eccentricity e=0.23+/-0.024. Adopting a stellar mass of 1.07 Msolar, we infer a companion mass of Msini=2.79 MJ and a semimajor axis of a=0.79 AU. HD 92788 (G5 V) has an orbital period of 326.7+/-3.2 days, velocity semiamplitude K=99.9+/-2.4, and orbital eccentricity e=0.30+/-0.06. The adopted stellar mass of 1.06 Msolar yields a companion mass of Msini=3.34 MJ and a semimajor axis of a=0.95 AU. HD 38529 (G4 IV) has an orbital period of 14.3+/-0.8 days, velocity semiamplitude K=53.8+/-2.0 m s-1, and eccentricity e=0.27+/-0.03. The stellar mass of 1.4 Msolar sets Msini=0.77 MJ, with a semimajor axis of a=0.13 AU for this companion. In addition to the 14.3 day periodicity, the velocity residuals for HD 38529 show curvature over the three years of observations. Based on a measurement of Ca II H and K emission, all three stars are chromospherically inactive. Based on both spectral synthesis modeling and narrowband photometry, HD 12661, HD 92788, and HD 38529 all appear to be metal-rich stars, reinforcing the correlation of high metallicity in the host stars of gas giant extrasolar planets. We examine the velocity residuals to the Keplerian fits for a subsample of 12 planet-bearing stars that have been observed longer than two years at the Lick Observatory. Five of the 12 (Ups Andromedae, τ Boo, 55 Cnc, HD 217107, and HD 38529) exhibit coherent variations in the residual velocities that are consistent with additional companions. Except for Upsilon Andromedae, the source of the velocity variation remains speculative pending completion of one full orbit. GJ 876 exhibits residual velocities with high rms scatter (24 m s-1), lacking identifiable coherence. The residual velocities for six of the 12 stars (51

  5. Building a "big picture" of planetary atmospheres dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Read, Peter; Wang, Yixiong

    Together with Saturn's large satellite, Titan, Earth, Mars and Venus provide four clear and increasingly well-studied examples of terrestrial-style planetary circulation systems under quite different parametric conditions. Clear trends in behaviour can be seen between these planets, especially contrasting the slowly and rapidly rotating bodies, suggesting some analogies with the studies of flow transitions and bifurcations in laboratory flow systems such as the rotating, baroclinic annulus experiment[1,2], and other simple models. This approach to comparative studies comes especially naturally to dynamicists, to whom the ability of even relatively simple, nonlinear, dynamical systems to exhibit radically different behaviours, punctuated by well characterized bifurcations as control parameters are varied, is familiar and commonplace. But is this analogy more than superficial? Does it suggest the possibility of an overarching the-oretical framework or even prototype model that could offer useful quantitative predictions of atmospheric structure, circulation and transport across a wide range of planetary parameters? If so, what are the critical parameters upon which key dynamical properties of the circulation depend? Can comparisons between the Earth and other planetary bodies provide useful insights into the Earth's circulation and climate? These questions come into even sharper focus in the light of the recent discoveries of terrestrial-style planets around other stars, about which obser-vational measurements can provide only very basic, globally integrated parameters. It is vital, therefore, to exploit and understand as fully as possible the available models of atmospheric circulation systems amenable to detailed study within our Solar System, their common aspects and key differences, and to confront them with detailed observations and measurements. In this contribution we examine ways in which numerical models of atmospheric circulation can be used to construct

  6. Data Assimilation and Data Fusion for Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard

    2005-01-01

    The overarching goal of this Cooperative Agreement was to develop a model and procedures for the data assimilation of planetary spacecraft atmospheric observations. Data assimilation - in its application to weather analysis and prediction - is the process of finding an initial state of the meteorological variables (winds, temperatures, pressures, etc.) of an atmosphere, which, when propagated forward in time using a deterministic general circulation model, reproduces all of the available observations over that time to within the measurement and computational errors. With this definition, data assimilation is seen to be a natural extension of well-known least-squares minimization techniques. The primary complication arises from the scale of the problem: For the Martian atmosphere with the available nadir-viewing Thermal Emission Spectrometer data from Mars Global Surveyor, approximately 1,000,000 individual measurements of channel radiances (in the 15-micrometer region, where these radiances relate directly to the surface and atmospheric temperature) were made per day. A suitable general circulation model for dealing with this data set has on the order of 20,000 independent variables. After some spatial and temporal averaging of the data - which provides a necessary statistical estimate of the representativeness of the measurements, a crucial issue in data assimilation - the problem reduces in scale to the solution of approximately 50,000 equations for the 20,000 variables.

  7. Characterization and evolution of distant planetary atmospheres using stellar occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, L. A.

    2008-09-01

    for understanding the energy balance in upper atmospheres, interpreting thermal emission, and studying dynamics. These vertical profiles include small-scale fluctuations generally associated with gravity waves. While the 1988 Pluto occultation light curve was remarkably smooth, more recent Pluto occultations show spikes indicative of these small-scale dynamics. When an atmospheric occultation is observed from several sites, or when a single site is near enough to the shadow center to observe solar flux refracted from multiple locations in the occulting atmosphere, it is possible to study the two- or three-dimensional structure of an atmosphere. The simplest example is the oblateness of the atmosphere derived from the shape of an isobar [7], but more complex analyses are also possible. A comparison of the temperatures at different latitudes or local times of day can shed light on the relative importance of radiative equilibrium and dynamics to the energetics of an atmosphere, as has been done for the 2006 June 12 occultation by Pluto [4]. Closely spaced sites can be used to derive the two-dimensional shape and aspect ratio of temperature and density fluctuations [5,8], aiding the identification of the generating sources of these fluctuations. Occultation observations over a long time span are used to study the long-term evolution of an atmosphere. Both Triton and Pluto have shown large changes in their pressures since the late 1980's that is almost certainly related to changes in the temperature of their surface ices. The temperatures in the Uranian upper atmosphere increased before the previous solstice, and reverted to cooler temperatures a decade later, perhaps indicative of adiabatic cooling [9]. Recent improvements in astrometric catalogs, occultation-capable cameras (with low read noise, high readout rates, and little or no dead time), and easy access to accurate timing can greatly improve the quality, spatial sampling, and frequency of occultations by planetary

  8. Towards a Carbon Nanotube Ionization Source for Planetary Atmosphere Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oza, A. V.; Leblanc, F.; Berthelier, J. J.; Becker, J.; Coulomb, R.; Gilbert, P.; Hong, N. T.; Lee, S.; Vettier, L.

    2015-12-01

    The characterization of planetary exospheres today, relies on the development of a highly efficient ionization source, due to the scant neutral molecules (n < 108 cm -3) present in diffuse planetary coronae. These tenuous atmospheres provide insight on to physical processes known to occur such as: space weathering, magneto-atmosphere interactions, as well as atmospheric escape mechanisms, all of which are being heavily investigated via current 3D Monte Carlo simulations (Turc et al. 2014, Leblanc et al. 2016 in prep) at LATMOS. Validation of these studies will rely on in-situ observations in the coming decades. Neutral detection strongly depends on electron-impact ionization which via conventional cathode-sources, such as thermal filaments (heated up to 2000 K), may only produce the target ionization essential for energy-measurements with large power consumption. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) however are ideal low-power, cold cathodes, when subject to moderate electric fields (E ~ 1 MV / m). We present our current device, a small CNT chip, of emission area 15 mm2, emitting electrons that pass through an anode grid and subsequent electrostatic analyzer. The device currently extracts hundreds of µAmperes with applied external voltages ~ -150 Volts, approaching minimum power consumption < 0.1 Watts. The 3D modeling of field effect electrons ionizing a standard influx of neutrals is shown, using the multiphysics suite COMSOL. To better anticipate the species an ideal in-situ spacecraft equipped with such an ionization source would observe, we discuss Europa's exosphere. Europa's environment is largely shaped by the Jovian plasma sputtering the icy regolith with heavy ions and electrons (keV < E < MeV), producing predominately molecular oxygen (Johnson et al. 2002).

  9. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXXVI. Planetary systems and stellar activity of the M dwarfs GJ 3293, GJ 3341, and GJ 3543

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astudillo-Defru, N.; Bonfils, X.; Delfosse, X.; Ségransan, D.; Forveille, T.; Bouchy, F.; Gillon, M.; Lovis, C.; Mayor, M.; Neves, V.; Pepe, F.; Perrier, C.; Queloz, D.; Rojo, P.; Santos, N. C.; Udry, S.

    2015-03-01

    Context. Planetary companions of a fixed mass induce reflex motions with a larger amplitude around lower-mass stars, which adds to making M dwarfs excellent targets for extra-solar planet searches. The most recent velocimeters with a stability of ~1 m s-1 can detect very low-mass planets out to the habitable zone of these stars. Low-mass small planets are abundant around M dwarfs, and most of the known potentially habitable planets orbit one of these cool stars. Aims: Our M-dwarf radial velocity monitoring with HARPS on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla observatory makes a major contribution to this sample. Methods: We present here dense radial velocity (RV) time series for three M dwarfs observed over ~five years: GJ 3293 (0.42 M⊙), GJ 3341 (0.47 M⊙), and GJ 3543 (0.45 M⊙). We extracted these RVs through minimum χ2-matching of each spectrum against a stack of all observed spectra for the same star that has a high signal-to-noise ratio. We then compared potential orbital signals against several stellar activity indicators to distinguish the Keplerian variations induced by planets from the spurious signals that result from rotational modulation of stellar surface inhomogeneities and from activity cycles. Results: Two Neptune-mass planets - msin(i) = 1.4 ± 0.1 and 1.3 ± 0.1Mnept - orbit GJ 3293 with periods P = 30.60 ± 0.02 d and P = 123.98 ± 0.38 d, possibly together with a super-Earth - msin(i) ~ 7.9 ± 1.4 M⊕ - with period P = 48.14 ± 0.12d. A super-Earth - msin(i) ~ 6.1 M⊕ - orbits GJ 3341 with P = 14.207 ± 0.007d. The RV variations of GJ 3543, on the other hand, reflect its stellar activity rather than planetary signals. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the program IDs 072.C-0488, 082.C-0718 and 183.C-0437 at Cerro La Silla (Chile).Tables A.1-A.3 (radial velocity data) are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org and at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp

  10. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXVIII. Up to seven planets orbiting HD 10180: probing the architecture of low-mass planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lovis, C.; Ségransan, D.; Mayor, M.; Udry, S.; Benz, W.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bouchy, F.; Correia, A. C. M.; Laskar, J.; Lo Curto, G.; Mordasini, C.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.

    2011-04-01

    Context. Low-mass extrasolar planets are presently being discovered at an increased pace by radial velocity and transit surveys, which opens a new window on planetary systems. Aims: We are conducting a high-precision radial velocity survey with the HARPS spectrograph, which aims at characterizing the population of ice giants and super-Earths around nearby solar-type stars. This will lead to a better understanding of their formation and evolution, and will yield a global picture of planetary systems from gas giants down to telluric planets. Methods: Progress has been possible in this field thanks in particular to the sub-m s-1 radial velocity precision achieved by HARPS. We present here new high-quality measurements from this instrument. Results: We report the discovery of a planetary system comprising at least five Neptune-like planets with minimum masses ranging from 12 to 25 M⊕, orbiting the solar-type star HD 10180 at separations between 0.06 and 1.4 AU. A sixth radial velocity signal is present at a longer period, probably caused by a 65-M⊕ object. Moreover, another body with a minimum mass as low as 1.4 M⊕ may be present at 0.02 AU from the star. This is the most populated exoplanetary system known to date. The planets are in a dense but still well separated configuration, with significant secular interactions. Some of the orbital period ratios are fairly close to integer or half-integer values, but the system does not exhibit any mean-motion resonances. General relativity effects and tidal dissipation play an important role to stabilize the innermost planet and the system as a whole. Numerical integrations show long-term dynamical stability provided true masses are within a factor ~3 from minimum masses. We further note that several low-mass planetary systems exhibit a rather "packed" orbital architecture with little or no space left for additional planets. In several cases, semi-major axes are fairly regularly spaced on a logarithmic scale, giving rise

  11. Orbital structure of the GJ876 extrasolar planetary system based on the latest Keck and HARPS radial velocity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baluev, Roman V.

    2011-10-01

    We use full available array of radial velocity data, including recently published HARPS and Keck observatory sets, to characterize the orbital configuration of the planetary system orbiting GJ876. First, we propose and describe in detail a fast method to fit perturbed orbital configuration, based on the integration of the sensitivity equations inferred by the equations of the original N-body problem. Further, we find that it is unsatisfactory to treat the available radial velocity data for GJ876 in the traditional white noise model, because the actual noise appears autocorrelated (and demonstrates non-white frequency spectrum). The time scale of this correlation is about a few days, and the contribution of the correlated noise is about 2 m/s (i.e., similar to the level of internal errors in the Keck data). We propose a variation of the maximum-likelihood algorithm to estimate the orbital configuration of the system, taking into account the red noise effects. We show, in particular, that the non-zero orbital eccentricity of the innermost planet d, obtained in previous studies, is likely a result of misinterpreted red noise in the data. In addition to offsets in some orbital parameters, the red noise also makes the fit uncertainties systematically underestimated (while they are treated in the traditional white noise model). Also, we show that the orbital eccentricity of the outermost planet is actually ill-determined, although bounded by ~0.2. Finally, we investigate possible orbital non-coplanarity of the system, and limit the mutual inclination between the planets b and c orbits by 5°-15°, depending on the angular position of the mutual orbital nodes.

  12. Principles of Planetary Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierrehumbert, Raymond T.

    2010-12-01

    This book introduces the reader to all the basic physical building blocks of climate needed to understand the present and past climate of Earth, the climates of Solar System planets, and the climates of extrasolar planets. These building blocks include thermodynamics, infrared radiative transfer, scattering, surface heat transfer and various processes governing the evolution of atmospheric composition. Nearly four hundred problems are supplied to help consolidate the reader's understanding, and to lead the reader towards original research on planetary climate. This textbook is invaluable for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students in atmospheric science, Earth and planetary science, astrobiology, and physics. It also provides a superb reference text for researchers in these subjects, and is very suitable for academic researchers trained in physics or chemistry who wish to rapidly gain enough background to participate in the excitement of the new research opportunities opening in planetary climate.

  13. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. IV. THE EFFECT OF COSMIC RAYS

    SciTech Connect

    Rimmer, P. B.; Helling, Ch.

    2013-09-10

    Cosmic rays provide an important source for free electrons in Earth's atmosphere and also in dense interstellar regions where they produce a prevailing background ionization. We utilize a Monte Carlo cosmic ray transport model for particle energies of 10{sup 6} eV atmospheres of free-floating objects. The cosmic ray calculations are applied to DRIFT-PHOENIX model atmospheres of an example brown dwarf with effective temperature T{sub eff} = 1500 K, and two example giant gas planets (T{sub eff} = 1000 K, 1500 K). For the model brown dwarf atmosphere, the electron fraction is enhanced significantly by cosmic rays when the pressure p{sub gas} < 10{sup -2} bar. Our example giant gas planet atmosphere suggests that the cosmic ray enhancement extends to 10{sup -4}-10{sup -2} bar, depending on the effective temperature. For the model atmosphere of the example giant gas planet considered here (T{sub eff} = 1000 K), cosmic rays bring the degree of ionization to f{sub e} {approx}> 10{sup -8} when p{sub gas} < 10{sup -8} bar, suggesting that this part of the atmosphere may behave as a weakly ionized plasma. Although cosmic rays enhance the degree of ionization by over three orders of magnitude in the upper atmosphere, the effect is not likely to be significant enough for sustained coupling of the magnetic field to the gas.

  14. Construction of an advanced software tool for planetary atmospheric modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedland, Peter; Keller, Richard M.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Sims, Michael H.; Thompson, David E.

    1992-01-01

    Scientific model-building can be a time intensive and painstaking process, often involving the development of large complex computer programs. Despite the effort involved, scientific models cannot be distributed easily and shared with other scientists. In general, implemented scientific models are complicated, idiosyncratic, and difficult for anyone but the original scientist/programmer to understand. We propose to construct a scientific modeling software tool that serves as an aid to the scientist in developing, using and sharing models. The proposed tool will include an interactive intelligent graphical interface and a high-level domain-specific modeling language. As a test bed for this research, we propose to develop a software prototype in the domain of planetary atmospheric modeling.

  15. Hydrogen atom initiated chemistry. [chemical evolution in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hong, J. H.; Becker, R. S.

    1979-01-01

    H Atoms have been created by the photolysis of H2S. These then initiated reactions in mixtures involving acetylene-ammonia-water and ethylene-ammonia-water. In the case of the acetylene system, the products consisted of two amino acids, ethylene and a group of primarily cyclic thio-compounds, but no free sulfur. In the case of the ethylene systems, seven amino acids, including an aromatic one, ethane, free sulfur, and a group of solely linear thio-compounds were produced. Total quantum yields for the production of amino acids were about 3 x 10 to the -5th and about 2 x 10 to the -4th with ethylene and acetylene respectively as carbon substrates. Consideration is given of the mechanism for the formation of some of the products and implications regarding planetary atmosphere chemistry, particularly that of Jupiter, are explored.

  16. The evolution of solar ultraviolet luminosity. [influence on planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Walker, J. C. G.

    1982-01-01

    Astronomical observations of stars analogous to the sun are used to construct a tentative account of the evolution of solar UV luminosity. Evidence exists that the young sun was a much more powerful source of energetic particles and radiation than it is today, and while on the main sequence, solar activity has declined as an inverse power law of age as a consequence of angular momentum loss to the solar wind. Observations of pre-main sequence stars indicate that before the sun reached the main sequence, it may have emitted as much as ten thousand times the amount of ultraviolet radiation that it does today. The impact of the results on knowledge of photochemistry and escape of constituents of primordial planetary atmospheres is discussed.

  17. Theoretical studies of important processes in planetary and comet atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guberman, Steven L.

    1991-01-01

    The dissociative recombination (DR) of the AB(+) molecular ion with an electron has been shown to be an important component in the detailed interpretation of planetary ionosphere data. A first principles theoretical approach is developed for calculating the DR cross sections and rates for AB(+) molecular ions. The calculations focus on O2(+) and N2(+) DR, and are the first to include the indirect DR mechanism (Ryberg vibrational levels below v = 0 level of ion) for a molecule larger than H2(+). The importance of electron capture width in calculating the cross sections and rates is also examined. Electron capture widths are given for all states of O2 that are of importance to DR (lowest 10 vibrational levels of ion). Knowledge of the details of dissociative recombination will be needed for interpretation of data from future interplanetary and comet atmospheric studies.

  18. Plasma Flow Past Cometary and Planetary Satellite Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Combi, Michael R.; Gombosi, Tamas I.; Kabin, Konstantin

    2000-01-01

    The tenuous atmospheres and ionospheres of comets and outer planet satellites share many common properties and features. Such similarities include a strong interaction with their outer radiation, fields and particles environs. For comets the interaction is with the magnetized solar wind plasma, whereas for satellites the interaction is with the strongly magnetized and corotating planetary magnetospheric plasma. For this reason there are many common or analogous physical regimes, and many of the same modeling techniques are used to interpret remote sensing and in situ measurements in order to study the important underlying physical phenomena responsible for their appearances. We present here a review of various modeling approaches which are used to elucidate the basic properties and processes shaping the energetics and dynamics of these systems which are similar in many respects.

  19. Analytical theories for spacecraft entry into planetary atmospheres and design of planetary probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikia, Sarag J.

    This dissertation deals with the development of analytical theories for spacecraft entry into planetary atmospheres and the design of entry spacecraft or probes for planetary science and human exploration missions. Poincare's method of small parameters is used to develop an improved approximate analytical solution for Yaroshevskii's classical planetary entry equation for the ballistic entry of a spacecraft into planetary atmospheres. From this solution, other important expressions are developed including deceleration, stagnation-point heat rate, and stagnation-point integrated heat load. The accuracy of the solution is assessed via numerical integration of the exact equations of motion. The solution is also compared to the classical solutions of Yaroshevskii and Allen and Eggers. The new second-order analytical solution is more accurate than Yaroshevskii's fifth-order solution for a range of shallow (-3 deg) to steep (up to -90 deg) entry flight path angles, thereby extending the range of applicability of the solution as compared to the classical Yaroshevskii solution, which is restricted to an entry flight path of approximately -40 deg. Universal planetary entry equations are used to develop a new analytical theory for ballistic entry of spacecraft for moderate to large initial flight path angles. Chapman's altitude variable is used as the independent variable. Poincare's method of small parameters is used to develop an analytical solution for the velocity and the flight path angle. The new solution is used to formulate key expressions for range, time-of-flight, deceleration, and aerodynamic heating parameters (e.g., stagnation-point heat rate, total stagnation-point heat load, and average heat input). The classical approximate solution of Chapman's entry equation appears as the zero-order term in the new solution. The new solution represents an order of magnitude enhancement in the accuracy compared to existing analytical solutions for moderate to large entry

  20. Studies of Pressure-Broadening of Alkali Atom Resonance Lines for Modeling Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirby, Kate; Babb, J.; Yoshino, K.

    2004-01-01

    In L-dwarfs and T-dwarfs the resonance lines of sodium and potassium are so profoundly pressure-broadened that their wings extend several hundred nanometers from line center. With accurate knowledge of the line profiles as a function of temperature and pressure: such lines can prove to be valuable diagnostics of the atmospheres of such objects. We have initiated a joint program of theoretical and experimental research to study the line-broadening of alkali atom resonance lines due to collisions with species such as helium and molecular hydrogen. Although potassium and sodium are the alkali species of most interest in the atmospheres of cool brown dwarfs and extrasolar giant planets, some of our theoretical focus this year has involved the calculation of pressure-broadening of lithium resonance lines by He, as a test of a newly developed suite of computer codes. In addition, theoretical calculations have been carried out to determine the leading long range van der Waals coefficients for the interactions of ground and excited alkali metal atoms with helium atoms, to within a probable error of 2%. Such data is important in determining the behavior of the resonance line profiles in the far wings. Important progress has been made on the experimental aspects of the program since the arrival of a postdoctoral fellow in September. A new absorption cell has been designed, which incorporates a number of technical improvements over the previous cell, including a larger cell diameter to enhance the signal, and fittings which allow for easier cleaning, thereby significantly reducing the instrument down-time.

  1. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. V. ALFVÉN IONIZATION

    SciTech Connect

    Stark, C. R.; Helling, Ch.; Rimmer, P. B.; Diver, D. A.

    2013-10-10

    Observations of continuous radio and sporadic X-ray emission from low-mass objects suggest they harbor localized plasmas in their atmospheric environments. For low-mass objects, the degree of thermal ionization is insufficient to qualify the ionized component as a plasma, posing the question: what ionization processes can efficiently produce the required plasma that is the source of the radiation? We propose Alfvén ionization as a mechanism for producing localized pockets of ionized gas in the atmosphere, having sufficient degrees of ionization (≥10{sup –7}) that they constitute plasmas. We outline the criteria required for Alfvén ionization and demonstrate its applicability in the atmospheres of low-mass objects such as giant gas planets, brown dwarfs, and M dwarfs with both solar and sub-solar metallicities. We find that Alfvén ionization is most efficient at mid to low atmospheric pressures where a seed plasma is easier to magnetize and the pressure gradients needed to drive the required neutral flows are the smallest. For the model atmospheres considered, our results show that degrees of ionization of 10{sup –6}-1 can be obtained as a result of Alfvén ionization. Observable consequences include continuum bremsstrahlung emission, superimposed with spectral lines from the plasma ion species (e.g., He, Mg, H{sub 2}, or CO lines). Forbidden lines are also expected from the metastable population. The presence of an atmospheric plasma opens the door to a multitude of plasma and chemical processes not yet considered in current atmospheric models. The occurrence of Alfvén ionization may also be applicable to other astrophysical environments such as protoplanetary disks.

  2. Ionization in Atmospheres of Brown Dwarfs and Extrasolar Planets. V. Alfvén Ionization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, C. R.; Helling, Ch.; Diver, D. A.; Rimmer, P. B.

    2013-10-01

    Observations of continuous radio and sporadic X-ray emission from low-mass objects suggest they harbor localized plasmas in their atmospheric environments. For low-mass objects, the degree of thermal ionization is insufficient to qualify the ionized component as a plasma, posing the question: what ionization processes can efficiently produce the required plasma that is the source of the radiation? We propose Alfvén ionization as a mechanism for producing localized pockets of ionized gas in the atmosphere, having sufficient degrees of ionization (>=10-7) that they constitute plasmas. We outline the criteria required for Alfvén ionization and demonstrate its applicability in the atmospheres of low-mass objects such as giant gas planets, brown dwarfs, and M dwarfs with both solar and sub-solar metallicities. We find that Alfvén ionization is most efficient at mid to low atmospheric pressures where a seed plasma is easier to magnetize and the pressure gradients needed to drive the required neutral flows are the smallest. For the model atmospheres considered, our results show that degrees of ionization of 10-6-1 can be obtained as a result of Alfvén ionization. Observable consequences include continuum bremsstrahlung emission, superimposed with spectral lines from the plasma ion species (e.g., He, Mg, H2, or CO lines). Forbidden lines are also expected from the metastable population. The presence of an atmospheric plasma opens the door to a multitude of plasma and chemical processes not yet considered in current atmospheric models. The occurrence of Alfvén ionization may also be applicable to other astrophysical environments such as protoplanetary disks.

  3. Theory of planetary atmospheres: an introduction to their physics and chemistry /2nd revised and enlarged edition/

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chamberlain, Joseph W.; Hunten, Donald M.

    Theoretical models of planetary atmospheres are characterized in an introductory text intended for graduate physics students and practicing scientists. Chapters are devoted to the vertical structure of an atmosphere; atmospheric hydrodynamics; the chemistry and dynamics of the earth stratosphere; planetary astronomy; ionospheres; airglows, auroras, and aeronomy; and the stability of planetary atmospheres. Extensive graphs, diagrams, and tables of numerical data are provided.

  4. Theory of planetary atmospheres: an introduction to their physics and chemistry /2nd revised and enlarged edition/

    SciTech Connect

    Chamberlain, J.W.; Hunten, D.M.

    1987-01-01

    Theoretical models of planetary atmospheres are characterized in an introductory text intended for graduate physics students and practicing scientists. Chapters are devoted to the vertical structure of an atmosphere; atmospheric hydrodynamics; the chemistry and dynamics of the earth stratosphere; planetary astronomy; ionospheres; airglows, auroras, and aeronomy; and the stability of planetary atmospheres. Extensive graphs, diagrams, and tables of numerical data are provided.

  5. The Atmospheric General Circulation of Synchronously Rotating Planets: Dependence on Planetary Rotation Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, S.; Ishiwatari, M.; Nakajima, K.; Takahashi, Y. O.; Morikawa, Y.; Nishizawa, S.; Hayashi, Y.-Y.

    2011-10-01

    We numerically investigate general circulation of moist atmosphere on synchronously rotating planets to examine the dependence of the atmospheric structure on planetary rotation rate. Three representative surface temperature patterns associated with different structure of heat transport appear. However, total amount of energy transport from dayside to nightside has only weak dependence on planetary rotation rate.

  6. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    PubMed

    Koskinen, Tommi T; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J; Yelle, Roger V

    2014-04-28

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres. PMID:24664923

  7. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Tommi T.; Lavvas, Panayotis; Harris, Matthew J.; Yelle, Roger V.

    2014-01-01

    The detection of hot atomic hydrogen and heavy atoms and ions at high altitudes around close-in extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) such as HD209458b implies that these planets have hot and rapidly escaping atmospheres that extend to several planetary radii. These characteristics, however, cannot be generalized to all close-in EGPs. The thermal escape mechanism and mass loss rate from EGPs depend on a complex interplay between photochemistry and radiative transfer driven by the stellar UV radiation. In this study, we explore how these processes change under different levels of irradiation on giant planets with different characteristics. We confirm that there are two distinct regimes of thermal escape from EGPs, and that the transition between these regimes is relatively sharp. Our results have implications for thermal mass loss rates from different EGPs that we discuss in the context of currently known planets and the detectability of their upper atmospheres. PMID:24664923

  8. IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. II. DUST-INDUCED COLLISIONAL IONIZATION

    SciTech Connect

    Helling, Ch.; Jardine, M.; Mokler, F.

    2011-08-10

    Observations have shown that continuous radio emission and also sporadic H{alpha} and X-ray emission are prominent in singular, low-mass objects later than spectral class M. These activity signatures are interpreted as being caused by coupling of an ionized atmosphere to the stellar magnetic field. What remains a puzzle, however, is the mechanism by which such a cool atmosphere can produce the necessary level of ionization. At these low temperatures, thermal gas processes are insufficient, but the formation of clouds sets in. Cloud particles can act as seeds for electron avalanches in streamers that ionize the ambient gas, and can lead to lightning and indirectly to magnetic field coupling, a combination of processes also expected for protoplanetary disks. However, the precondition is that the cloud particles are charged. We use results from DRIFT-PHOENIX model atmospheres to investigate collisional processes that can lead to the ionization of dust grains inside clouds. We show that ionization by turbulence-induced dust-dust collisions is the most efficient kinetic process. The efficiency is highest in the inner cloud where particles grow quickly and, hence, the dust-to-gas ratio is high. Dust-dust collisions alone are not sufficient to improve the magnetic coupling of the atmosphere inside the cloud layers, but the charges supplied either on grains or within the gas phase as separated electrons can trigger secondary nonlinear processes. Cosmic rays are likely to increase the global level of ionization, but their influence decreases if a strong, large-scale magnetic field is present as on brown dwarfs. We suggest that although thermal gas ionization declines in objects across the fully convective boundary, dust charging by collisional processes can play an important role in the lowest mass objects. The onset of atmospheric dust may therefore correlate with the anomalous X-ray and radio emission in atmospheres that are cool, but charged more than expected by pure

  9. An extended upper atmosphere around the extrasolar planet HD209458b.

    PubMed

    Vidal-Madjar, A; Des Etangs, A Lecavelier; Désert, J-M; Ballester, G E; Ferlet, R; Hébrard, G; Mayor, M

    2003-03-13

    The planet in the system HD209458 is the first one for which repeated transits across the stellar disk have been observed. Together with radial velocity measurements, this has led to a determination of the planet's radius and mass, confirming it to be a gas giant. But despite numerous searches for an atmospheric signature, only the dense lower atmosphere of HD209458b has been observed, through the detection of neutral sodium absorption. Here we report the detection of atomic hydrogen absorption in the stellar Lyman alpha line during three transits of HD209458b. An absorption of 15 +/- 4% (1sigma) is observed. Comparison with models shows that this absorption should take place beyond the Roche limit and therefore can be understood in terms of escaping hydrogen atoms. PMID:12634780

  10. Quasi-axisymmetric circulation and superrotation in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayr, H. G.; Harris, I.

    1983-05-01

    Atmospheric superrotation is ubiquitous in the solar system, and numerous theoretical models have been proposed to describe the effect. However, no model is fully accepted. Problems are primarily related to an understanding of the angular momentum and the energy budgets. In connection with the present investigation, attention is given to hybrid models, where three-dimensional models may describe eddy processes and two-dimensional symmetric models may describe the global scale circulation in the framework of a viscous medium. It is believed that the concept of an axisymmetric circulation is still useful. It is the main purpose of the current investigation to explore some of the properties of the circulation in planetary atmospheres. It is assumed that the eddy transports are downgradient or diffusive in nature. Energy and momentum are perceived to cascade from the global scale circulation driven by the sun to the smaller scale eddies which in turn determine the diffusive properties. A numerical model of the Venusian circulation is presented, and results are discussed for different conditions of static stability.

  11. Crosslink Radio Occultation for the Remote Sensing of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Asmar, S.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahan, D. S.; Paik, M.; Pi, X.; Williamson, W.

    2015-12-01

    Radio occultation utilizing deep space telecommunication signals has been used with great success in the profiling of planetary atmospheres and ionospheres since the 1960s. A shortcoming of this technique, however, is the limited temporal and spatial sampling that it provides. We consider a different approach where radio occultation measurements are taken between two spacecraft orbiting an extra-terrestrial body. Such "crosslink" radio occultations between the Global Positioning System satellites and low-earth orbiting spacecraft have been routinely acquired to provide global observations of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere that are used for weather forecast, climate analysis, and space weather applications. The feasibility of applying this concept to other planets has recently been demonstrated for the first time, where crosslink occultation measurements have been acquired between the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. These measurements leverage the proximity link telecommunication payloads on each orbiter, which are nominally used to provide relay communication and navigation services to Mars landers and rovers. In this presentation, we will describe the Mars crosslink experiments and the corresponding data analysis in detail. In addition, we will discuss how the crosslink occultation concepts can be effectively applied in future space exploration missions.

  12. Extrasolar Storms: The Physics and Chemistry of Evolving Cloud Structures in Brown Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apai, Daniel

    2012-10-01

    Condensate clouds pose the most significant challenge to the understanding of ultracool atmospheres of brown dwarfs and giant exoplanets. In three ongoing Spitzer programs we have taken advantage of Spitzer's ability to obtain high-cadence uninterrupted observations to pioneer a new technique, rotational phase mapping, and successfully explored the properties of cloud covers in ~50 brown dwarfs. Among other exciting results we found that most brown dwarfs possess heterogeneous cloud cover, often with complex surface structures. Perhaps the most perplexing behavior seen in our surveys is light curve evolution on timescales as short as 5 hours and as long as a year. This unexpected behavior offers a unique opportunity to explore the dynamics of cloud layers, but requires multi-epoch data sets. We propose here to follow up a representative set of varying brown dwarfs via multi-epoch Spitzer and HST phase mapping to carry out the first quantitative exploration of cloud cover evolution. The proposed study will establish the first time-resolved multi-wavelength light curve library for brown dwarfs. Spitzer uniquely offers precise 3-5 micron photometry and continuous coverage that allow us to detect cloud structures a fraction of the size of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter in our targets. Combined with HST grism spectroscopy during a subset of the Spitzer observations, the Spitzer phase maps will allow us to disentangle the effects of cloud formation, differential rotation, large-scale rainout and dispersal of clouds. As different wavelengths probe different pressures and different rotational phases probe different latitudes we will be able to explore the two or even three-dimensional structure of the atmospheres. We will also constrain the dynamical and radiative timescales for brown dwarfs and compare these to theoretical predictions to identify the underlying atmospheric dynamics. This program will leave a unique legacy that will propel studies of ultracool atmosphere

  13. Extrasolar Storms: The Physics and Chemistry of Evolving Cloud Structures in Brown Dwarf Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apai, Daniel; Buenzli, Esther; Flateau, Davin; Metchev, Stanimir; Marley, Mark; Radigan, Jacqueline; Lowrance, Patrick; Showman, Adam; Artigau, Etienne; Heinze, Aren; Burgasser, Adam; Mohanty, Subhanjoy

    2012-09-01

    Condensate clouds pose the most significant challenge to the understanding of ultracool atmospheres of brown dwarfs and giant?exoplanets. In three ongoing Spitzer programs we have?taken advantage of Spitzer's ability to obtain high-cadence uninterrupted observations to pioneer a new technique, rotational phase mapping, and successfully explored the properties of cloud covers in ~50 brown?dwarfs. Among other exciting results we found that most brown dwarfs possess heterogeneous cloud cover, often with complex surface structures. Perhaps the most perplexing behavior seen in our surveys is light curve evolution on timescales as short as 5 hours and as long as a year. This unexpected behavior offers a unique opportunity to explore the dynamics of cloud layers, but requires multi-epoch data sets. We propose here to follow up a representative set of varying brown dwarfs via multi-epoch Spitzer and HST phase mapping to carry out the first quantitative exploration of cloud cover evolution. The proposed study will establish the first time-resolved multi-wavelength light curve library for brown dwarfs. Spitzer uniquely offers precise 3-5 micron photometry and continuous coverage that allow us to detect cloud structures a fraction of the size of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter in our targets. Combined with HST grism spectroscopy during a subset of the Spitzer observations, the Spitzer phase maps will allow us to disentangle the effects of cloud formation, differential rotation, large-scale rainout and dispersal of clouds. As different wavelengths probe different pressures and different rotational phases probe different latitudes we will be able to explore the two or even three-dimensional structure of the atmospheres. We will also constrain the dynamical and radiative timescales for brown dwarfs and compare these to theoretical predictions to identify the underlying atmospheric dynamics. This program will leave a unique legacy that will propel studies of ultracool atmosphere

  14. Plasma-induced Escape and Alterations of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, R. E.; Tucker, O. J.; Ewrin, J.; Cassidy, T. A.; Leblanc, F.

    2009-12-01

    The atmospheres of planets and planetary satellites are typically imbedded in space plasmas. Depending on the interaction with the induced or intrinsic fields energetic ions can have access to the thermosphere and the corona affecting their composition and thermal structure and causing loss to space. These processes are often lumped together as ‘atmospheric sputtering’ (Johnson 1994). In this talk I will review the results of simulations of the plasma bombardment at a number of solar system bodies and use those data to describe the effect on the upper atmosphere and on escape. Of considerable recent interest is the modeling of escape from Titan. Prior to Cassini’s tour of the Saturnian system, plasma-induced escape was suggested to be the dominant loss process, but recent models of enhanced thermal escape, often referred to as ‘slow hydrodynamic’ escape, have been suggested to lead to much larger Titan atmospheric loss rates (Strobel 2008; Cui et al. 2008). Such a process has been suggested to be active at some point in time on a number of solar system bodies. I will present hybrid fluid/ kinetic models of the upper atmosphere of certain bodies in order to test both the plasma-induced and thermal escape processes. Preliminary results suggest that the loss rates estimated using the ‘slow hydrodynamic’ escape process can be orders of magnitude too large. The implications for Mars, Titan and Pluto will be discussed. Background for this talk is contained in the following papers (Johnson 2004; 2009; Chaufray et al. 2007; Johnson et al. 2008; 2009; Tucker and Johnson 2009). References: Chaufray, J.Y., R. Modolo, F. Leblanc, G. Chanteur, R.E. Johnson, and J.G. Luhmann, Mars Solar Wind interaction: formation of the Martian corona and atmosphric loss to space, JGR 112, E09009, doi:10.1029/2007JE002915 (2007) Cui, J., Yelle, R. V., Volk, K. Distribution and escape of molecular hydrogen in Titan's thermosphere and exosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 113, doi:10

  15. Clouds and Chemistry in the Atmosphere of Extrasolar Planet HR8799b

    SciTech Connect

    Barman, T S; Macintosh, B A; Konopacky, Q M; Marois, C

    2011-03-21

    Using the integral field spectrograph OSIRIS, on the Keck II telescope, broad near-infrared H and K-band spectra of the young exoplanet HR8799b have been obtained. In addition, six new narrow-band photometric measurements have been taken across the H and K bands. These data are combined with previously published photometry for an analysis of the planet's atmospheric properties. Thick photospheric dust cloud opacity is invoked to explain the planet's red near-IR colors and relatively smooth near-IR spectrum. Strong water absorption is detected, indicating a Hydrogen-rich atmosphere. Only weak CH{sub 4} absorption is detected at K band, indicating efficient vertical mixing and a disequilibrium CO/CH{sub 4} ratio at photospheric depths. The H-band spectrum has a distinct triangular shape consistent with low surface gravity. New giant planet atmosphere models are compared to these data with best fitting bulk parameters, T{sub eff} = 1100K {+-} 100 and log(g) = 3.5 {+-} 0.5 (for solar composition). Given the observed luminosity (log L{sub obs}/L{sub {circle_dot}} {approx} -5.1), these values correspond to a radius of 0.75 R{sub Jup{sub 0.12}{sup +0.17}} and mass {approx} 0.72 M{sub Jup{sub -0.6}{sup +2.6}} - strikingly inconsistent with interior/evolution models. Enhanced metallicity (up to {approx} 10 x that of the Sun) along with thick clouds and non-equilibrium chemistry are likely required to reproduce the complete ensemble of spectroscopic and photometric data and the low effective temperatures (< 1000K) required by the evolution models.

  16. The applications of chemical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics to planetary atmospheres research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.

    1990-01-01

    A review of the applications of chemical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics to planetary atmospheres research during the past four decades is presented with an emphasis on chemical equilibrium models and thermochemical kinetics. Several current problems in planetary atmospheres research such as the origin of the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets, atmosphere-surface interactions on Venus and Mars, deep mixing in the atmospheres of the gas giant planets, and the origin of the atmospheres of outer planet satellites all require laboratory data on the kinetics of thermochemical reactions for their solution.

  17. Compact remote multisensing instrument for planetary surfaces and atmospheres characterization.

    PubMed

    Nurul Abedin, M; Bradley, Arthur T; Ismail, Syed; Sharma, Shiv K; Sandford, Stephen P

    2013-05-10

    This paper describes a prototype feasibility demonstration system of a multipurpose Raman-fluorescence spectrograph and compact lidar system suitable for planetary sciences missions. The key measurement features of this instrument are its abilities to: i) detect minerals and organics at low levels in the dust constituents of surface, subsurface material and rocks on Mars, ii) determine the distribution of trace fluorescent ions with time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to learn about the geological conditions under which these minerals formed, iii) inspect material toxicity from a mobile robotic platform during local site characterization, iv) measure dust aerosol and cloud distributions, v) measure near-field atmospheric carbon dioxide, and vi) identify surface CO(2)-ice, surface water ice, and surface or subsurface methane hydrate. This prototype instrument and an improved follow-on design are described and have the capability for scientific investigations discussed above, to remotely investigate geological processes from a robotic platform at more than a 20-m radial distance with potential to go beyond 100 m. It also provides single wavelength (532 nm) aerosol/cloud profiling over very long ranges (>10 km with potential to 20 km). Measurement results obtained with this prototype unit from a robotic platform and calculated potential performance are presented in this paper. PMID:23669823

  18. Extrasolar Planets & The Power of the Dark Side

    SciTech Connect

    Charbonneau, David

    2009-04-24

    It is only in the last decade that we have direct evidence for planets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars. If such planets happen to pass in front of their stars, we are presented with a golden opportunity to learn about the nature of these objects. Measurements of the dimming of starlight and gravitational wobble allow us to derive the planetary radius and mass, and, by inference, its composition. Recently, we used the Hubble Telescope to detect and study the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet for the first time. I will describe what we have learned about these planets 

  19. Incorporation of the planetary boundary layer in atmospheric models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moeng, Chin-Hoh; Wyngaard, John; Pielke, Roger; Krueger, Steve

    1993-01-01

    The topics discussed include the following: perspectives on planetary boundary layer (PBL) measurements; current problems of PBL parameterization in mesoscale models; and convective cloud-PBL interactions.

  20. Atom Resonance Lines for Modeling Atmosphere: Studies of Pressure-Broadening of Alkali Atom Resonance Lines for Modeling Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hasan, Hashima (Technical Monitor); Kirby, K.; Babb, J.; Yoshino, K.

    2005-01-01

    We report on progress made in a joint program of theoretical and experimental research to study the line-broadening of alkali atom resonance lines due to collisions with species such as helium and molecular hydrogen. Accurate knowledge of the line profiles of Na and K as a function of temperature and pressure will allow such lines to serve as valuable diagnostics of the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extra-solar giant planets. A new experimental apparatus has been designed, built and tested over the past year, and we are poised to begin collecting data on the first system of interest, the potassium resonance lines perturbed by collisions with helium. On the theoretical front, calculations of line-broadening due to sodium collisions with helium are nearly complete, using accurate molecular potential energy curves and transition moments just recently computed for this system. In addition we have completed calculations of the three relevant potential energy curves and associated transition moments for K - He, using the MOLPRO quantum chemistry codes. Currently, calculations of the potential surfaces describing K-H2 are in progress.

  1. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clampin, Mark

    2009-01-01

    EPIC is a NASA mission being studied to detect and characterize Jovian and superEarth planets, and, the dust/debris disks surrounding the parent star. It will be launched into a heliocentric Earth trailing orbit and operate for 5 years. EPIC would operate over the wavelength range of 480 - 960 nm with spectral resolutions of R < 50 and employs a visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) to suppress the starlight, yielding contrast ratios of greater than 9 orders of magnitude. We will discuss the science mission, and its role in the search for habitable planets.

  2. Effects of the Seasonal Cycle on Superrotation in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Jonathan L.; Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Potter, Samuel F.

    2014-05-01

    The dynamics of dry atmospheric general circulation model simulations forced by seasonally varying Newtonian relaxation are explored over a wide range of two control parameters and are compared with the large-scale circulation of Earth, Mars, and Titan in their relevant parameter regimes. Of the parameters that govern the behavior of the system, the thermal Rossby number (Ro) has previously been found to be important in governing the spontaneous transition from an Earth-like climatology of winds to a superrotating one with prograde equatorial winds, in the absence of a seasonal cycle. This case is somewhat unrealistic as it applies only if the planet has zero obliquity or if surface thermal inertia is very large. While Venus has nearly vanishing obliquity, Earth, Mars, and Titan (Saturn) all have obliquities of ~25° and varying degrees of seasonality due to their differing thermal inertias and orbital periods. Motivated by this, we introduce a time-dependent Newtonian cooling to drive a seasonal cycle using idealized model forcing, and we define a second control parameter that mimics non-dimensional thermal inertia of planetary surfaces. We then perform and analyze simulations across the parameter range bracketed by Earth-like and Titan-like regimes, assess the impact on the spontaneous transition to superrotation, and compare Earth, Mars, and Titan to the model simulations in the relevant parameter regime. We find that a large seasonal cycle (small thermal inertia) prevents model atmospheres with large thermal Rossby numbers from developing superrotation by the influences of (1) cross-equatorial momentum advection by the Hadley circulation and (2) hemispherically asymmetric zonal-mean zonal winds that suppress instabilities leading to equatorial momentum convergence. We also demonstrate that baroclinic instabilities must be sufficiently weak to allow superrotation to develop. In the relevant parameter regimes, our seasonal model simulations compare favorably to

  3. Effects of the seasonal cycle on superrotation in planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, Jonathan L.; Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Potter, Samuel F.

    2014-05-20

    The dynamics of dry atmospheric general circulation model simulations forced by seasonally varying Newtonian relaxation are explored over a wide range of two control parameters and are compared with the large-scale circulation of Earth, Mars, and Titan in their relevant parameter regimes. Of the parameters that govern the behavior of the system, the thermal Rossby number (Ro) has previously been found to be important in governing the spontaneous transition from an Earth-like climatology of winds to a superrotating one with prograde equatorial winds, in the absence of a seasonal cycle. This case is somewhat unrealistic as it applies only if the planet has zero obliquity or if surface thermal inertia is very large. While Venus has nearly vanishing obliquity, Earth, Mars, and Titan (Saturn) all have obliquities of ∼25° and varying degrees of seasonality due to their differing thermal inertias and orbital periods. Motivated by this, we introduce a time-dependent Newtonian cooling to drive a seasonal cycle using idealized model forcing, and we define a second control parameter that mimics non-dimensional thermal inertia of planetary surfaces. We then perform and analyze simulations across the parameter range bracketed by Earth-like and Titan-like regimes, assess the impact on the spontaneous transition to superrotation, and compare Earth, Mars, and Titan to the model simulations in the relevant parameter regime. We find that a large seasonal cycle (small thermal inertia) prevents model atmospheres with large thermal Rossby numbers from developing superrotation by the influences of (1) cross-equatorial momentum advection by the Hadley circulation and (2) hemispherically asymmetric zonal-mean zonal winds that suppress instabilities leading to equatorial momentum convergence. We also demonstrate that baroclinic instabilities must be sufficiently weak to allow superrotation to develop. In the relevant parameter regimes, our seasonal model simulations compare favorably to

  4. Spectral Irradiance Measurements of Simulated Lightning in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, W. J.; McKay, C. P.; Jebbens, D.; Lakkaraju, H. S.; Vanajakshi, C. T.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    Optical emissions from lightning provide information to estimate the altitude, latitude and longitude of lightning storms, the energy of the discharges, and the production of important trace species such as HCN and C2H2. Knowledge of the spectra of planetary lightning is needed to deduce the total energy dissipated by lightning (and thereby, the production of trace gases) and to help design experiments to detect and track lightning storms. Measurements of the spectral irradiance from approximately 380 to 820 nm are reported for laboratory simulations of lightning in the atmospheres of Venus, Jupiter, and Titan. In our laboratory, laser-induced plasmas (LIP) are used to simulate lightning discharges. This technique avoids contamination of the spectra by elect-ode material and maintains a safe environment while allowing the use of flammable gases, such as hydrogen and methane, found in outer planet atmospheres. The observations were made at I and 5 bars pressure for Venus and Jupiter and at 1 bar for the Titan mixture. At a pressure of one bar, our results show prominent lines from H(sub alpha), H(sub beta), H(sub gamma), and H(sub delta) lines of the Balmer Series of atomic hydrogen, a single line from Helium at 588 nm and strong continuum radiation. At pressures of 5 bars, the H(sub alpha) and H(sub beta) lines are wider, the H(sub gamma), and H(sub delta) lines merge into the continuum because of pressure broadening, and the helium line at 588 nm is no longer visible. The observed spectra of simulated lightning in the venusian atmosphere at 1 and 5 bars shows that the OI multiplet at 777.7 nm dominates the spectra, but weak features due to atomic carbon and singly excited and singly ionized oxygen atoms are also visible. Although lightning has not yet been observed on Titan, it conceivable that some form of lightning discharge could be occurring. Therefore experiments on a Titan atmosphere mixture were conducted. The most prominent features seen in the simulated

  5. 3.6 AND 4.5 {mu}m PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    SciTech Connect

    Knutson, Heather A.; Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory; Burrows, Adam; Cowan, Nicolas B.; Agol, Eric; Aigrain, Suzanne; Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel; Deming, Drake; Henry, Gregory W.; Langton, Jonathan

    2012-07-20

    We present new, full-orbit observations of the infrared phase variations of the canonical hot Jupiter HD 189733b obtained in the 3.6 and 4.5 {mu}m bands using the Spitzer Space Telescope. When combined with previous phase curve observations at 8.0 and 24 {mu}m, these data allow us to characterize the exoplanet's emission spectrum as a function of planetary longitude and to search for local variations in its vertical thermal profile and atmospheric composition. We utilize an improved method for removing the effects of intrapixel sensitivity variations and robustly extracting phase curve signals from these data, and we calculate our best-fit parameters and uncertainties using a wavelet-based Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis that accounts for the presence of time-correlated noise in our data. We measure a phase curve amplitude of 0.1242% {+-} 0.0061% in the 3.6 {mu}m band and 0.0982% {+-} 0.0089% in the 4.5 {mu}m band, corresponding to brightness temperature contrasts of 503 {+-} 21 K and 264 {+-} 24 K, respectively. We find that the times of minimum and maximum flux occur several hours earlier than predicted for an atmosphere in radiative equilibrium, consistent with the eastward advection of gas by an equatorial super-rotating jet. The locations of the flux minima in our new data differ from our previous observations at 8 {mu}m, and we present new evidence indicating that the flux minimum observed in the 8 {mu}m is likely caused by an overshooting effect in the 8 {mu}m array. We obtain improved estimates for HD 189733b's dayside planet-star flux ratio of 0.1466% {+-} 0.0040% in the 3.6 {mu}m band and 0.1787% {+-} 0.0038% in the 4.5 {mu}m band, corresponding to brightness temperatures of 1328 {+-} 11 K and 1192 {+-} 9 K, respectively; these are the most accurate secondary eclipse depths obtained to date for an extrasolar planet. We compare our new dayside and nightside spectra for HD 189733b to the predictions of one-dimensional radiative transfer models from

  6. Nonthermal atoms in planetary, satellite, and cometary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kupperman, David Gerson

    1999-08-01

    The effect of nonthermal atoms is investigated in planetary, satellite, and cometary atmospheres. In the Earth's lower thermosphere, it is demonstrated that nonthermal N(4S) and O(3P) atoms increase the peak NO density, bringing closer model and observational (108 cm-3) densities. However, they are insufficient to remove the total NO deficit and only result in a peak NO density of approximately 3 × 107 cm-3 at 105 km. The loss of nonthermal N(4S) atoms from Titan and Triton are found to be 9 × 1024 and 1.5 × 1024 N atoms s-1, respectively. We find that the observational estimates of Strobel et al. [1992] are consistent with our modeling of escape from Titan. The loss of O atoms from Mars by nonthermal processes is a vital part of understanding the H2O and CO2 budgets in respect to how the Martian atmosphere has evolved. Anderson and Hord [1971] inferred the H escape flux to be approximately 1.8 × 108 cm -2 s-1 from Mariner 6 and 7 ultraviolet data. McElroy et al. [1977] initially calculated an 0 atom escape rate that was approximately half the H escape rate. However, with more sophisticated modeling this result was shown to be an order of magnitude too large [Lammer and Bauer, 1991; Fox, 1993; Luhmann, 1997]. In this work, we demonstrate that the O escape rate due to dissociative recombination of O2 + can be in stoichiometric balance with H escape over a solar cycle. Observations of comet Hale-Bopp reveal a third type of tail consisting of neutral sodium atoms. Using a point source of atomic sodium to model the observed tail, the sodium production is found to be 3.5 × 10 25 atoms s-1. This result suggests that the source of the sodium is either from the nucleus or inner coma. The production rates of water and carbon monoxide near perihelion are found to be 1031 s-1 and 2.7 × 1030 s-1 , respectively. The abundance of observed Na in the tail is inconsistent with cosmic abundances, suggesting that the majority of the sodium is trapped in the comet nucleus or

  7. Problem of photochemical equilibrium of ozone in planetary atmospheres: Ozone distribution in the lower atmosphere of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grams, G. W.; SHARDANAND

    1972-01-01

    The inherent errors of applying terrestrial atmospheric ozone distribution studies to the atmosphere of other planets are discussed. Limitations associated with some of the earlier treatments of photochemical equilibrium distributions of ozone in planetary atmospheres are described. A technique having more universal application is presented. Ozone concentration profiles for the Martian atmosphere based on the results of the Mariner 4 radio occultation experiment and the more recent results with Mariner 6 and Mariner 7 have been calculated using this approach.

  8. Validation of Atmospheric Dynamics (VADY) - connections between planetary waves and atmospheric circulation types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Benjamin; Jacobeit, Jucundus; Beck, Christoph; Philipp, Andreas

    2015-04-01

    The climate research program "Medium-range Climate Predictions" (MiKlip), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF), has the aim to develop a climate model system (MPI-ESM) that can provide reliable decadal predictions of climate, including extreme weather events. A substantial part of the development process is a comprehensive model validation. Within MiKlip, it includes comparisons of model simulations and observations in order to allow statements about the performance of the model and to give particular recommendations for the further development of the model. The research project "Validation of Atmospheric Dynamics" (VADY), conducted by the cooperation partners "Institute of Geography at the University of Augsburg" (IGUA) and the "German Aerospace Centre" (DLR), contributes to model validation within MiKlip with a special focus on atmospheric waves and circulation dynamics. Within the framework of VADY, DLR validates the representation of atmospheric waves on different levels and scales based on suitable activity indices (e.g. the so-called large-scale dynamical activity index (LDAI), which is a measure for the activity of planetary waves). The focus of IGUA is on the model validation with respect to the representation of atmospheric circulation types, dynamical modes and the teleconnectivity of the atmospheric circulation. Currently, the connection between LDAI and atmospheric circulation types on different levels and for different seasons in the North Atlantic-European region is analysed by considering, in particular, the North Atlantic Oscillation. Results will be shown for the connection between LDAI and atmospheric circulation types and subsequently for the representation of the identified connections in the decadal-prediction model system of MPI-ESM.

  9. Analytic theory of orbit contraction and ballistic entry into planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Longuski, J. M.; Vinh, N. X.

    1980-01-01

    A space object traveling through an atmosphere is governed by two forces: aerodynamic and gravitational. On this premise, equations of motion are derived to provide a set of universal entry equations applicable to all regimes of atmospheric flight from orbital motion under the dissipate force of drag through the dynamic phase of reentry, and finally to the point of contact with the planetary surface. Rigorous mathematical techniques such as averaging, Poincare's method of small parameters, and Lagrange's expansion, applied to obtain a highly accurate, purely analytic theory for orbit contraction and ballistic entry into planetary atmospheres. The theory has a wide range of applications to modern problems including orbit decay of artificial satellites, atmospheric capture of planetary probes, atmospheric grazing, and ballistic reentry of manned and unmanned space vehicles.

  10. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1992-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments and earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing atmospheric constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. The use of theoretically derived microwave absorption properties for such atmospheric constituents, or using laboratory measurements of such properties under environmental conditions which are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often leads to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. The recognition of the need to make such laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the altitudes probed by both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to those used in both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. The goal of this investigation was to conduct such measurements and to apply the results to a wide range of planetary observations, both spacecraft and earth-based, in order to determine the identity and abundance profiles of constituents in those planetary atmospheres.

  11. Laboratory Evaluation and Application of Microwave Absorption Properties Under Simulated Conditions for Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1997-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments and earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. The use of theoretically-derived microwave absorption properties for such atmospheric constituents, or using laboratory measurements of such properties under environmental conditions which are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often leads to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. Laboratory measurements completed under this grant (NAGW-533), have shown that the opacity from, SO2 under simulated Venus conditions is best described by a different lineshape than was previously used in theoretical predictions. The recognition of the need to make such laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the altitudes probed by both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to those used in both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. It has been the goal of this investigation to conduct such measurements and to apply the results to a wide range of planetary observations, both spacecraft and earth-based, in order to determine the identity and abundance profiles of constituents in those planetary atmospheres.

  12. A Decade of Extrasolar Planets around Normal Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livio, Mario; Sahu, Kailash; Valenti, Jeff

    2008-06-01

    1. Extrasolar planets: past, present, and future A. P. Boss; 2. The quest for very low-mass planets M. Mayor, F. Pepe, C. Lovis, D. Queloz and S. Udry; 3. Extrasolar planets: a galactic perspective I. N. Reid; 4. The Kepler Mission: Design, expected science results, opportunities to participate W. J. Borucki, D. Koch, G. Basri, T. Brown, D. Caldwell, E. Devore, E. Dunham, T. Gautier, J. Geary, R. Gilliland, A. Gould, S. Howell, J. Jenkins and D. Latham; 5. Observations of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets T. M. Brown, R. Alonso, M. Knölker, H. Rauer and W. Schmidt; 6. Planetary migration P. J. Armitage and W. K. M. Rice; 7. Observational constraints on dust disk lifetimes: implications for planet formation L. A. Hillenbrand; 8. The evolution of gas in disks J. Najita; 9. Planet formation J.J. Lissauer; 10. Core accretion-gas capture model for gas giant planet formation O. Hubickyj; 11. Gravitational instabilities in protoplanetary disks R. H. Durisen; 12. Conference summary: the quest for new worlds J. E. Pringle.

  13. A Decade of Extrasolar Planets around Normal Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livio, Mario; Sahu, Kailash; Valenti, Jeff

    2011-04-01

    1. Extrasolar planets: past, present, and future A. P. Boss; 2. The quest for very low-mass planets M. Mayor, F. Pepe, C. Lovis, D. Queloz and S. Udry; 3. Extrasolar planets: a galactic perspective I. N. Reid; 4. The Kepler Mission: Design, expected science results, opportunities to participate W. J. Borucki, D. Koch, G. Basri, T. Brown, D. Caldwell, E. Devore, E. Dunham, T. Gautier, J. Geary, R. Gilliland, A. Gould, S. Howell, J. Jenkins and D. Latham; 5. Observations of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets T. M. Brown, R. Alonso, M. Knölker, H. Rauer and W. Schmidt; 6. Planetary migration P. J. Armitage and W. K. M. Rice; 7. Observational constraints on dust disk lifetimes: implications for planet formation L. A. Hillenbrand; 8. The evolution of gas in disks J. Najita; 9. Planet formation J.J. Lissauer; 10. Core accretion-gas capture model for gas giant planet formation O. Hubickyj; 11. Gravitational instabilities in protoplanetary disks R. H. Durisen; 12. Conference summary: the quest for new worlds J. E. Pringle.

  14. Detecting tree-like multicellular life on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Doughty, Christopher E; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems

  15. Detecting Tree-like Multicellular Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doughty, Christopher E.; Wolf, Adam

    2010-11-01

    Over the next two decades, NASA and ESA are planning a series of space-based observatories to find Earth-like planets and determine whether life exists on these planets. Previous studies have assessed the likelihood of detecting life through signs of biogenic gases in the atmosphere or a red edge. Biogenic gases and the red edge could be signs of either single-celled or multicellular life. In this study, we propose a technique with which to determine whether tree-like multicellular life exists on extrasolar planets. For multicellular photosynthetic organisms on Earth, competition for light and the need to transport water and nutrients has led to a tree-like body plan characterized by hierarchical branching networks. This design results in a distinct bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) that causes differing reflectance at different sun/view geometries. BRDF arises from the changing visibility of the shadows cast by objects, and the presence of tree-like structures is clearly distinguishable from flat ground with the same reflectance spectrum. We examined whether the BRDF could detect the existence of tree-like structures on an extrasolar planet by using changes in planetary albedo as a planet orbits its star. We used a semi-empirical BRDF model to simulate vegetation reflectance at different planetary phase angles and both simulated and real cloud cover to calculate disk and rotation-averaged planetary albedo for a vegetated and non-vegetated planet with abundant liquid water. We found that even if the entire planetary albedo were rendered to a single pixel, the rate of increase of albedo as a planet approaches full illumination would be comparatively greater on a vegetated planet than on a non-vegetated planet. Depending on how accurately planetary cloud cover can be resolved and the capabilities of the coronagraph to resolve exoplanets, this technique could theoretically detect tree-like multicellular life on exoplanets in 50 stellar systems.

  16. PLANETARY CORE FORMATION WITH COLLISIONAL FRAGMENTATION AND ATMOSPHERE TO FORM GAS GIANT PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Krivov, Alexander V.; Tanaka, Hidekazu

    2011-09-01

    Massive planetary cores ({approx}10 Earth masses) trigger rapid gas accretion to form gas giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn. We investigate the core growth and the possibilities for cores to reach such a critical core mass. At the late stage, planetary cores grow through collisions with small planetesimals. Collisional fragmentation of planetesimals, which is induced by gravitational interaction with planetary cores, reduces the amount of planetesimals surrounding them, and thus the final core masses. Starting from small planetesimals that the fragmentation rapidly removes, less massive cores are formed. However, planetary cores acquire atmospheres that enlarge their collisional cross section before rapid gas accretion. Once planetary cores exceed about Mars mass, atmospheres significantly accelerate the growth of cores. We show that, taking into account the effects of fragmentation and atmosphere, initially large planetesimals enable formation of sufficiently massive cores. On the other hand, because the growth of cores is slow for large planetesimals, a massive disk is necessary for cores to grow enough within a disk lifetime. If the disk with 100 km sized initial planetesimals is 10 times as massive as the minimum mass solar nebula, planetary cores can exceed 10 Earth masses in the Jovian planet region (>5 AU).

  17. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1987-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments and Earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing atmospheric constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorping properties of potential constituents is available. The use of theoretically derived microwave absorption properties for such atmospheric constituents, or laboratory measurements of such properties under environmental conditions which are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often leads to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. Laboratory measurement of the microwave properties of atmospheric gases under simulated conditions for the outer planets were conducted. Results of these measurements are discussed.

  18. Planetary Motion in the Atmospheres of Red Giants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volobueva, M. I.; Tarakanov, P. A.

    2015-09-01

    When a star reaches the red giant stage in the course of its evolution, its closest planets are in its atmosphere. Numerical gas dynamic models are constructed for hypersonic flow around planets by matter in the atmosphere of a red giant. The results are compared with analytic models for the motion of planets in the atmospheres of stars.

  19. Outer satellite atmospheres: Their nature and planetary interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, W. H.; Combi, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Significant insights regarding the nature and interactions of Io and the planetary magnetosphere were gained through modeling studies of the spatial morphology and brightness of the Io sodium cloud. East-west intensity asymmetries in Region A are consistent with an east-west electric field and the offset of the magnetic and planetary-spin axes. East-west orbital asymmetries and the absolute brightness of Region B suggest a low-velocity (3 km/sec) satellite source of 1 to 2 x 10(26) sodium atoms/sec. The time-varying spatial structure of the sodium directional features in near Region C provides direct evidence for a magnetospheric-wind-driven escape mechanism with a high-velocity (20 km/sec) source of 1 x 10(26) atoms/sec and a flux distribution enhanced at the equator relative to the poles. A model for the Io potassium cloud is presented and analysis of data suggests a low velocity source rate of 5 x 10(24) atoms/sec. To understand the role of Titan and non-Titan sources for H atoms in the Saturn system, the lifetime of hydrogen in the planetary magnetosphere was incorporated into the earlier Titan torus model of Smyth (1981) and its expected impact discussed. A particle trajectory model for cometary hydrogen is presented and applied to the Lyman-alpha distribution of Comet Kohoutek (1973XII).

  20. Ion precipitation in planetary upper atmospheres: test particle simulations and implications for escape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, Christopher; Liemohn; Fang, Xiaohua

    A 3-D Monte Carlo energetic particle transport model has been developed and successfully applied to ion precipitation into planetary upper atmospheres in our solar system (viz., Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), and can be readily be extended using a full Lorentz motion formu-lation in the absence of strong dipole planetary magnetic fields. This model can be used with a variety of other models to assess the influence of hot ion precipitation on the thermosphere and exosphere of planetary atmospheres and the subsequent sputtering and escape. For instance in the case of Mars, a pick-up ion transport model already exists to allow for particle acceleration exerted by the convection electric field used in conjunction with existing model results from the Mars Thermosphere General Circulation Model (MTGCM) and the BATS-R-US global MHD model. The loss of exospheric neutrals through ionization, in which they become pick-up ions in the solar wind, can be calculated to examine the relative contribution of the various ionization processes. Solar wind protons as well as pick-up ions from a planetary exosphere routinely enter and alter their upper atmosphere. A study of the pick-up ion escape, sputtering, ion-ization, excitation, and energy deposition will be reviewed and discussed, resulting in a robust examination of the influence of energetic ion transport on planetary upper atmospheres.

  1. On Detecting Biospheres from Chemical Thermodynamic Disequilibrium in Planetary Atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Krissansen-Totton, Joshua; Bergsman, David S; Catling, David C

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric chemical disequilibrium has been proposed as a method for detecting extraterrestrial biospheres from exoplanet observations. Chemical disequilibrium is potentially a generalized biosignature since it makes no assumptions about particular biogenic gases or metabolisms. Here, we present the first rigorous calculations of the thermodynamic chemical disequilibrium in Solar System atmospheres, in which we quantify the available Gibbs energy: the Gibbs free energy of an observed atmosphere minus that of atmospheric gases reacted to equilibrium. The purely gas phase disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere is mostly attributable to O2 and CH4. The available Gibbs energy is not unusual compared to other Solar System atmospheres and smaller than that of Mars. However, Earth's fluid envelope contains an ocean, allowing gases to react with water and requiring a multiphase calculation with aqueous species. The disequilibrium in Earth's atmosphere-ocean system (in joules per mole of atmosphere) ranges from ∼20 to 2 × 10(6) times larger than the disequilibria of other atmospheres in the Solar System, where Mars is second to Earth. Only on Earth is the chemical disequilibrium energy comparable to the thermal energy per mole of atmosphere (excluding comparison to Titan with lakes, where quantification is precluded because the mean lake composition is unknown). Earth's disequilibrium is biogenic, mainly caused by the coexistence of N2, O2, and liquid water instead of more stable nitrate. In comparison, the O2-CH4 disequilibrium is minor, although kinetics requires a large CH4 flux into the atmosphere. We identify abiotic processes that cause disequilibrium in the other atmospheres. Our metric requires minimal assumptions and could potentially be calculated from observations of exoplanet atmospheres. However, further work is needed to establish whether thermodynamic disequilibrium is a practical exoplanet biosignature, requiring an assessment of false positives, noisy

  2. Theory of Tumbling Bodies Entering Planetary Atmospheres with Application to Probe Vehicles and the Australian Tektites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tobak, Murray; Peterson, Victor L.

    1964-01-01

    The tumbling motion of aerodynamically stable bodies entering planetary atmospheres is analyzed considering that the tumbling, its arrest, and the subsequent oscillatory motion are governed by the equation for the fifth Painleve' transcendent. Results based on the asymptotic behavior of the transcendent are applied to study (1) the oscillatory behavior of planetary probe vehicles in relation to aerodynamic heating and loads and (2) the dynamic behavior of the Australian tektites on entering the Earth's atmosphere, under the hypothesis that their origin was the Moon.

  3. On the polarity of cyclostrophic flow in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayr, H. G.; Conrath, B. J.; Harris, I.

    1981-01-01

    Fluids which are completely inviscid in the mathematical sense do not exist. Thus, the concepts of gradient flow and cyclostrophic balance are interpreted as approximate solutions of a boundary value problem for small but finite viscosity. Large scale phenomena such as the superrotation of Venus and cyclones are effectively bounded by the rigidly rotating planetary surface. This polarizes the circulation and excludes so-called anomalous motions from the flow regime. With scale phenomena such as dust devils, both directions are observed which is attributed to the stochastic nature of wind systems surrounding the disturbance.

  4. The effect of carbon monoxide on planetary haze formation

    SciTech Connect

    Hörst, S. M.; Tolbert, M. A

    2014-01-20

    Organic haze plays a key role in many planetary processes ranging from influencing the radiation budget of an atmosphere to serving as a source of prebiotic molecules on the surface. Numerous experiments have investigated the aerosols produced by exposing mixtures of N{sub 2}/CH{sub 4} to a variety of energy sources. However, many N{sub 2}/CH{sub 4} atmospheres in both our solar system and extrasolar planetary systems also contain carbon monoxide (CO). We have conducted a series of atmosphere simulation experiments to investigate the effect of CO on the formation and particle size of planetary haze analogues for a range of CO mixing ratios using two different energy sources, spark discharge and UV. We find that CO strongly affects both number density and particle size of the aerosols produced in our experiments and indicates that CO may play an important, previously unexplored, role in aerosol chemistry in planetary atmospheres.

  5. Possibility of growth of airborne microbes in outer planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dimmick, R. L.; Chatigny, M. A.

    1975-01-01

    It is shown that airborne bacteria can maintain metabolic functions in a suitable atmosphere. It is theorized that particles in the Jovian atmosphere would have physical half-lives of 10 to 1500 years, depending upon which of two turbulent models is chosen.

  6. Atmospheric General Circulations of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets: Dependence on Planetary Rotation Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, S.; Ishiwatari, M.; Nakajima, K.; Takahashi, Y. O.; Morikawa, Y.; Nishizawa, S.; Hayashi, Y.-Y.

    2012-04-01

    In order to investigate a variety of climates of synchronously rotating terrestrial planets, a parameter study on the dependence on planetary rotation rate Ω is performed by using a general circulation model (GCM) with simplified hydrologic and radiative processes. The planetary rotation rate is varied from zero to the Earth's value, and other parameters such as orbital parameters, planetary radius, solar constant are set to the Earth's values. The results show that there emerge four typical atmospheric states in ascending order of planetary rotation rate as follows: States in which dayside-nightside direct circulations dominate States in which weak super rotation emerges States in which strong super rotation emerges and meridionally asymmetric patterns oscillate States in which precipitation disturbances emerge in nightside midlatitudinal regions The atmospheric state is gradually accompanied by a qualitative circulation change from state (1) to state (3) with increasing Ω from zero, although Merlis and Schneider (2010) which performed similar GCM experiments lump together cases with small planetary rotation rates under the term "slowly rotating atmospheres". For cases for planetary rotation rate with the values of 0.75-0.85 times of the terrestrial value, multiple equilibrium solutions of state (3) and state (4) are obtained. It is shown that, in addition to dry atmosphere (Edson et al., 2011), moist atmospheres on synchronously rotating planet also have multiple equilibrium solutions. Although circulation patterns and amount of sensible/latent heat transport from the dayside to the nightside changes with the change of Ω, summation of sensible heat transport and latent heat transport almost remains unchanged, and the dependence of dayside to nightside temperature contrast on Ω is small.

  7. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1989-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments and earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing atmospheric constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. Work performed has shown that laboratory measurements of the millimeter-wave opacity of ammonia between 7.5 mm and 9.3 mm and also at the 3.2 mm wavelength require a different lineshape to be used in the theoretical prediction for millimeter-wave ammonia opacity than was previously used. The recognition of the need to make such laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the altitudes probed by both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to those used in both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. It has been the goal of this investigation to conduct such measurements and to apply the results to a wide range of planetary observations, both spacecraft and earth-based, in order to determine the identity and abundance profiles of constituents in those planetary atmospheres.

  8. Laboratory Evaluation and Application of Microwave Absorption Properties under Simulated Conditions for Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    2002-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments, entry probe radio signal absorption measurements, and earth-based or spacecraft-based radio astronomical (emission) observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. The use of theoretically-derived microwave absorption properties for such atmospheric constituents, or the use of laboratory measurements of such properties taken under environmental conditions that are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often leads to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. Laboratory measurements have shown that the centimeter-wavelength opacity from gaseous phosphine (PH3) under simulated conditions for the outer planets far exceeds that predicted from theory over a wide range of temperatures and pressures. This fundamentally changed the resulting interpretation of Voyager radio occultation data at Saturn and Neptune. It also directly impacts planning and scientific goals for study of Saturn's atmosphere with the Cassini Radio Science Experiment and the Rossini RADAR instrument. The recognition of the need to make such laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the altitudes probed by both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to those used in both spacecraft entry probe and orbiter (or flyby) radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. It has been the goal of this investigation to conduct such measurements and to apply the results to a wide range of planetary observations

  9. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1992-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments and earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing atmospheric constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. The use of theoretically-derived microwave absorption properties for such atmospheric constituents, or using laboratory measurements of such properties under environmental conditions which are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often leads to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. For example, laboratory measurements performed by Fahd and Steffes have shown that the opacity from gaseous SO2 under simulated Venus conditions can be well described by the Van Vleck-Weisskopf lineshape at wavelengths shortward of 2 cm, but that the opacity of wavelengths greater than 2 cm is best described by a different lineshape that was previously used in theoretical predictions. The recognition of the need to make such laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the altitudes probed by both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to those used in both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. It has been the goal of this investigation to conduct such measurements and to apply the results to a wide range of planetary observations, both spacecraft and earth-based, in order to determine the identity and abundance profiles of constituents in those planetary atmospheres.

  10. Research in planetary studies and operation of the Mauna Kea Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.

    1986-01-01

    The research programs are highlighted in the following areas: major planets; planetary satellites and rings; asteroids; comets; dark organic matter; theoretical and analytical structures; extrasolar planetary; and telescopes.

  11. Diversity of Planetary Atmospheric Circulations and Climates in a Simplified General Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yixiong; Read, Peter

    2014-04-01

    The parametric dependence of terrestrial planetary atmospheric circulations and climates on characteristic parameters is studied. A simplified general circulation model-PUMA is employed to investigate the dynamic effects of planetary rotation rate and equator-to-pole temperature difference on the circulation and climate of terrestrial planetary atmospheres. Five different types of circulation regime are identified by mapping the experimental results in a 2-D parameter space defined by thermal Rossby number and frictional Taylor number. The effect of the transfer and redistribution of radiative energy is studied by building up a new two-band semi-gray radiative-convective scheme, which is capable of modelling greenhouse and anti-greenhouse effects while keeping the tunable parameters as few as possible. The results will provide insights into predicting the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets.

  12. Modification of planetary atmospheres by material from the rings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atreya, S. K.

    1984-01-01

    The modification of the atmospheres and ionospheres of ringed planets by the injection of ionized and neutral material from the rings is discussed, on the basis of Pioneer and Voyager observations. It is shown that although no direct evidence exists for the injection of material from the rings into the atmosphere, such an interaction could account for the observed thermal structure and ionospheric properties of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and the Jovian satellite Io.

  13. Possibility of growth of airborne microbes in outer planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dimmick, R. L.; Chatigny, M. A.

    1976-01-01

    The state of the art of laboratory aerobiological research is briefly reviewed. Experiments are described in which the biological behavior of microbes in or on aerosol particles is investigated in a stirred settling chamber and a rotating drum. Experimental findings are summarized which indicate that airborne bacteria can maintain metabolic functions in a suitable atmosphere. These studies have been undertaken in consideration of the possibility that Jupiter's atmosphere might be contaminated if a space probe enters a biological stratum.

  14. Laboratory Evaluation and Application of Microwave Absorption Properties Under Simulated Conditions for Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1998-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments, entry probe radio signal absorption measurements, and earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. The use of theoretically-derived microwave absorption properties for such atmospheric constituents, or using laboratory measurements of such properties taken under environmental conditions which are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often leads to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. For example, laboratory measurements completed recently by Kolodner and Steffes (ICARUS 132, pp. 151-169, March 1998, attached as Appendix A) under this grant (NAGS-4190), have shown that the opacity from gaseous H2SO4 under simulated Venus conditions is best described by a different formalism than was previously used. The recognition of the need to make such laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the altitudes probed by both spacecraft entry probe and orbiter radio occultation experiments and by radio astronomical observations, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to those used in such experiments, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. It has been the goal of this investigation to conduct such measurements and to apply the results to a wide range of planetary observations, both spacecraft and earth-based, in order to determine the identity and abundance profiles of constituents in those planetary atmospheres.

  15. GRAVITY WAVES ON HOT EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. I. PROPAGATION AND INTERACTION WITH THE BACKGROUND

    SciTech Connect

    Watkins, Chris; Cho, J. Y-K. E-mail: J.Cho@qmul.ac.u

    2010-05-01

    We study the effects of gravity waves, or g-modes, on hot extrasolar planets. These planets are expected to possess stably stratified atmospheres, which support gravity waves. In this paper, we review the derivation of the equation that governs the linear dynamics of gravity waves and describe its application to a hot extrasolar planet, using HD 209458 b as a generic example. We find that gravity waves can exhibit a wide range of behaviors, even for a single atmospheric profile. The waves can significantly accelerate or decelerate the background mean flow, depending on the difference between the wave phase and mean flow speeds. In addition, the waves can provide significant heating ({approx}10{sup 2} to {approx}10{sup 3} K per planetary rotation), especially to the region of the atmosphere above about 10 scale heights from the excitation region. Furthermore, by propagating horizontally, gravity waves provide a mechanism for transporting momentum and heat from the dayside of a tidally locked planet to its nightside. We discuss work that needs to be undertaken to incorporate these effects in current atmosphere models of extrasolar planets.

  16. Spectroscopy in the study of planetary atmospheres - Abundances from the visible region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lutz, B. L.

    1978-01-01

    Spectrophotometric studies of three molecular constituents - hydrogen, methane, and ammonia - identified in the visible region of the spectra of the outer planets are reviewed. The history of quadrupole line observations for hydrogen molecules and the significance of the HD molecule for the dipole spectrum are considered. Approaches to quantitative estimates of methane concentration in planetary atmospheres are explained, and the detection of ammonia in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn is described.

  17. Transmission spectroscopy of HAT-P-32b with the LBT: confirmation of clouds/hazes in the planetary atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallonn, M.; Strassmeier, K. G.

    2016-05-01

    Aims: Spectroscopic observations of a transit event of an extrasolar planet offer the opportunity to study the composition of the planetary atmosphere. This can be done with comparably little telescope time using a low-resolution multi-object spectrograph at a large aperture telescope. We observed a transit of the inflated hot Jupiter HAT-P-32b with the Multi-Object Double Spectrograph at the Large Binocular Telescope to characterize its atmosphere from 3300 to 10 000 Å. Methods: A time series of target and reference star spectra was binned in two broad-band wavelength channels, from which differential transit light curves were constructed. These broad-band light curves were used to confirm previous transit parameter determinations. To derive the planetary transmission spectrum with a resolution of R ~ 60, we created a chromatic set of 62 narrow-band light curves. The spectrum was corrected for the third light of a nearby M star. Additionally, we undertook a photometric monitoring campaign of the host star to correct for the influence of starspots. Results: The transmission spectrum of HAT-P-32b shows no pressure-broadened absorption features from Na and K, which is interpreted by the presence of clouds or hazes in the planetary atmosphere. This result is in agreement with previous studies on the same planet. The presence of TiO in gas phase could be ruled out. We find a 2.8σ indication of increased absorption in the line core of potassium (K I 7699 Å). No narrow absorption features of Na and Hα were detected. Furthermore, tentative indications were found for a slope of increasing opacity toward blue wavelengths from the near-IR to the near-UV with an amplitude of two scale heights. If confirmed by follow-up observations, it can be explained by aerosols either causing Mie scattering or causing Rayleigh scattering with an aerosol - gas scale height ratio below unity. The host star was found to be photometrically stable within the measurement precision. Based on

  18. Exploring extrasolar worlds: from gas giants to terrestrial habitable planets.

    PubMed

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Griffith, Caitlin A; Swain, Mark R; Deroo, Pieter; Beaulieu, Jean Philippe; Vasisht, Gautam; Kipping, David; Waldmann, Ingo; Tennyson, Jonathan; Barber, Robert J; Bouwman, Jeroen; Allard, Nicole; Brown, Linda R

    2010-01-01

    Almost 500 extrasolar planets have been found since the discovery of 51 Peg b by Mayor and Queloz in 1995. The traditional field of planetology has thus expanded its frontiers to include planetary environments not represented in our Solar System. We expect that in the next five years space missions (Corot, Kepler and GAIA) or ground-based detection techniques will both increase exponentially the number of new planets discovered and lower the present limit of a approximately 1.9 Earth-mass object [e.g. Mayor et al., Astron. Astrophys., 2009, 507, 487]. While the search for an Earth-twin orbiting a Sun-twin has been one of the major goals pursued by the exoplanet community in the past years, the possibility of sounding the atmospheric composition and structure of an increasing sample of exoplanets with current telescopes has opened new opportunities, unthinkable just a few years ago. As a result, it is possible now not only to determine the orbital characteristics of the new bodies, but moreover to study the exotic environments that lie tens of parsecs away from us. The analysis of the starlight not intercepted by the thin atmospheric limb of its planetary companion (transit spectroscopy), or of the light emitted/reflected by the exoplanet itself, will guide our understanding of the atmospheres and the surfaces of these extrasolar worlds in the next few years. Preliminary results obtained by interpreting current atmospheric observations of transiting gas giants and Neptunes are presented. While the full characterisation of an Earth-twin might requires a technological leap, our understanding of large terrestrial planets (so called super-Earths) orbiting bright, later-type stars is within reach by current space and ground telescopes. PMID:21302557

  19. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC): A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateo-Marti, Eva

    2014-08-01

    The study of planetary environments of astrobiological interest has become a major challenge. Because of the obvious technical and economical limitations on in situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are one of the most feasible research options to make advances both in planetary science and in developing a consistent description of the origin of life. With this objective in mind, we applied vacuum technology to the design of versatile vacuum chambers devoted to the simulation of planetary atmospheres' conditions. These vacuum chambers are able to simulate atmospheres and surface temperatures representative of the majority of planetary objects, and they are especially appropriate for studying the physical, chemical and biological changes induced in a particular sample by in situ irradiation or physical parameters in a controlled environment. Vacuum chambers are a promising potential tool in several scientific and technological fields, such as engineering, chemistry, geology and biology. They also offer the possibility of discriminating between the effects of individual physical parameters and selected combinations thereof. The implementation of our vacuum chambers in combination with analytical techniques was specifically developed to make feasible the in situ physico-chemical characterization of samples. Many wide-ranging applications in astrobiology are detailed herein to provide an understanding of the potential and flexibility of these experimental systems. Instruments and engineering technology for space applications could take advantage of our environment-simulation chambers for sensor calibration. Our systems also provide the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the chemical reactivity of molecules on surfaces under different environments, thereby leading to a greater understanding of interface processes in prebiotic chemical reactions and facilitating studies of UV photostability and photochemistry on surfaces. Furthermore, the

  20. Biological modulation of planetary atmospheres: The early Earth scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schidlowski, M.

    1985-01-01

    The establishment and subsequent evolution of life on Earth had a profound impact on the chemical regime at the planet's surface and its atmosphere. A thermodynamic gradient was imposed on near-surface environments that served as the driving force for a number on important geochemical transformations. An example is the redox imbalance between the modern atmosphere and the material of the Earth's crust. Current photochemical models predict extremely low partial pressures of oxygen in the Earth's prebiological atmosphere. There is widespread consensus that any large-scale oxygenation of the primitive atmosphere was contingent on the advent of biological (autotrophic) carbon fixation. It is suggested that photoautotrophy existed both as a biochemical process and as a geochemical agent since at least 3.8 Ga ago. Combining the stoichiometry of the photosynthesis reaction with a carbon isotope mass balance and current concepts for the evolution of the stationary sedimentary mass as a funion of time, it is possible to quantify, the accumulation of oxygen and its photosynthetic oxidation equivalents through Earth history.

  1. A Reassessment of Prebiotic Organic Synthesis in Neutral Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleaves, H. James; Chalmers, John H.; Lazcano, Antonio; Miller, Stanley L.; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    2008-04-01

    The action of an electric discharge on reduced gas mixtures such as H2O, CH4 and NH3 (or N2) results in the production of several biologically important organic compounds including amino acids. However, it is now generally held that the early Earth’s atmosphere was likely not reducing, but was dominated by N2 and CO2. The synthesis of organic compounds by the action of electric discharges on neutral gas mixtures has been shown to be much less efficient. We show here that contrary to previous reports, significant amounts of amino acids are produced from neutral gas mixtures. The low yields previously reported appear to be the outcome of oxidation of the organic compounds during hydrolytic workup by nitrite and nitrate produced in the reactions. The yield of amino acids is greatly increased when oxidation inhibitors, such as ferrous iron, are added prior to hydrolysis. Organic synthesis from neutral atmospheres may have depended on the oceanic availability of oxidation inhibitors as well as on the nature of the primitive atmosphere itself. The results reported here suggest that endogenous synthesis from neutral atmospheres may be more important than previously thought.

  2. Scattering and Absorption by Nonspherical Particles in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    West, Robert A.

    2005-01-01

    The atmospheres of Mars, the giant planets, and Titan all support populations of nonspherical particles. Analyses of observations of these atmospheres therefore rely on an understanding of the optical properties of nonspherical particles. We can glean information on particle size and composition from the wavelength dependence of the optical depth and from the shape of the forward peak of the scattering phase function. Additional information comes from polarization measurements which have been especially fruitful for Titan's haze. The Mars atmosphere contains mineral dust particles with effective radii near 1.6 micro meters, and water ice particles with radii between about 1 and 4 micro meters. The uppermost tropospheric hazes in Jupiter and Saturn are composed of ice crystals of ammonia, water and possibly traces of ammonium hydrosulfide, Methane ice and hydrogen sulfide ice are present in the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune. Size estimation for these hazes in the giant planets is difficult, and even the expected spectral signatures are elusive, Titan's haze is both forward scattering and strongly polarized - a combination which points toward a fractal aggregate struc1.ure of 10 - 100 or more organic monomers whose radius is about 0.06 micro meters. Polar stratospheric hazes on Jupiter and Saturn also display this characteristic.

  3. Outer satellite atmospheres: Their nature and planetary interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, W. H.

    1981-01-01

    Modeling capabilities and initial model calculations are reported for the peculiar directional features of the Io sodium cloud discovered by Pilcher and the extended atomic oxygen atmosphere of Io discovered by Brown. Model results explaining the directional feature by a localized emission from the satellite are encouraging, but as yet, inconclusive; whereas for the oxygen cloud, an escape rate of 1 to 2 x 10 to the 27th power atoms/sec or higher from Io is suggested. Preliminary modeling efforts were also initiated for the extended hydrogen ring-atmosphere of Saturn detected by the Voyager spacecraft and for possible extended atmospheres of some of the smaller satellites located in the E-ring. Continuing research efforts reported for the Io sodium cloud include further refinement in the modeling of the east-west asymmetry data, the asymmetric line profile shape, and the intersection of the cloud with the Io plasma torus. In addition, the completed pre-Voyager modeling of Titan's hydrogen torus is included and the near completed model development for the extended atmosphere of comets is discussed.

  4. Aerobots and Hydrobots for Planetary Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Chris

    2000-01-01

    In this new Millennium, NASA will expand its presence in space. Many new planetary bodies have been discovered, and some previously known bodies are now believed to have oceans. We now know of 66 moons in our own Solar System, one with an atmosphere, 16 with water ice or oceans, and 5 with both. In addition, we now know of 20 extra-solar planets. In order to expand our presence in space and explore in a cost effective manner, we need a repertoire of new types of planetary exploration vehicles to explore both atmospheres and oceans. To address this need a spectrum of new classes of vehicles are being developed. These include aerobots and hydrobots, and incorporate Department of Defense miniaturization developments and smart materials. This paper outlines: the remarkable miniaturization developments applicable to robotic vehicles for the exploration of planetary atmospheres and oceans; Aerobots, the vehicles designed for planetary atmospheric exploration; Hydrobots, those designed for planetary ocean exploration; planetary atmospheric data; and Europa ocean exploration missions.

  5. Evidence for water in the rocky debris of a disrupted extrasolar minor planet.

    PubMed

    Farihi, J; Gänsicke, B T; Koester, D

    2013-10-11

    The existence of water in extrasolar planetary systems is of great interest because it constrains the potential for habitable planets and life. We have identified a circumstellar disk that resulted from the destruction of a water-rich and rocky extrasolar minor planet. The parent body formed and evolved around a star somewhat more massive than the Sun, and the debris now closely orbits the white dwarf remnant of the star. The stellar atmosphere is polluted with metals accreted from the disk, including oxygen in excess of that expected for oxide minerals, indicating that the parent body was originally composed of 26% water by mass. This finding demonstrates that water-bearing planetesimals exist around A- and F-type stars that end their lives as white dwarfs. PMID:24115434

  6. Some remarks on coherent structures out of chaos in planetary atmospheres and oceans.

    PubMed

    Nezlin, Mikhail V.

    1994-06-01

    In the context of planetary atmospheres and oceans, it is natural to define "coherent structures" as "long-lived," or "solitary," Rossby vortices. These can be described by the generalized Charney-Obukhov equation (in fluid dynamics) or the analogous generalized Hasegawa-Mima equation (in plasma physics). These two equations contain KdV-type nonlinearities which (together with the compensating dispersive spreading) determine the formation of the coherent structures and explain the clear-cut cyclonic/anticyclonic asymmetry observed experimentally in long-lived planetary Rossby vortices. Examples are given of natural vortices which are (and which are not) coherent structures. PMID:12780093

  7. Theoretical studies of important processes in planetary and comet atmospheres. Renewel request

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guberman, Steven L.

    1989-01-01

    Current efforts have focused on the dissociative recombination (DR) of O2(+), a process of great importance in planetary atmospheres. This process is difficult to study experimentally because of the need to determine the dependence of the product electronic states and kinetic energies upon the vibrational distribution of the ion and electron temperature. The knowledge of these characteristics of DR is needed to accurately model planetary ionospheres. Using a theoretical quantum chemical approach, the generation of O(1S) from DR was studied in detail.

  8. Planetary Aeronomy. 2; NO2 In the Martian Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warneck, P.; Marmo, F. F.

    1963-01-01

    The transmission curve of the Martian atmosphere derived by Opik is compared with transmission curves of an atmosphere containing various amounts of nitrogen dioxide. It is found that the amount of 6 x l0(exp 18) sq cm column NO2 (or even less) given by Sinton as an upper limit for the Martian NO2 content could adequately explain the phenomenon of the blue haze. This finding made it worthwhile to investigate the effect of the temperature and pressure sensitive equilibrium 2 NO2 reversibly yields N204 upon the total NO2 content and the altitude-number density distributions of NO2 and N204. Computations were carried out for surface temperatures of 273 K, 243 K, 213 K, and 183 K and for three different temperature distributions. The discussion of the results leads to the suggestion of several important new experiments.

  9. Data Assimilation and Transport Modeling in Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard C.; Young, Richard E. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Data assimilation is a blanket term used to describe a number of techniques for retrieving important physical parameters from observational data, subject to constraints imposed by prior knowledge (such as, in the case of meteorology, the primitive equations that govern atmospheric motion). Since these newly developed methods make efficient use of computational resources, they are of great importance in the interpretation of the voluminous datasets that are now produced by satellite missions. As proposed, these techniques have been applied to the study of the Martian and terrestrial atmospheres based on available satellite observations. In addition, a sophisticated hydrodynamic model (non-hydrostatic, and therefore applicable to the study of the interiors of the giant planets) has also been developed and successfully applied to the study of tidally induced motions in Jupiter.

  10. Parameterized rotating convection for core and planetary atmosphere dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, K.

    1991-04-01

    New types of convective instability and associated nonlinear phenomena in rapidly rotating spherical systems have been discovered through numerical simulations. The Prandtl number, defined as the ratio of the viscous and thermal diffusivities of a fluid, Pr = nu/kappa, plays a crucial role in determining the fundamental features of both the instabilities and the corresponding nonlinear convection. The results shed new light on regimes of convection in the earth's core and the atmospheres of the major planets.

  11. Analysis of stellar occultation data for planetary atmospheres. I - Model fitting, with application to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliot, J. L.; Young, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    Consideration is given to an analytic model for a stellar-occultation light curve developed for a small, spherically symmetric planetary atmosphere that includes thermal and molecular weight gradients in a region that overlies an extinction layer. The model incorporates two equivalent sets of parameters. One set specifies the occultation light curve in terms of signal levels, times, and time intervals. The other set specifies physical parameters of the planetary atmosphere. Equations are given for the transforming between the sets of parameters, including their errors and correlation coefficients. Detailed numerical calculations are presented for a benchmark case. The results obtained are consistent with the isothermal prediction of the 'methane-thermostat' model of Pluto's atmosphere.

  12. The Role of Remote Sensing Displays in Earth Climate and Planetary Atmospheric Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DelGenio, Anthony D.; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The communities of scientists who study the Earth's climate and the atmospheres of the other planets barely overlap, but the types of questions they pose and the resulting implications for the use and interpretation of remote sensing data sets have much in common. Both seek to determine the characteristic behavior of three-dimensional fluids that also evolve in time. Climate researchers want to know how and why the general patterns that define our climate today might be different in the next century. Planetary scientists try to understand why circulation patterns and clouds on Mars, Venus, or Jupiter are different from those on Earth. Both disciplines must aggregate large amounts of data covering long time periods and several altitudes to have a representative picture of the rapidly changing atmosphere they are studying. This emphasis separates climate scientists from weather forecasters, who focus at any one time on a limited number of images. Likewise, it separates planetary atmosphere researchers from planetary geologists, who rely primarily on single images (or mosaics of images covering the globe) to study two-dimensional planetary surfaces that are mostly static over the duration of a spacecraft mission yet reveal dynamic processes acting over thousands to millions of years. Remote sensing displays are usually two-dimensional projections that capture an atmosphere at an instant in time. How scientists manipulate and display such data, how they interpret what they see, and how they thereby understand the physical processes that cause what they see, are the challenges I discuss in this chapter. I begin by discussing differences in how novices and experts in the field relate displays of data to the real world. This leads to a discussion of the use and abuse of image enhancement and color in remote sensing displays. I then show some examples of techniques used by scientists in climate and planetary research to both convey information and design research

  13. Spectrophotometry of planetary atmosphere from the X-15 rocket airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murcray, W. B.

    1973-01-01

    Nike-Apache and Nike-Tomahawk rocket flights using spectrophotometric techniques to investigate auroral activity are reported. The specific objectives were to obtain data relative to typical auroral situations, including quiet pre-breakup auroras, westward traveling surges, breakup auroras, and post-breakup auroras. It was found that excited atoms move considerable distances between excitation and emission owing to the high velocity wind conditions prevailing above 200 km. Based on the results of these observations, recommendations are made for future studies of ionized atmospheric activity at higher altitudes.

  14. From the interstellar medium to planetary atmospheres via comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, Tobias C.; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    Laboratory experiments on the trapping of gases by ice forming at low temperatures implicate comets as major carries of the heavy noble gases to the inner planets. Recent work on deuterium in Comet Hale-Bopp provides good evidence that comets contain some unmodified interstellar material. However, if the sample of three comets analyzed so far is typical, the Earth's oceans cannot have been produced by comets alone. The highly fractionated neon in the Earth's atmosphere also indicates the importance of non-icy carriers of volatiles, as do the noble gas abundances in meteorites from Mars.

  15. Using ALMA for Solar and Extrasolar System Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, B.; Wootten, A.

    2000-10-01

    The next generation millimeter to submillimeter wavelength synthesis telescope, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), will be an excellent instrument for solar and extrasolar system studies. Once ALMA is equipped with receivers of the expected performance, and given the expected quality of the antennas and the measured quality of the chosen site (at 5000m in northern Chile), the sensitivity of the instrument will be fantastic - better than 1 K in 1 minute at millimeter wavelengths in all but the most spread out configuration, and better than 5 K in 1 minute even in that configuration. The resolution of ALMA will be as good as 15 milliarcseconds, allowing for linear resolutions of 10 km at 1 AU distance. With this sensitivity and resolution, a new era of solar and extrasolar system studies based on observations in this wavelength region will be enabled. The continuum capability of the instrument will allow for high spatial and time resolution maps of surface and near-surface temperature on the solid bodies of the solar system, and will allow for detailed mapping of dust in cometary atmospheres and protoplanetary disks. Young giant planets could be directly detected out to many parsecs, and very young giant protoplanets should be directly detected in the nearest star forming regions. In addition to direct detections, astrometric techniques (via reflex motion of the star) are expected to provide detections of many planetary systems. The spectral line capability of the instrument will allow for the observation of multiple molecular species in planetary and cometary atmospheres and protoplanetary disks, providing temperature and wind (for the atmospheres) profiles at high spatial and time resolution and clues as to the chemistry in these places.

  16. Research in planetary studies and operation of the Mauna Kea Observatory. Semiannual progress report, January-December 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Cruikshank, D.P.

    1986-12-01

    The research programs are highlighted in the following areas: major planets; planetary satellites and rings; asteroids; comets; dark organic matter; theoretical and analytical structures; extrasolar planetary; and telescopes.

  17. Mechanisms and observations for isotope fractionation of molecular species in planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Kaye, J.A.

    1987-11-01

    Chemcial and physical processes which may give rise to isotope fractionation of molecular species in the atmospheres of both earth and other planets are reviewed, along with observations of isotopically substituted molecules in planetary atmospheres. Mechanisms for production of isotope fractionation considered include atmospheric escape and the effect of isotope substitution on equilibrium constants (including those of phase changes), photolysis rates, and chemical reaction rates. The isotopes considered for compounds in the terrestrial atmosphere include D, T, C-13, C-14, N-15, O-18, and S-34. Compounds for which data about isotopic composition in the terrestrial atmosphere are summarized include CO, CO2, O3, N2O, NH3, SO2, H2S, H2O, H, H2, and CH4. Planetary atmospheres discussed include those of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Titan; isotopes reviewed are D, C-13, N-15, and O-18. Suggestions for additional research in the area of isotopically substituted molecules in atmospheres are offered.

  18. Other satellite atmospheres: Their nature and planetary interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, W. H.

    1982-01-01

    The Io sodium cloud model was successfully generated to include the time and spatial dependent lifetime sink produced by electron impact ionization as the plasma torus oscillates about the satellite plane, while simultaneously including the additional time dependence introduced by the action of solar radiation pressure on the cloud. Very preliminary model results are discussed and continuing progress in analysis of the peculiar directional features of the sodium cloud is also reported. Significant progress was made in developing a model for the Io potassium cloud and differences anticipated between the potassium and sodium cloud are described. An effort to understand the hydrogen atmosphere associated with Saturn's rings was initiated and preliminary results of a very and study are summarized.

  19. Outer satellite atmospheres: Their extended nature and planetary interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, W. H.; Combi, M. R.

    1984-01-01

    Model calculations for the brightness of the sodium cloud in Region A were performed to clarify the role played by the plasma torus sink in producing the east-west intensity asymmetry observed in the sodium D-lines. It was determined that the east-west electric field, proposed by Barbosa and Kievelson (1983) and Ip and Goertz (1983) to explain the dawn-dusk asymmetry in the torus ion emissions measured by the Voyager UVS instrument, could also produce the east-west sodium intensity asymmetry discovered earlier by Bergstralh et al. (1975, 1977). Model results for the directional features of the sodium cloud are also reported. The completion of the development of the Io potassium cloud model, progress in improving the Titan hydrogen torus model, and efforts in developing our model for hydrogen cometary atmospheres are also discussed.

  20. Remote sensing of the turbulence characteristics of a planetary atmosphere by radio occultation of a space probe.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woo, R.; Ishimaru, A.

    1973-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effects of small-scale turbulence on radio waves propagating through a planetary atmosphere. The analysis provides a technique for inferring the turbulence characteristics of a planetary atmosphere from the radio signals received from a spacecraft as it is occulted by the planet. The planetary turbulence is assumed to be localized and smoothly varying, with the structure constant varying exponentially with altitude. Rytov's method is used to derive the variance of log-amplitude and phase fluctuations of a wave propagating through the atmosphere.

  1. Electron-Nitrogen Collision Processes Relevant to Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Paul

    2011-06-01

    Electron-N2 collisions play an important role in the nitrogen-rich upper atmospheres of Titan, Triton, and Earth. Modeling these processes requires accurate laboratory data. Despite the recognized importance of such data, there remained an unsatisfactory degree of consensus among much of the available laboratory collision cross section data. To address this situation, our group has devoted considerable effort over the past decade to improve the status of low energy electron collision data. In doing so, we have measured direct excitation cross sections for at least 17 electronic states of neutral N2 and a variety of key UV emission cross sections. Here we review the result of this effort, highlighting how the picture of electron collision processes has evolved, where consensus has been reached and where discrepancies still exist. New electron energy-loss measurements will be presented for excitation of the valence states, with finely spaced (<1eV) impact energy increments in the threshold-to-peak region where excitation is not in proportion to the Franck-Condon factors. These data are novel in that they include measurements at fixed electron scattering angles, differential in impact energy over a range of scattering angle. Also, new near-threshold integral cross sections are provided and compared to existing data.

  2. Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Émeline; Grasset, Olivier; Lewis, Karen; Barnes, Rory; Zuluaga, Jorge I.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1–0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology. Key Words: Astrobiology—Extrasolar planets—Habitability—Planetary science—Tides. Astrobiology 14, 798–835. PMID:25147963

  3. Middle Atmosphere Dynamics with Gravity Wave Interactions in the Numerical Spectral Model: Tides and Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayr, Hans G.; Mengel, J. G.; Chan, K. L.; Huang, F. T.

    2010-01-01

    As Lindzen (1981) had shown, small-scale gravity waves (GW) produce the observed reversals of the zonal-mean circulation and temperature variations in the upper mesosphere. The waves also play a major role in modulating and amplifying the diurnal tides (DT) (e.g., Waltersheid, 1981; Fritts and Vincent, 1987; Fritts, 1995a). We summarize here the modeling studies with the mechanistic numerical spectral model (NSM) with Doppler spread parameterization for GW (Hines, 1997a, b), which describes in the middle atmosphere: (a) migrating and non-migrating DT, (b) planetary waves (PW), and (c) global-scale inertio gravity waves. Numerical experiments are discussed that illuminate the influence of GW filtering and nonlinear interactions between DT, PW, and zonal mean variations. Keywords: Theoretical modeling, Middle atmosphere dynamics, Gravity wave interactions, Migrating and non-migrating tides, Planetary waves, Global-scale inertio gravity waves.

  4. Planetary atmospheres minor species sensor balloon flight test to near space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peale, Robert E.; Fredricksen, Christopher J.; Muraviev, Andrei V.; Maukonen, Douglas; Quddusi, Hajrah M.; Calhoun, Seth; Colwell, Joshua E.; Lachenmeier, Timothy A.; Dewey, Russell G.; Stern, Alan; Padilla, Sebastian; Bode, Rolfe

    2015-05-01

    The Planetary Atmospheres Minor Species Sensor (PAMSS) is an intracavity laser absorption spectrometer that uses a mid-infrared quantum cascade laser in an open external cavity for sensing ultra-trace gases with parts-per-billion sensitivity. PAMSS was flown on a balloon by Near Space Corporation from Madras OR to 30 km on 17 July 2014. Based on lessons learned, it was modified and was flown a second time to 32 km by World View Enterprises from Pinal AirPark AZ on 8 March 2015. Successes included continuous operation and survival of software, electronics, optics, and optical alignment during extreme conditions and a rough landing. Operation of PAMSS in the relevant environment of near space has significantly elevated its Technical Readiness Level for trace-gas sensing with potential for planetary and atmospheric science in harsh environments.

  5. Analytical design of sensors for measuring during terminal phase of atmospheric temperature planetary entry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millard, J. P.; Green, M. J.; Sommer, S. C.

    1972-01-01

    An analytical study was conducted to develop a sensor for measuring the temperature of a planetary atmosphere from an entry vehicle traveling at supersonic speeds and having a detached shock. Such a sensor has been used in the Planetary Atmosphere Experiments Test Probe (PAET) mission and is planned for the Viking-Mars mission. The study specifically considered butt-welded thermocouple sensors stretched between two support posts; however, the factors considered are sufficiently general to apply to other sensors as well. This study included: (1) an investigation of the relation between sensor-measured temperature and free-stream conditions; (2) an evaluation of the effects of extraneous sources of heat; (3) the development of a computer program for evaluating sensor response during entry; and (4) a parametric study of sensor design characteristics.

  6. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, P. G.

    1986-01-01

    The recognition of the need to make laboratory measurements of simulated planetary atmospheres over a range of temperatures and pressure which correspond to the altitudes probed by radio occultation experiments, and over a range of frequencies which correspond to both radio occultation experiments and radio astronomical observations, has led to the development of a facility at Georgia Tech which is capable of making such measurements. Construction was completed of the outer planets simulator and measurements were conducted of the microwave absorption and refraction from nitrogen under simulated Titan conditions. The results of these and previous laboratory measurements were applied to a wide range of microwave opacity measurements, in order to derive constituent densities and distributions in planetary atmospheres such as Venus.

  7. Decadal regime shift linkage between global marine fish landings and atmospheric planetary wave forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, A. M., Jr.; Xu, J.

    2015-04-01

    This investigation focuses on a global forcing mechanism for decadal regime shifts and their subsequent impacts. The proposed global forcing mechanism is that the global atmospheric planetary waves can lead to changes in the global surface air-sea conditions and subsequently fishery changes. In this study, the five decadal regime shifts (1956-1957, 1964-1965, 1977-1978, 1988-1989, and 1998-1999) in the most recent 59-year period (1950-2008) have been identified based on Student t tests and their association with global marine ecosystem change has been discussed. Changes in the three major oceanic (Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian) ecosystems will be explored with the goal of demonstrating the linkage between stratospheric planetary waves and the ocean surface forcing that leads to fisheries impacts. The global forcing mechanism is described with a top-down approach to help the multidisciplinary audience follow the analysis. Following previous work, this analysis addresses how changes in the atmospheric planetary waves may influence the vertical wind structure, surface wind stress, and their connection with the global ocean ecosystems based on a coupling of the atmospheric regime shifts with the decadal regime shifts determined from marine life changes. The multiple decadal regime shifts related to changes in marine life are discussed using the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) global fish capture data (catch/stock). Analyses are performed to demonstrate that examining the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, and fisheries is a plausible approach to explaining decadal climate change in the global marine ecosystems and its impacts. The results show a consistent mechanism, ocean wind stress, responsible for marine shifts in the three major ocean basins. Changes in the planetary wave pattern affect the ocean wind stress patterns. A change in the ocean surface wind pattern from longwave (relatively smooth and less complex) to shorter

  8. Intensity measurements in the nu4-fundamental of (C-13)H4 at planetary atmospheric temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varanasi, P.; Giver, L. P.; Valero, F. P. J.

    1983-01-01

    Measurements of spectral transmittance have been performed in the nu4-fundamental band of (C-13)H4 at low temperatures of planetary atmospheric interest with spectral resolution of 0.06 per cm. Comparison of observed and computed spectral transmittance on a line-by-line basis has yielded line strengths. Best agreement between measured and computed spectra was obtained when the absolute intensity of the band was taken as 123 per (sq cm atm) at 296 K.

  9. Decadal regime shift linkage between global marine fish landings and atmospheric planetary wave forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, A. M., Jr.; Xu, J.

    2014-08-01

    This investigation focuses on a global forcing mechanism for decadal regime shifts and their subsequent impacts. The proposed global forcing mechanism is the global atmospheric planetary waves that can lead to changes in the global surface air-sea conditions and subsequently fishery changes. In this study, the five decadal regime shifts (1956-1957, 1964-1965, 1977-1978, 1988-1989, and 1998-1999) in the recent 59 years (1950-2008) have been identified based on student t tests and their association with global marine ecosystem change has been discussed. Changes in the three major oceanic (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian) ecosystems will be explored with the goal of demonstrating the linkage between stratospheric planetary waves and the ocean surface forcing that leads to fisheries impacts. Due to the multidisciplinary audience, the global forcing mechanism is described from a top-down approach to help the multidisciplinary audience follow the analysis. Following previous work, this analysis addresses how changes in the atmospheric planetary waves may influence the vertical wind structure, surface wind stress, and their connection with the global ocean ecosystems based on a coupling of the atmospheric regime shifts with the decadal regime shifts determined from marine life changes. The multiple decadal regime shifts related to changes in marine life are discussed using the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) global fish capture data (catch/stock). Analyses are performed to demonstrate the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, and fisheries are a plausible approach to explaining decadal climate change in the global marine ecosystems and its impacts. The results show a consistent mechanism, ocean wind stress, responsible for marine shifts in the three major ocean basins. Changes in the planetary wave pattern affect the ocean wind stress patterns. A change in the ocean surface wind pattern from long wave (relatively smooth and less complex) to

  10. Millimagnitude Photometry for Transiting Extrasolar Planetary Candidates. IV. Solution to the Puzzle of the Extremely Red OGLE-TR-82 Primary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyer, Sergio; Ramírez Alegría, Sebastián; Ivanov, Valentin D.; Minniti, Dante; Pietrzyński, Grzegorz; Ruíz, María Teresa; Gieren, Wolfgang; Udalski, Andrzej; Zoccali, Manuela; Carrasco, Eleazar Rodrigo; Díaz, Rodrigo F.; Fernández, José Miguel; Gallardo, José; Rejkuba, Marina; Pérez, Felipe

    2007-11-01

    We present precise new V-, I-, and Ks-band photometry for the planetary-transit candidate star OGLE-TR-82. V-band images acquired in good seeing with the VIMOS instrument at the Very Large Telescope allowed us to measure V=20.61+/-0.03 mag for this star despite the presence of a brighter neighbor about 1" away. This faint magnitude answers the question why it has not been possible to measure radial velocities for this object. One transit of this star has been observed with the GMOS-S instrument on Gemini South in the i and g bands, which allowed us to verify that this is not a false positive, to confirm the transit amplitude measured by OGLE, and to improve the ephemeris. The transit is better defined in the i-band light curve (with a depth of Ai=0.034 mag), than in the g band (Ag=0.1 mag), in which the star is significantly fainter. Near-IR photometry obtained with the SOFI array at the ESO New Technology Telescope yields K=12.20+/-0.10 and V-K=8.40+/-0.10, so red that it is unlike any transit candidate studied before. With the new data, we consider two possible configurations for the system: (1) a nearby M7 V star or (2) a blend with a very reddened, distant red giant. The first hypothesis would give a radius for the companion of Rp=0.3+/-0.1 RJ, i.e., the size of Neptune. Quantitative analysis of near-IR spectroscopy finally shows that OGLE-TR-82 is a distant, reddened, metal-poor early K giant, confirmed by direct comparison with stellar templates, which gives as a best match a K3 III star. Therefore, we rule out a planetary nature for the companion, and conclude that this system is a main-sequence binary blended with a background red giant. As a case study, a system that can so mimic a planetary transit presents a lesson for future transit surveys. Based on observations collected with the Gemini South telescope (queue observing, program GS-2005B-Q-9) and with the Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory (J. M. F. and D. M., Visiting Astronomers) and the ESO

  11. Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossfield, Ian J. M.

    2015-10-01

    Detailed characterization of an extrasolar planet's atmosphere provides the best hope for distinguishing the makeup of its outer layers, and the only hope for understanding the interplay between initial composition, chemistry, dynamics and circulation, and disequilibrium processes. In recent years, some areas have seen rapid progress, while developments in others have come more slowly and/or have been hotly contested. This article gives an observer's perspective on the current understanding of extrasolar planet atmospheres prior to the considerable advances expected from the next generation of observing facilities. Atmospheric processes of both transiting and directly imaged planets are discussed, including molecular and atomic abundances, cloud properties, thermal structure, and planetary energy budgets. In the future we can expect a continuing and accelerating stream of new discoveries, which will fuel the ongoing exoplanet revolution for many years to come.

  12. Evaporation and accretion of extrasolar comets following white dwarf kicks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Nicholas; Metzger, Brian D.; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-03-01

    Several lines of observational evidence suggest that white dwarfs receive small birth kicks due to anisotropic mass-loss. If other stars possess extrasolar analogues to the Solar Oort cloud, the orbits of comets in such clouds will be scrambled by white dwarf natal kicks. Although most comets will be unbound, some will be placed on low angular momentum orbits vulnerable to sublimation or tidal disruption. The dusty debris from these comets will manifest itself as an IR excess temporarily visible around newborn white dwarfs; examples of such discs may already have been seen in the Helix Nebula, and around several other young white dwarfs. Future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope may distinguish this hypothesis from alternatives such as a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt analogue. Although competing hypotheses exist, the observation that ≳15 per cent of young white dwarfs possess such discs, if interpreted as indeed being cometary in origin, provides indirect evidence that low-mass gas giants (thought necessary to produce an Oort cloud) are common in the outer regions of extrasolar planetary systems. Hydrogen abundances in the atmospheres of older white dwarfs can, if sufficiently low, also be used to place constraints on the joint parameter space of natal kicks and exo-Oort cloud models.

  13. The spectroscopic search for the trace aerosols in the planetary atmospheres - the results of numerical simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blecka, Maria I.

    2010-05-01

    The passive remote spectrometric methods are important in examinations the atmospheres of planets. The radiance spectra inform us about values of thermodynamical parameters and composition of the atmospheres and surfaces. The spectral technology can be useful in detection of the trace aerosols like biological substances (if present) in the environments of the planets. We discuss here some of the aspects related to the spectroscopic search for the aerosols and dust in planetary atmospheres. Possibility of detection and identifications of biological aerosols with a passive InfraRed spectrometer in an open-air environment is discussed. We present numerically simulated, based on radiative transfer theory, spectroscopic observations of the Earth atmosphere. Laboratory measurements of transmittance of various kinds of aerosols, pollens and bacterias were used in modeling.

  14. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1988-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for planetary atmospheres obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments and earth-based radio astronomical observations can be used to infer abundances of microwave absorbing atmospheric constituents in those atmospheres, as long as reliable information regarding the microwave absorbing properties of potential constituents is available. The key activity for this grant year has continued to be laboratory measurements of the microwave and millimeter-wave properties of the simulated atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites. A Fabry-Perot spectrometer system capable of operation from 32 to 41 GHz was developed. Initially this spectrometer was used to complete laboratory measurements of the 7.5 to 9.3 mm absorption spectrum of ammonia. Laboratory measurements were begun at wavelengths near 3.2 mm, where a large number of observations of the emission from the outer planets were made. A description of this system is presented.

  15. Superrotation planetary atmospheres: Mechanical analogy, angular momentum budget and simulation of the spin up process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayr, H. G.; Harris, I.; Conrath, B. J.

    1981-01-01

    Superrotation rates observed in planetary atmospheres are analyzed based on the concept of a thermally driven zonally symmetric circulation. Specifically, how this superrotation is produced and maintained against the tendency for friction to oppose differential motions between the atmosphere and the underlying planet is addressed. The time evolution of a fluid leading from corotation under uniform heating to superrotation under globally nonuniform heating is simulated using a three dimensional zonally symmetric spectral model and Laplace transformation. The increased tendency toward geostrophy combined with the increase of surface pressure toward the poles (due to meridional mass transport), induces the atmosphere to subrotate temporarily at lower altitudes. The resulting viscous shear near the surface thus permits angular momentum to flow from the planet into the atmosphere where it propagates upwards and, combined with the change in moment of inertia, produces large superrotation rates at higher viscosities.

  16. A Mechanism for Land-Atmosphere Feedback Involving Planetary Wave Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koster, Randal D.; Chang, Yehui; Schubert, Siegfried D.

    2014-01-01

    While the ability of land surface conditions to influence the atmosphere has been demonstrated in various modeling and observational studies, the precise mechanisms by which land-atmosphere feedback occurs are still largely unknown particularly the mechanisms that allow land moisture state in one region to affect atmospheric conditions in another. Such remote impacts are examined here in the context of atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) simulations, leading to the identification of one potential mechanism: the phase-locking and amplification of a planetary wave through the imposition of a spatial pattern of soil moisture at the land surface. This mechanism, shown here to be relevant in the AGCM, apparently also operates in nature, as suggested by supporting evidence found in reanalysis data.

  17. DETECTING PLANETARY GEOCHEMICAL CYCLES ON EXOPLANETS: ATMOSPHERIC SIGNATURES AND THE CASE OF SO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.

    2010-01-10

    We study the spectrum of a planetary atmosphere to derive detectable features in low resolution of different global geochemical cycles on exoplanets-using the sulfur cycle as our example. We derive low-resolution detectable features for first generation space- and ground-based telescopes as a first step in comparative planetology. We assume that the surfaces and atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets (Earth-like and super-Earths) will most often be dominated by a specific geochemical cycle. Here we concentrate on the sulfur cycle driven by outgassing of SO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S followed by their transformation to other sulfur-bearing species, which is clearly distinguishable from the carbon cycle, which is driven by outgassing of CO{sub 2}. Due to increased volcanism, the sulfur cycle is potentially the dominant global geochemical cycle on dry super-Earths with active tectonics. We calculate planetary emission, reflection, and transmission spectrum from 0.4 mum to 40 mum with high and low resolution to assess detectable features using current and Archean Earth models with varying SO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S concentrations to explore reducing and oxidizing habitable environments on rocky planets. We find specific spectral signatures that are observable with low resolution in a planetary atmosphere with high SO{sub 2} and H{sub 2}S concentration. Therefore, first generation space- and ground-based telescopes can test our understanding of geochemical cycles on rocky planets and potentially distinguish planetary environments dominated by the carbon and sulfur cycles.

  18. Exploring Links Between Orbital Dynamics and Atmospheres in Kepler M Dwarf Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballard, Sarah

    2015-12-01

    The Solar System furnishes the most familiar planetary architecture: many planets, orbiting nearly coplanar to one another. However, the most common planetary systems in the Milky Way orbit much smaller M dwarf stars, and these may present a very different blueprint. The Kepler data set has furnished more than 100 exoplanets orbiting stars half the mass of the sun and smaller. Half of these planets reside in systems with at least one additional planet. The data much prefer a model with two distinct modes of planet formation around M dwarfs, which occur in roughly equal measure. One mode is one very similar to the Solar System in terms of multiplicity and coplanarity, and the other is very dissimilar. Given this so-called "Kepler Dichotomy," we examine the broadband transmission spectra (with data from Kepler and hundreds of hours of Spitzer observations) of dozens of M dwarf planets: half of which reside in one type of planetary system, and half in the other. Although the data set is too small and the observational uncertainty too large to characterize any one system alone, we examine ensemble trends between planetary dynamics and atmospheric content.

  19. NASA's Planetary Data System: Support for the Delivery of Derived Data Sets at the Atmospheres Node

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chanover, Nancy J.; Beebe, Reta; Neakrase, Lynn; Huber, Lyle; Rees, Shannon; Hornung, Danae

    2015-11-01

    NASA’s Planetary Data System is charged with archiving electronic data products from NASA planetary missions that are sponsored by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. This archive, currently organized by science disciplines, uses standards for describing and storing data that are designed to enable future scientists who are unfamiliar with the original experiments to analyze the data, and to do this using a variety of computer platforms, with no additional support. These standards address the data structure, description contents, and media design. The new requirement in the NASA ROSES-2015 Research Announcement to include a Data Management Plan will result in an increase in the number of derived data sets that are being delivered to the PDS. These data sets may come from the Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration and Tools (PDART) program, other Data Analysis Programs (DAPs) or be volunteered by individuals who are publishing the results of their analysis. In response to this increase, the PDS Atmospheres Node is developing a set of guidelines and user tools to make the process of archiving these derived data products more efficient. Here we provide a description of Atmospheres Node resources, including a letter of support for the proposal stage, a communication schedule for the planned archive effort, product label samples and templates in extensible markup language (XML), documentation templates, and validation tools necessary for producing a PDS4-compliant derived data bundle(s) efficiently and accurately.

  20. Atmospheric and Surface Contributions to Planetary Albedo and their Relationship to the Total Meridional Energy Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Donohoe, A.; Battisti, D. S.

    2010-12-01

    The meridional distribution of incident solar radiation and planetary albedo both contribute to the equator-to-pole gradient in absorbed solar radiation (ASR) in the observed climate system. While the former component is determined by the Earth-Sun geometry and composes 60% of the equator-to-pole gradient in ASR, the latter component makes a significant (40%) contribution to the ASR gradient and is potentially a function of climate state due to its dependence on both atmospheric and surface albedo. In turn, the equator-to-pole gradient in planetary albedo is found to be primarily (86% -89%) dictated by atmospheric albedo with meridional gradients in surface albedo playing a much smaller role in forcing the climate system on the equator-to-pole scale. Simulations of the pre-industrial climate system using the CMIP3 coupled models show large differences in the equator-to-pole gradient in planetary albedo which are mainly due to differences in the simulated cloud distribution, with surface processes playing a much smaller role. The inter-model spread in total meridional heat transport is also primarily (85% of the inter-model spread) due to differences in the simulated cloud distribution. Further model simulations demonstrate that the surface albedo changes associated with moving from the present climate to an ice free climate have a small effect on the equator-to-pole gradient of ASR as compared to the uncertainty in simulated cloud distributions, and hence a small effect on the meridional heat transport.

  1. Detection of Extrasolar Planets by Transit Photometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borucki, William; Koch, David; Webster, Larry; Dunham, Edward; Witteborn, Fred; Jenkins, Jon; Caldwell, Douglas; Showen, Robert; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A knowledge of other planetary systems that includes information on the number, size, mass, and spacing of the planets around a variety of star types is needed to deepen our understanding of planetary system formation and processes that give rise to their final configurations. Recent discoveries show that many planetary systems are quite different from the solar system in that they often possess giant planets in short period orbits. The inferred evolution of these planets and their orbital characteristics imply the absence of Earth-like planets near the habitable zone. Information on the properties of the giant-inner planets is now being obtained by both the Doppler velocity and the transit photometry techniques. The combination of the two techniques provides the mass, size, and density of the planets. For the planet orbiting star HD209458, transit photometry provided the first independent confirmation and measurement of the diameter of an extrasolar planet. The observations indicate a planet 1.27 the diameter of Jupiter with 0.63 of its mass (Charbonneau et al. 1999). The results are in excellent agreement with the theory of planetary atmospheres for a planet of the indicated mass and distance from a solar-like star. The observation of the November 23, 1999 transit of that planet made by the Ames Vulcan photometer at Lick Observatory is presented. In the future, the combination of the two techniques will greatly increase the number of discoveries and the richness of the science yield. Small rocky planets at orbital distances from 0.9 to 1.2 AU are more likely to harbor life than the gas giant planets that are now being discovered. However, new technology is needed to find smaller, Earth-like planets, which are about three hundred times less massive than Jupiter-like planets. The Kepler project is a space craft mission designed to discover hundreds of Earth-size planets in and near the habitable zone around a wide variety of stars. To demonstrate that the

  2. Kinetics of Suprathermal Atoms and Molecules in the Rarefied Planetary Atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Shematovich, Valery I.

    2008-12-31

    Ground-based and space observations have revealed that the upper layers of planetary atmospheres contain both a thermal fraction of neutral atoms and molecules with the mean particle kinetic energy corresponding to the local gas temperature and a suprathermal (hot) fraction of neutral particles with the mean kinetic energy much higher than the local atmospheric temperature. Atmospheric photochemistry and solar wind/magnetospheric plasma inflow play an important role in the formation of suprathermal atoms and molecules in the rarefied atmospheric gas. The current physical and mathematical models of suprathermal atom formation are presented. These models are used to investigate the formation and kinetics of suprathermal carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms in the upper atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars where they are formed in significant amounts due to the atmospheric photochemistry. The role and input of such photochemical reactions as photo- and electron impact dissociation of the main atmospheric constituents as well as in the exothermic ion-molecular reactions including the dissociative recombination of the ionospheric ions into the formation of hot O populations in the upper atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are estimated.

  3. Transit of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doyle, Laurance R.

    1998-01-01

    During the past five years we have pursued the detection of extrasolar planets by the photometric transit method, i.e. the detection of a planet by watching for a drop in the brightness of the light as it crosses in front of a star. The planetary orbit must cross the line-of-sight and so most systems will not be lined up for such a transit to ever occur. However, we have looked at eclipsing binary systems which are already edge-on. Such systems must be very small in size as this makes the differential light change due to a transit much greater for a given planet size (the brightness difference will be proportional to the area of the transiting planet to the disc area of the star). Also, the planet forming region should be closer to the star as small stars are generally less luminous (that is, if the same thermal regime for planet formation applies as in the solar system). This led to studies of the habitable zone around other stars, as well. Finally, we discovered that our data could be used to detect giant planets without transits as we had been carefully timing the eclipses of the stars (using a GPS antenna for time) and this will drift by being offset by any giant planets orbiting around the system, as well. The best summary of our work may be to just summarize the 21 refereed papers produced during the time of this grant. This will be done is chronological order and in each section separately.

  4. An IRAS search for extra-solar Oort clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan; Stocke, John; Weissman, Paul R.

    1991-01-01

    The presumptively close connection between Oort cloud formation and planetary formation is that the detection of comet clouds around other stars would imply the presence of extrasolar planetary systems. Low-resolution IRAS data and an S/N-enhancement method are presently used to search 17 nearby stars for comet cloud-indicating IR emission. While no such detections were obtained, upper limits have been set for extrasolar Oort clouds (ESOCs) around the candidate stars; the nondetections may be a results either of the absence of the ESOCs around these stars or, with greater probability, of the sensitivity and background confusion limitations of IRAS data.

  5. Mass spectrometric analysis in planetary science: Investigation of the surface and the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wurz, P.; Abplanalp, D.; Tulej, M.; Iakovleva, M.; Fernandes, V. A.; Chumikov, A.; Managadze, G. G.

    2012-11-01

    Knowing the chemical, elemental, and isotopic composition of planetary objects allows the study of their origin and evolution within the context of our Solar System. Landed probes are critical to such an investigation. Instruments on a landed platform can answer a different set of scientific questions than can instruments in orbit or on Earth. Composition studies for elemental, isotopic, and chemical analysis are best performed with dedicated mass spectrometer systems. Mass spectrometers have been part of the early lunar missions, and have been successfully employed to investigate the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, and in comet missions. Improved mass spectrometer systems are foreseen for many planetary missions currently in planning or implementation.

  6. Stellar Winds and High-Energy Radiation: Evolution and influences on planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnstone, C.; Tu, L.; Güdel, M.; Lüftinger, T.; Lammer, H.; Kislyakova, K.; Fichtinger, B.

    2015-10-01

    As part of the Austrian research network "Pathways to Habitability: From Disks to Active Stars, Planets and Life" (path.univie.ac.at), we study the evolution of stellar output (e.g. winds, high-energy radiation) over the lifetimes of solar-like stars and the influence of stellar output on the development of habitable planetary environments. We have developed a coupled stellar rotation-wind-radiation model that describes the long term evolution of stellar output over the course of a star's life. We show that the initial rotation rate of a star can significantly influence the evolution of winds and high-energy radiation and therefore the development of planetary atmospheres.

  7. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXX. Planetary systems around stars with solar-like magnetic cycles and short-term activity variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumusque, X.; Lovis, C.; Ségransan, D.; Mayor, M.; Udry, S.; Benz, W.; Bouchy, F.; Lo Curto, G.; Mordasini, C.; Pepe, F.; Queloz, D.; Santos, N. C.; Naef, D.

    2011-11-01

    We present the discovery of four new long-period planets within the HARPS high-precision sample: HD 137388b (Msini = 0.22 MJ), HD 204941b (Msini = 0.27 MJ), HD 7199b (Msini = 0.29 MJ), HD 7449b (Msini = 1.04 MJ). A long-period companion, probably a second planet, is also found orbiting HD 7449. Planets around HD 137388, HD 204941, and HD 7199 have rather low eccentricities (less than 0.4) relative to the 0.82 eccentricity of HD 7449b. All these planets were discovered even though their hosting stars have clear signs of activity. Solar-like magnetic cycles, characterized by long-term activity variations, can be seen for HD 137388, HD 204941 and HD 7199, whereas the measurements of HD 7449 reveal a short-term activity variation, most probably induced by magnetic features on the stellar surface. We confirm that magnetic cycles induce a long-term radial velocity variation and propose a method to reduce considerably the associated noise. The procedure consists of fitting the activity index and applying the same solution to the radial velocities because a linear correlation between the activity index and the radial velocity is found. Tested on HD 137388, HD 204941, and HD 7199, this correction reduces considerably the stellar noise induced by magnetic cycles and allows us to derive precisely the orbital parameters of planetary companions. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla Observatory (Chile), under programme IDs 072.C-0488 and 183.C-0972.Radial velocities (Tables 4-7) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/535/A55

  8. MAVEN Observations of Escaping Planetary Ions from the Martian Atmosphere: Mass, Velocity, and Spatial Distributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Yaxue; Fang, Xiaohua; Brain, D. A.; McFadden, James P.; Halekas, Jasper; Connerney, Jack

    2015-04-01

    The Mars-solar wind interaction accelerates and transports planetary ions away from the Martian atmosphere through a number of processes, including ‘pick-up’ by electromagnetic fields. The MAVEN spacecraft has made routine observations of escaping planetary ions since its arrival at Mars in September 2014. The SupraThermal And Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC) instrument measures the ion energy, mass, and angular spectra. It has detected energetic planetary ions during most of the spacecraft orbits, which are attributed to the pick-up process. We found significant variations in the escaping ion mass and velocity distributions from the STATIC data, which can be explained by factors such as varying solar wind conditions, contributions of particles from different source locations and different phases during the pick-up process. We also study the spatial distributions of different planetary ion species, which can provide insight into the physics of ion escaping process and enhance our understanding of atmospheric erosion by the solar wind. Our results will be further interpreted within the context of the upstream solar wind conditions measured by the MAVEN Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA) instrument and the magnetic field environment measured by the Magnetometer (MAG) instrument. Our study shows that the ion spatial distribution in the Mars-Sun-Electric-Field (MSE) coordinate system and the velocity space distribution with respect to the local magnetic field line can be used to distinguish the ions escaping through the polar plume and those through the tail region. The contribution of the polar plume ion escape to the total escape rate will also be discussed.

  9. Studies of satellite and planetary surfaces and atmospheres. [Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars and their satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    Completed or published research supported by NASA is summarized. Topics cover limb darkening and the structure of the Jovian atmosphere; the application of generalized inverse theory to the recovery of temperature profiles; models for the reflection spectrum of Jupiter's North Equatorial Belt; isotropic scattering layer models for the red chromosphore on Titan; radiative-convective equilibrium models of the Titan atmosphere; temperature structure and emergent flux of the Jovian planets; occultation of epsilon Geminorum by Mars and the structure and extinction of the Martian upper atmosphere; lunar occultation of Saturn; astrometric results and the normal reflectances of Rhea, Titan, and Iapetus; near limb darkening of solids of planetary interest; scattering light scattering from particulate surfaces; comparing the surface of 10 to laboratory samples; and matching the spectrum of 10: variations in the photometric properties of sulfur-containing mixtures.

  10. Planetary atmosphere models: A research and instructional web-based resource

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Samuel Augustine

    The effects of altitude change on the temperature, pressure, density, and speed of sound were investigated. These effects have been documented in Global Reference Atmospheric Models (GRAMs) to be used in calculating the conditions in various parts of the atmosphere for several planets. Besides GRAMs, there are several websites that provide online calculators for the 1976 US Standard Atmosphere. This thesis presents the creation of an online calculator of the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, and Neptune. The websites consist of input forms for altitude and temperature adjustment followed by a results table for the calculated data. The first phase involved creating a spreadsheet reference based on the 1976 US Standard Atmosphere and other planetary GRAMs available. Microsoft Excel was used to input the equations and make a graphical representation of the temperature, pressure, density, and speed of sound change as altitude changed using equations obtained from the GRAMs. These spreadsheets were used later as a reference for the JavaScript code in both the design and comparison of the data output of the calculators. The websites were created using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding languages. The calculators could accurately display the temperature, pressure, density, and speed of sound of these planets from surface values to various stages within the atmosphere. These websites provide a resource for students involved in projects and classes that require knowledge of these changes in these atmospheres. This project also created a chance for new project topics to arise for future students involved in aeronautics and astronautics.

  11. THE EFFECTS OF SNOWLINES ON C/O IN PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Oeberg, Karin I.; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Bergin, Edwin A.

    2011-12-10

    The C/O ratio is predicted to regulate the atmospheric chemistry in hot Jupiters. Recent observations suggest that some exoplanets, e.g., Wasp 12-b, have atmospheric C/O ratios substantially different from the solar value of 0.54. In this Letter, we present a mechanism that can produce such atmospheric deviations from the stellar C/O ratio. In protoplanetary disks, different snowlines of oxygen- and carbon-rich ices, especially water and carbon monoxide, will result in systematic variations in the C/O ratio both in the gas and in the condensed phases. In particular, between the H{sub 2}O and CO snowlines most oxygen is present in icy grains-the building blocks of planetary cores in the core accretion model-while most carbon remains in the gas phase. This region is coincidental with the giant-planet-forming zone for a range of observed protoplanetary disks. Based on standard core accretion models of planet formation, gas giants that sweep up most of their atmospheres from disk gas outside of the water snowline will have a C/O {approx} 1, while atmospheres significantly contaminated by evaporating planetesimals will have a stellar or substellar C/O when formed at the same disk radius. The overall metallicity will also depend on the atmosphere formation mechanism, and exoplanetary atmospheric compositions may therefore provide constraints on where and how a specific planet formed.

  12. Ultra-High Resolution Spectroscopic Remote Sensing: A Microscope on Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kostiuk, Theodor

    2010-01-01

    Remote sensing of planetary atmospheres is not complete without studies of all levels of the atmosphere, including the dense cloudy- and haze filled troposphere, relatively clear and important stratosphere and the upper atmosphere, which are the first levels to experience the effects of solar radiation. High-resolution spectroscopy can provide valuable information on these regions of the atmosphere. Ultra-high spectral resolution studies can directly measure atmospheric winds, composition, temperature and non-thermal phenomena, which describe the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. Spectroscopy in the middle to long infrared wavelengths can also probe levels where dust of haze limit measurements at shorter wavelength or can provide ambiguous results on atmospheric species abundances or winds. A spectroscopic technique in the middle infrared wavelengths analogous to a radio receiver. infrared heterodyne spectroscopy [1], will be describe and used to illustrate the detailed study of atmospheric phenomena not readily possible with other methods. The heterodyne spectral resolution with resolving power greater than 1,000.000 measures the true line shapes of emission and absorption lines in planetary atmospheres. The information on the region of line formation is contained in the line shapes. The absolute frequency of the lines can be measured to I part in 100 ,000,000 and can be used to accurately measure the Doppler frequency shift of the lines, directly measuring the line-of-sight velocity of the gas to --Im/s precision (winds). The technical and analytical methods developed and used to measure and analyze infrared heterodyne measurements will be described. Examples of studies on Titan, Venus, Mars, Earth, and Jupiter will be presented. 'These include atmospheric dynamics on slowly rotating bodies (Titan [2] and Venus [3] and temperature, composition and chemistry on Mars 141, Venus and Earth. The discovery and studies of unique atmospheric phenomena will also be

  13. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-01

    Observational surveys for extrasolar planets probe the diverse outcomes of planet formation and evolution. These surveys measure the frequency of planets with different masses, sizes, orbital characteristics, and host star properties. Small planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune substantially outnumber Jupiter-sized planets. The survey measurements support the core accretion model, in which planets form by the accumulation of solids and then gas in protoplanetary disks. The diversity of exoplanetary characteristics demonstrates that most of the gross features of the solar system are one outcome in a continuum of possibilities. The most common class of planetary system detectable today consists of one or more planets approximately one to three times Earth's size orbiting within a fraction of the Earth-Sun distance. PMID:23641110

  14. The Realm of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferlet, Roger

    2010-10-01

    In November 1995, an article published in Nature [1] put planetary sciences not only as a new hot field in both observational and theoretical astrophysics but also as a topic with a large impact toward the layman. This article was reporting the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star beyond our Sun, namely the solar-type star 51 Pegasi. Nearly four centuries after Giordano Bruno was burnt in public in Roma partly for having intuitively claimed the plurality of worlds, we were entering the extraordinary epoch in which one of the oldest inquiries of mankind-are we alone in the Universe?-can be tackled with the scientific method, leaving aside centuries of endless speculations. To date (July 2010), almost 500 extrasolar planets are known. We shall briefly review the main detection methods, together with the big surprises which arose during these last exciting fifteen years, without being exhaustive.

  15. Studying Venus' atmosphere and ionosphere with Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bocanegra-Bahamon, T. M.; Cimo, G.; Duev, D. A.; Gurvits, L. I.; Marty, J. Ch.; Pogrebenko, S. V.; Rosenblatt, P.

    2014-04-01

    The Planetary Radio Interferometry and Doppler Experiment (PRIDE) is a technique that can provide a multi-disciplinary enhancement of the science return of planetary missions. By performing precise Doppler tracking of a spacecraft carrier radio signal, at Earth-based radio telescopes, and VLBI-style processing of these signals in phase-referencing mode, the technique allows the determination of the radial velocity and lateral coordinates of the spacecraft with very high accuracy[1]. Because of the accurate examination of the changes in phase and amplitude of the radio signal propagating from the spacecraft to the multiple stations on Earth, the PRIDE technique can be used for several fields of planetary research. The application of this technique for atmospheric studies has been assessed by observing ESA's Venus Express (VEX) during Venus occultation events in 2012 and 2014, and by participating in one of the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) campaigns in 2012. Both studies are contributing to the characterization efforts of the atmosphere and ionosphere of Venus. During the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE) campaigns VEX's orbit pericenter was lowered into an altitude range of approximately 165 to 175 km in order to probe Venus upper atmosphere above its north pole. The first VExADE campaigns were carried out between 2009-2010 using Doppler tracking data acquired by the VEX radio science experiment (VeRa), which provided the first in situ measurements of the density of Venus' polar thermosphere at solar minimum conditions [2]. In the December 2012 campaign the PRIDE-team participated by tracking VEX with several radio telescopes from the European VLBI Network (EVN) during pericenter passage. A Doppler frequency drop of ∼40 mHz was detected as VEX reached the lowest altitudes at around 170 km. The tracking data for each pericenter pass is fitted for precise orbit determination, from which drag acceleration estimates and the

  16. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deming, Drake

    2010-01-01

    Topics include: the landscape of extrasolar planets, why focus on transiting planets, some history and Spitzer results, problems in atmospheric structure or hot Jupiters and hot super Earths, what observations are needed to make progress, and what SOFIA can currently do and comments on optimized instruments.

  17. Infrared spectroscopy of homogeneously nucleated hydrazine aerosols - Disordered and crystalline phases. [in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunder, T.; Clapp, M. L.; Miller, R. E.

    1993-01-01

    It is shown that aerosols generated at low temperatures and high condensation rate spontaneously form in a highly crystalline state. The resonant absorption bands in the IR spectra of these highly crystalline particles are much sharper than any reported previously in the bulk, and reveal details in the N-H vibrational bands that have not been previously observed. A disordered phase is also observed at somewhat higher temperatures. These results are consistent with this being a supercooled liquid. The fact that the spectra associated with these two aerosol phases are quite different is important to any future attempts at detecting hydrazine aerosols in planetary atmospheres by remote sensing techniques.

  18. Planetary atmosphere evolution: do other habitable planets exist and can we detect them?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.

    1996-01-01

    The goal of this conference is to consider whether it is possible within the next few decades to detect Earth-like planets around other stars using telescopes or interferometers on the ground or in space. Implicit in the term "Earth-like" is the idea that such planets might be habitable by Earth-like organisms, or that they might actually be inhabited. Here, I shall address two questions from the standpoint of planetary atmosphere evolution. First, what are the chances that habitable planets exist around other stars? And, second, if inhabited planets exist, what would be the best way to detect them?.

  19. On the production and interaction of planetary solitary waves - Applications to the Jovian atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maxworthy, T.; Redekopp, L. G.; Weidman, P. D.

    1978-01-01

    Further evidence is presented that strengthens the case for the interpretation of many features in the Jovian atmosphere as solitary Rossby waves (solitons). These include: a mechanism whereby such waves can evolve from the instability of the basic shear flows; further interpretation of the interaction between observed features, and comparison with calculations of the interaction between planetary solitons of a restricted class; and calculations of soliton morphology for a type of shear flow other than the type considered originally by Maxworthy and Redekopp (1976).

  20. Effects of turbulent dispersion of atmospheric balance motions of planetary boundary layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shikuo; Huang, Wei; Rong, Pingping

    1992-06-01

    New Reynolds’ mean momentum equations including both turbulent viscosity and dispersion are used to analyze atmospheric balance motions of the planetary boundary layer. It is pointed out that turbulent dispersion with γ 0 will increase depth of Ekman layer, reduce wind velocity in Ekman layer and produce a more satisfactory Ekman spiral lines fit the observed wind hodograph. The wind profile in the surface layer including turbulent dispersion is still logarithmic but the von Karman constant k is replaced by k 1 = √ 1 — k/2, the wind increases a little more rapidly with height.

  1. Confirming the most water-rich extrasolar rocky body

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melis, Carl

    2014-10-01

    Most theories of exobiology require liquid water for a planet to be considered as habitable. Yet, very little is known about the prevalence of water for mature rocky objects in extrasolar planetary systems. A unique method of probing the existence, characteristics, and frequency of extrasolar water-bearing rocky bodies is through examining their bulk composition after they have been accreted by their host white dwarf star. Results to date show that water-rich extrasolar rocky bodies are rare. Evidence for oxygen in ground-based spectroscopy of SDSSJ104341.53+085558.2 suggests that it could be accreting the most water-rich extrasolar rocky object currently known. We propose COS ultraviolet spectroscopy to confirm the water-rich nature and characterize the mineralogy of the rocky body being accreted by this white dwarf star.

  2. Witnessing Extrasolar Asteroid Destruction?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Siyi; Jura, Michael; Su, Kate; Meng, Huan

    2014-11-01

    40 white dwarfs with excess infrared radiation due to a circumstellar dust disk from tidally disrupted asteroids have been identified. Recently, we identified one dusty white dwarf whose infrared fluxes have been increasing since May 2014. Very likely, it is caused by a recent tidal disruption event of extrasolar asteroid. We propose DDT to follow it up in a timely manner because the flare could dissipate very soon. This proposal provides a unique opportunity to study the destruction of an extrasolar asteroid.

  3. Bok Prize Lecture (shared) Towards a Physical Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seager, Sara

    2004-03-01

    We have entered a new era in planetary astrophysics with well over 100 giant planets now known to orbit nearby sun-like stars. Recent theoretical and observational advances have given us new constraints on the physical characteristics of extrasolar planets, while ongoing and proposed observing programs and space missions hold great promise for the future of extrasolar planet science. I will discuss the emerging understanding of the extrasolar transiting planet HD209458b, tying together several recent observational constraints as well as key upcoming measurements.I will also briefly review scientific highlights and prospects for the future detection and study of Earth-like extrasolar planets.

  4. Detecting and Constraining N2 Abundances in Planetary Atmospheres Using Collisional Pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, Edward W.; Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Misra, Amit; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2015-09-01

    Characterizing the bulk atmosphere of a terrestrial planet is important for determining surface pressure and potential habitability. Molecular nitrogen (N2) constitutes the largest fraction of Earth's atmosphere and is likely to be a major constituent of many terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. Due to its lack of significant absorption features, N2 is extremely difficult to remotely detect. However, N2 produces an N2-N2 collisional pair, (N2)2, which is spectrally active. Here we report the detection of (N2)2 in Earth's disk-integrated spectrum. By comparing spectra from NASA's EPOXI mission to synthetic spectra from the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional spectral Earth model, we find that (N2)2 absorption produces a ˜35% decrease in flux at 4.15 μm. Quantifying N2 could provide a means of determining bulk atmospheric composition for terrestrial exoplanets and could rule out abiotic O2 generation, which is possible in rarefied atmospheres. To explore the potential effects of (N2)2 in exoplanet spectra, we used radiative transfer models to generate synthetic emission and transit transmission spectra of self-consistent N2-CO2-H2O atmospheres, and analytic N2-H2 and N2-H2-CO2 atmospheres. We show that (N2)2 absorption in the wings of the 4.3 μm CO2 band is strongly dependent on N2 partial pressures above 0.5 bar and can significantly widen this band in thick N2 atmospheres. The (N2)2 transit transmission signal is up to 10 ppm for an Earth-size planet with an N2-dominated atmosphere orbiting within the habitable zone of an M5V star and could be substantially larger for planets with significant H2 mixing ratios.

  5. Polarization radiation in the planetary atmosphere delimited by a heterogeneous diffusely reflecting surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strelkov, S. A.; Sushkevich, T. A.

    1983-01-01

    Spatial frequency characteristics (SFC) and the scattering functions were studied in the two cases of a uniform horizontal layer with absolutely black bottom, and an isolated layer. The mathematical model for these examples describes the horizontal heterogeneities in a light field with regard to radiation polarization in a three dimensional planar atmosphere, delimited by a heterogeneous surface with diffuse reflection. The perturbation method was used to obtain vector transfer equations which correspond to the linear and nonlinear systems of polarization radiation transfer. The boundary value tasks for the vector transfer equation that is a parametric set and one dimensional are satisfied by the SFC of the nonlinear system, and are expressed through the SFC of linear approximation. As a consequence of the developed theory, formulas were obtained for analytical calculation of albedo in solving the task of dissemination of polarization radiation in the planetary atmosphere with uniform Lambert bottom.

  6. Stellar occultations by turbulent planetary atmospheres. I - A heuristic scattering model. II - The Beta Scorpii events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hubbard, W. B.; Jokipii, J. R.

    1977-01-01

    Effects of atmospheric turbulence on stellar-occultation inversion procedures are investigated using a heuristic scattering model that is believed to reproduce the essential features of turbulence. A quantitative estimate is made of the size of the error in deducing the mean refractivity profile of a planetary atmosphere, taking into account constant as well as exponential scattering. It is shown that ordinary turbulence has no important effect on the average intensity profile in a stellar occultation but could have an important instantaneous effect. A critical examination of possible manifestations of turbulent scattering during occultations of Beta Sco by Jupiter indicates that all observed phenomena during these events can be understood in terms of scintillations produced by turbulence.

  7. Large laser sparks for laboratory simulation of high-energy-density events in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babankova, Dagmar; Juha, Libor; Civias, Svatopluk; Bittner, Michal; Cihelka, Jaroslav; Bartnik, Andrzej; Fiedorowicz, Henryk; Mikolajczyk, Janusz; Ryc, Leszek; Pfeifer, Miroslav; Skala, Jiri; Ullschmied, Jiri

    2005-09-01

    Single ≤1 kJ pulses from a high-power laser are focused into molecular gases to create large laser sparks. This provides a unique way to mimic the chemical effects of high-energy-density events in planetary atmospheres (cometary impact, lightning) matching the natural energy-density, its spatio-temporal evolution and plasma-volume scaling of such events in a fully-controlled laboratory environment. Some chemical reactions initiated by laser-induced dielectric breakdown (LIDB) in both pure molecular gases and mixtures related to the chemical evolution of the Earth's early atmosphere were studied. Most of the experiments were carried out in a static gas cell. However, an initial series of experiments was also performed with a gas-puff target placed within a vacuum interaction chamber. Under these dynamic conditions the hot core of a laser spark can be directly investigated.

  8. Light scattering by randomly oriented cubes and parallelepipeds. [for interpretation of observed data from planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liou, K. N.; Cai, Q.; Pollack, J. B.; Cuzzi, J. N.

    1983-01-01

    In this paper, the geometric ray tracing theory for the scattering of light by hexagonal cylinders to cubes and parallelepipeds has been modified. Effects of the real and imaginary parts of the refractive index and aspect ratio of the particle on the scattering phase function and the degree of linear polarization are investigated. Causes of the physical features in the scattering polarization patterns are identified in terms of the scattering contribution due to geometric reflections and refractions. The single-scattering phase function and polarization data presented in this paper should be of some use for the interpretation of observed scattering and polarization data from planetary atmospheres and for the physical understanding of the transfer of radiation in an atmosphere containing nonspherical particles.

  9. Differential rotation in a solar-driven quasi-axisymmetric circulation. [of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayr, H. G.; Harris, I.; Chan, K. L.

    1984-01-01

    The concept of a quasi-axisymmetric circulation is used to explore the global scale dynamics of planetary atmospheres. A numerical circulation model applicable to Jupiter is presented, and an analytical study is performed elucidating the conditions leading to differential rotation in an atmosphere which is convectively unstable. A linear system forced by solar differential heating is considered, with nonlinear effects arising from advection being represented in the form of eddy diffusion. An empirical, latitudinal spectrum of the observed zonal wind field on Jupiter is discussed. Numerical solutions are presented which reveal banded wind fields with alternating and equatorial zonal jets and a multicellular Ferrel-Thomson meridional circulation consistent with the observed cloud striations on Jupiter. The vertical derivatives are parameterized to construct a simplified one-layer model.

  10. Infrared spectra of van de Waals complexes of importance in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fraser, G. T.; Pine, A. S.; Lafferty, W. J.

    1990-01-01

    It has been suggested that (CO2)2 and Ar-CO2 are important constituents of the planetary atmospheres of Venus and Mars. Recent results on the laboratory spectroscopy of CO2 containing van der Waals complexes which may be of use in the modeling of the spectra of planetary atmospheres are presented. Sub-Doppler infrared spectra were obtained for (CO2)2, (CO2)3, and rare-gas-CO2 complexes in the vicinity of the CO2 Fermi diad at 2.7 micrometers using a color-center-laser optothermal spectrometer. From the spectroscopic constants the geometries of the complexes have been determined and van der Waals vibrational frequencies have been estimated. The equilibrium configurations are C2h, C3h, and C2v, for (CO2)2, (CO2)3, and the rare-gas-CO2 complexes, respectively. Most of the homogeneous linewidths for the revibrational transitions range from 0.5 to 22 MHz, indicating that predissociation is as much as four orders of magnitude faster than radiative processes for vibrational relaxation in these complexes.

  11. Numerical Modeling of Normal-Mode Oscillations in Planetary Atmospheres: Application to Saturn and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedson, Andrew James; Ding, Leon

    2015-11-01

    We have developed a numerical model to calculate the frequencies and eigenfunctions of adiabatic, non-radial normal-mode oscillations in the gas giants and Titan. The model solves the linearized momentum, energy, and continuity equations for the perturbation displacement, pressure, and density fields and solves Poisson’s equation for the perturbation gravitational potential. The response to effects associated with planetary rotation, including the Coriolis force, centrifugal force, and deformation of the equilibrium structure, is calculated numerically. This provides the capability to accurately compute the influence of rotation on the modes, even in the limit where mode frequency approaches the rotation rate, when analytical estimates based on functional perturbation analysis become inaccurate. This aspect of the model makes it ideal for studying the potential role of low-frequency modes for driving spiral density waves in the C ring that possess relatively low pattern speeds (Hedman, M.M and P.D. Nicholson, MNRAS 444, 1369-1388). In addition, the model can be used to explore the effect of internal differential rotation on the eigenfrequencies. We will (1) present examples of applying the model to calculate the properties of normal modes in Saturn and their relationship to observed spiral density waves in the C ring, and (2) discuss how the model is used to examine the response of the superrotating atmosphere of Titan to the gravitational tide exerted by Saturn. This research was supported by a grant from the NASA Planetary Atmosphere Program.

  12. Mars Atmosphere and Thermal-Vacuum Testing for Future Planetary Exploration Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hein, Peter; Doring, Daniel

    2012-07-01

    Satellites, space probes, and their subsystems are usually thoroughly tested under vacuum and varied thermal environments before launch. IABG’s Space Test Centre in Ottobrunn, Germany, is specialized on providing these conditions for manufactures of commercial and scientific spacecraft. For planetary missions (like ESA’s ExoMars) testing also has to be performed at planetary-ambient conditions as the available atmosphere will change the heat transfer conditions within the instruments. In the case of mars missions, this atmosphere consists mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2) at a pressure of 7 mbar and temperatures as low as -120°C. The challenges under these conditions are to prevent the carbon dioxide from icing on the cold surfaces in the chamber and therefore causing pressure instabilities and safety issues if the current conditions inside the chamber are unknown. Therefore it is necessary to understand the effects taking place inside the chamber and to know, for example, the amount of CO2 currently inside the facility. Two types of thermal-vacuum test facilities are presented: A balanced electrical heating / LN2 cooling (BHC) type and a GN2-blower type with an external thermal conditioning unit (TCU) that moves the process of heat- ing/cooling outside the vacuum vessel. Their specific technology does (or does not) enable them for mars atmosphere testing. Some considerations about safety measures necessary for handling the potentially suffocating carbon dioxide are given. Results of a successful subsystem test with data on temperature and pressure stability are presented and improvements for simulating mars atmosphere in a thermal- vacuum test facility are discussed such as simulating mars weather and improved simulation of mars day-night cycle.

  13. Strong scintillations during atmospheric occultations Theoretical intensity spectra. [radio scattering during spacecraft occultations by planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hinson, D. P.

    1986-01-01

    Each of the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977 has completed a reconnaissance of the Jovian and Saturnian systems. In connection with occultation experiments, strong scintillations were observed. Further theoretical work is required before these scintillations can be interpreted. The present study is, therefore, concerned with the derivation of a theory for strong scattering during atmospheric occultation experiments, taking into account as fundamental quantity of interest the spatial spectrum (or spectral density) of intensity fluctuations. Attention is given to a theory for intensity spectra, and numerical calculations. The new formula derived for Phi-i accounts for strong scattering of electromagnetic waves during atmospheric occultations.

  14. Views from EPOXI. Colors in Our Solar System as an Analog for Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crow, Carolyn A.; McFadden, L. A.; Robinson, T.; Livengood, T. A.; Hewagama, T.; Barry, R. K.; Deming, L. D.; Meadows, V.; Lisse, C. M.

    2010-01-01

    With extrasolar planet detection becoming more common place, the frontiers of extrasolar planet science have moved beyond detection to the observations required to determine planetary properties. Once the existing observational challenges have been overcome, the first visible-light studies of extrasolar Earth-sized planets will likely employ filter photometry or low-resolution. spectroscopy to observe disk-integrated radiation from the unresolved planet. While spectroscopy of these targets is highly desirable, and provides the most robust form of characterization. S/N considerations presently limit spectroscopic measurements of extrasolar worlds. Broadband filter photometry will thus serve as a first line of characterization. In this paper we use Extrasolar Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) filter photometry of the Earth. Moon and Mars model spectra. and previous photometric and spectroscopic observations of a range the solar system planets. Titan, and Moon to explore the limitations of using color as a baseline for understanding extrasolar planets

  15. Scientific Value of a Saturn Atmospheric Probe Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon-Miller, A. A.; Lunine, J. I.; Atreya, S. K.; Spilker, T. R.; Coustenis, A.; Atkinson, D. H.

    2012-01-01

    Atmospheric entry probe mISSions to the giant planets can uniquely discriminate between competing theories of solar system formation and the origin and evolution of the giant planets and their atmospheres. This provides for important comparative studies of the gas and ice giants, and to provide a laboratory for studying the atmospheric chemistries, dynamics, and interiors of all the planets including Earth. The giant planets also represent a valuable link to extrasolar planetary systems. As outlined in the recent Planetary Decadal Survey, a Saturn Probe mission - with a shallow probe - ranks as a high priority for a New Frontiers class mission [1].

  16. Intercomparison of Martian Lower Atmosphere Simulated Using Different Planetary Boundary Layer Parameterization Schemes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Natarajan, Murali; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Smith, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    We use the mesoscale modeling capability of Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) model to study the sensitivity of the simulated Martian lower atmosphere to differences in the parameterization of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of the Martian atmosphere and realistic representation of processes such as mixing of tracers like dust depend on how well the model reproduces the evolution of the PBL structure. MarsWRF is based on the NCAR WRF model and it retains some of the PBL schemes available in the earth version. Published studies have examined the performance of different PBL schemes in NCAR WRF with the help of observations. Currently such assessments are not feasible for Martian atmospheric models due to lack of observations. It is of interest though to study the sensitivity of the model to PBL parameterization. Typically, for standard Martian atmospheric simulations, we have used the Medium Range Forecast (MRF) PBL scheme, which considers a correction term to the vertical gradients to incorporate nonlocal effects. For this study, we have also used two other parameterizations, a non-local closure scheme called Yonsei University (YSU) PBL scheme and a turbulent kinetic energy closure scheme called Mellor- Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) PBL scheme. We will present intercomparisons of the near surface temperature profiles, boundary layer heights, and wind obtained from the different simulations. We plan to use available temperature observations from Mini TES instrument onboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity in evaluating the model results.

  17. THE COMPOSITIONAL DIVERSITY OF EXTRASOLAR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS. I. IN SITU SIMULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, Jade C.; Lauretta, Dante S.; O'Brien, David P.

    2010-06-01

    Extrasolar planet host stars have been found to be enriched in key planet-building elements. These enrichments have the potential to drastically alter the composition of material available for terrestrial planet formation. Here, we report on the combination of dynamical models of late-stage terrestrial planet formation within known extrasolar planetary systems with chemical equilibrium models of the composition of solid material within the disk. This allows us to determine the bulk elemental composition of simulated extrasolar terrestrial planets. A wide variety of resulting planetary compositions are found, ranging from those that are essentially 'Earth like', containing metallic Fe and Mg silicates, to those that are dominated by graphite and SiC. This shows that a diverse range of terrestrial planets may exist within extrasolar planetary systems.

  18. Comparative Study on Hot Atom Coronae of Solar and Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shematovich, Valery

    Solar/stellar forcing on the upper atmospheres of the solar and extrasolar planets via both absorption of the XUV (soft X-rays and extreme ultraviolet) radiation and atmospheric sputtering results in the formation of an extended neutral corona populated by the suprathermal (hot) H, C, N, and O atoms (see, e.g., Johnson et al., 2008). The hot corona, in turn, is altered by an inflow of the solar wind/magnetospheric plasma and local pick-up ions onto the planetary exosphere. Such inflow results in the formation of the superthermal atoms (energetic neutral atoms - ENAs) due to the charge exchange with the high-energy precipitating ions and can affect the long-term evolution of the atmosphere due to the atmospheric escape. The origin, kinetics and transport of the suprathermal H, C, N, and O atoms in the transition regions (from thermosphere to exosphere) of the planetary atmospheres are discussed. Reactions of dissociative recombination of the ionospheric ions CO _{2} (+) , CO (+) , O _{2} (+) , and N _{2} (+) with thermal electrons are the main photochemical sources of hot atoms. The dissociation of atmospheric molecules by the solar/stellar XUV radiation and accompanying photoelectron fluxes and the induced exothermic photochemistry are also the important sources of the suprathermal atoms. Such kinetic systems with the non-thermal processes are usually investigated with the different (test particles, DSMC, and hybrid) versions of the kinetic Monte Carlo method. In our studies the kinetic energy distribution functions of suprathermal and superthermal atoms were calculated using the stochastic model of the hot planetary corona (Shematovich, 2004, 2010; Groeller et al., 2014), and the Monte Carlo model (Shematovich et al., 2011, 2013) of the high-energy proton and hydrogen atom precipitation into the atmosphere respectively. These functions allowed us to estimate the space distribution of suprathermals in the planetary transition regions. An application of these

  19. Detecting Extrasolar Planets With Millimeter-Wave Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    Do nearby stars have planetary systems like our own? How do such systems evolve? How common are such systems? Proposed radio observatories operating at millimeter wavelengths could start answering these questions within the next 6-10 years, according to scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Bryan Butler, Robert Brown, Richard Simon, Al Wootten and Darrel Emerson, all of NRAO, presented their findings today to the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Antonio, TX. Detecting planets circling other stars is a particularly difficult task, and only a few such planets have been discovered so far. In order to answer fundamental questions about planetary systems and their origin, scientists need to find and study many more extrasolar planets. According to the NRAO scientists, millimeter-wavelength observatories could provide valuable information about extrasolar planetary systems at all stages of their evolution. "With instruments planned by 2005, we could detect planets the size of Jupiter around a solar-type star out to a distance of 100 light-years," said Robert Brown, Associate Director of NRAO. "That means," he added, "that we could survey approximately 2,000 stars of different types to learn if they have planets this size." Millimeter waves occupy the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between radio microwaves and infrared waves. Telescopes for observing at millimeter wavelengths utilize advanced electronic equipment similar to that used in radio telescopes observing at longer wavelengths. Millimeter-wave observatories offer a number of advantages in the search for extrasolar planets. Planned multi-antenna millimeter-wave telescopes can provide much higher resolving power, or ability to see fine detail, than current optical or infrared telescopes. Millimeter-wave observations would not be degraded by interference from the "zodiacal light" reflected by interplanetary dust, either in the extrasolar system or our own solar system

  20. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Origin of Planetary Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Origin of Planetary Systems" included the following reports: (12753) Povenmire - Standard Comparison Small Main Belt Asteroid?; Gravitational Frequencies of Extra-Solar Planets; 'Jumping Jupiters' in Binary Star Systems; Hermes, Asteroid 2002 SY50 and the Northern Cetids - No Link Found!; What Kind of Accretion Model is Required for the Solar System; and Use of an Orbital Phase Curve of Extrasolar Planet for Specification of its Mass.

  1. Gamma-ray and neutron spectroscopy of planetary surfaces and atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Reedy, R.C.

    1987-01-01

    The neutrons and gamma rays escaping from a planet can be used to map the concentrations of various elements in its surface. In a planet, the high-energy particles in the galactic cosmic rays induce a cascade of particles that includes many neutrons. The ..gamma.. rays are made by the decay of the naturally-occurring radioelements and by nuclear excitations induced by cosmic-ray particles and their secondaries (especially neutron capture or inelastic scattering reactions). After a short history of planetary ..gamma..-ray and neutron spectroscopy, the ..gamma..-ray spectrometer and active neutron detection system planned for the Mars Observer Mission are presented. The results of laboratory experiments that simulate the cosmic-ray bombardments of planetary surfaces and the status of the theoretical calculations for the processes that make and transport neutrons and ..gamma.. rays will be reviewed. Studies of Mars, including its atmosphere, are emphasized, as are new ideas, concepts, and problems that have arisen over the last decade, such as Doppler broadening and peaks from neutron scattering with germanium nuclei in a ..gamma..-ray spectrometer. 23 refs., 1 fig.

  2. Carbon to oxygen ratios in extrasolar planetesimals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, David J.; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Farihi, Jay; Koester, Detlev

    2016-04-01

    Observations of small extrasolar planets with a wide range of densities imply a variety of planetary compositions and structures. Currently, the only technique to measure the bulk composition of extrasolar planetary systems is the analysis of planetary debris accreting onto white dwarfs, analogous to abundance studies of meteorites. We present measurements of the carbon and oxygen abundances in the debris of planetesimals at ten white dwarfs observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, along with C/O ratios of debris in six systems with previously reported abundances. We find no evidence for carbon-rich planetesimals, with C/O <0.8 by number in all 16 systems. Our results place an upper limit on the occurrence of carbon-rich systems at <17 percent with a 2 σ confidence level. The range of C/O of the planetesimals is consistent with that found in the Solar System, and appears to follow a bimodal distribution: a group similar to the CI chondrites, with log ( < C/O > ) = -0.92, and oxygen-rich objects with C/O less than or equal to that of the bulk Earth. The latter group may have a higher mass fraction of water than the Earth, increasing their relative oxygen abundance.

  3. Carbon to oxygen ratios in extrasolar planetesimals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, David J.; Gänsicke, Boris T.; Farihi, Jay; Koester, Detlev

    2016-07-01

    Observations of small extrasolar planets with a wide range of densities imply a variety of planetary compositions and structures. Currently, the only technique to measure the bulk composition of extrasolar planetary systems is the analysis of planetary debris accreting on to white dwarfs, analogous to abundance studies of meteorites. We present measurements of the carbon and oxygen abundances in the debris of planetesimals at ten white dwarfs observed with the Hubble Space Telescope, along with C/O ratios of debris in six systems with previously reported abundances. We find no evidence for carbon-rich planetesimals, with C/O < 0.8 by number in all 16 systems. Our results place an upper limit on the occurrence of carbon-rich systems at <17 per cent with a 2σ confidence level. The range of C/O of the planetesimals is consistent with that found in the Solar system, and appears to follow a bimodal distribution: a group similar to the CI chondrites, with log (< C/O >) = -0.92, and oxygen-rich objects with C/O less than or equal to that of the bulk Earth. The latter group may have a higher mass fraction of water than the Earth, increasing their relative oxygen abundance.

  4. Microwave spectra of van der Waals complexes of importance in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suenram, R. D.; Lovas, F. J.

    1990-05-01

    The Fourier-transform Fabry-Perot pulsed-molecular-beam microwave spectrometer at NIST was used to study the microwave spectra of a number of molecular dimers and trimers that may be present in planetary atmospheres. The weak van der Waals bonds associated with these species usually give rise to rotational-tunneling splittings in the microwave spectra. The microwave spectrum of the water dimer species was used to illustrate the complications that can arise in the study of the rotational spectra of these loosely bound species. In addition to the water dimer species, the microwave spectra of the following hydrogen-bonded and van der Waals complexes were studied: (CO2)2-H2O, CO2-(H2O)2, CO2-H2S, N2-H2O, CO-H2O, SO2-H2O, and O3-H2O.

  5. Vapor Pressure Isotope Fractionation Effects in Planetary Atmospheres: Application to Deuterium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fouchet, Thierry; Lellouch, Emmanuel

    2000-03-01

    The impact of the vapor pressure difference between deuterated and nondeuterated condensing molecules in planetary atmospheres is quantitatively assessed. This difference results in a loss of deuterium in the vapor phase above the condensation level. In Titan, Uranus, and Neptune, the effect on CH 3D is too subtle to alter current D/H ratio determinations. In Mars, the effect can induce a large depletion of HDO, starting about one scale height above the condensation level. Although the current infrared measurements of the D/H ratio appear to be almost unaffected, the intensity of disk-averaged millimetric HDO lines can be modified by about 10%. The effect is much stronger in limb sounding and can be easily detected from orbiter observations.

  6. Using the transit of Venus to probe the upper planetary atmosphere

    PubMed Central

    Reale, Fabio; Gambino, Angelo F.; Micela, Giuseppina; Maggio, Antonio; Widemann, Thomas; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    During a planetary transit, atoms with high atomic number absorb short-wavelength radiation in the upper atmosphere, and the planet should appear larger during a primary transit observed in high-energy bands than in the optical band. Here we measure the radius of Venus with subpixel accuracy during the transit in 2012 observed in the optical, ultraviolet and soft X-rays with Hinode and Solar Dynamics Observatory missions. We find that, while Venus's optical radius is about 80 km larger than the solid body radius (the top of clouds and haze), the radius increases further by >70 km in the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-rays. This measures the altitude of the densest ion layers of Venus's ionosphere (CO2 and CO), useful for planning missions in situ, and a benchmark case for detecting transits of exoplanets in high-energy bands with future missions, such as the ESA Athena. PMID:26102562

  7. Using the transit of Venus to probe the upper planetary atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Reale, Fabio; Gambino, Angelo F; Micela, Giuseppina; Maggio, Antonio; Widemann, Thomas; Piccioni, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    During a planetary transit, atoms with high atomic number absorb short-wavelength radiation in the upper atmosphere, and the planet should appear larger during a primary transit observed in high-energy bands than in the optical band. Here we measure the radius of Venus with subpixel accuracy during the transit in 2012 observed in the optical, ultraviolet and soft X-rays with Hinode and Solar Dynamics Observatory missions. We find that, while Venus's optical radius is about 80 km larger than the solid body radius (the top of clouds and haze), the radius increases further by >70 km in the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-rays. This measures the altitude of the densest ion layers of Venus's ionosphere (CO2 and CO), useful for planning missions in situ, and a benchmark case for detecting transits of exoplanets in high-energy bands with future missions, such as the ESA Athena. PMID:26102562

  8. Microwave spectra of van der Waals complexes of importance in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suenram, R. D.; Lovas, F. J.

    1990-01-01

    The Fourier-transform Fabry-Perot pulsed-molecular-beam microwave spectrometer at NIST was used to study the microwave spectra of a number of molecular dimers and trimers that may be present in planetary atmospheres. The weak van der Waals bonds associated with these species usually give rise to rotational-tunneling splittings in the microwave spectra. The microwave spectrum of the water dimer species was used to illustrate the complications that can arise in the study of the rotational spectra of these loosely bound species. In addition to the water dimer species, the microwave spectra of the following hydrogen-bonded and van der Waals complexes were studied: (CO2)2-H2O, CO2-(H2O)2, CO2-H2S, N2-H2O, CO-H2O, SO2-H2O, and O3-H2O.

  9. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, P. G.

    1986-01-01

    After long arduous work with the simulator, measurements of the refractivity and absorptivity of nitrogen under conditions similar to those for Titan were completed. The most significant measurements, however, were those of the microwave absorption from gaseous ammonia under simulated conditions for the Jovian atmospheres over wavelengths from 1.3 to 22 cm. The results of these measurements are critical in that they confirm the theoretical calculation of the ammonia opacity using the Ben-Reuven lineshape. The application of both these results, and results obtained previously, to planetary observations at microwave frequencies were especially rewarding. Applications of the results for ammonia to radio astronomical observations of Jupiter in the 1.3 to 20 cm wavelength range and the application of results for gaseous H2SO4 under simulated Venus conditions are discussed.

  10. Proposal for constructing an advanced software tool for planetary atmospheric modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, Richard M.; Sims, Michael H.; Podolak, Esther; Mckay, Christopher P.; Thompson, David E.

    1990-01-01

    Scientific model building can be a time intensive and painstaking process, often involving the development of large and complex computer programs. Despite the effort involved, scientific models cannot easily be distributed and shared with other scientists. In general, implemented scientific models are complex, idiosyncratic, and difficult for anyone but the original scientist/programmer to understand. We believe that advanced software techniques can facilitate both the model building and model sharing process. We propose to construct a scientific modeling software tool that serves as an aid to the scientist in developing and using models. The proposed tool will include an interactive intelligent graphical interface and a high level, domain specific, modeling language. As a testbed for this research, we propose development of a software prototype in the domain of planetary atmospheric modeling.

  11. Electron conic distributions produced by solar ionizing radiation in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, W. K.; Brain, D. L.; Yau, A. W.; Richards, P. G.

    2015-06-01

    Electron conic distributions have angular distributions with peak fluxes well separated from the field aligned-direction. They have previously been reported at Earth on auroral field lines and at the Moon and Mars on closed crustal magnetic field lines. Here we report observations of electron conics at Earth on closed magnetic field lines well removed from the aurora. We show how these distributions could be produced without plasma wave interactions when magnetic field lines are illuminated by solar ionizing radiation at relatively high altitudes in the ionosphere. Examination of previous reports of electron conic distributions observed in planetary atmospheres show that there are a variety of physical mechanisms that can lead to their formation, not all of which require wave-particle interactions.

  12. Formation of bioorganic compounds in simulated planetary atmospheres by high energy particles or photons.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, K; Masuda, H; Ushio, K I; Ohashi, A; Yamanashi, H; Kaneko, T; Takahashi, J I; Hosokawa, T; Hashimoto, H; Saito, T

    2001-01-01

    Various types of organic compounds have been detected in Jupiter, Titan, and cometary coma. It is probable that organic compounds were formed in primitive Earth and Mars atmospheres. Cosmic rays and solar UV are believed to be two major energy sources for organic formation in space. We examined energetics of organic formation in simulated planetary atmospheres. Gas mixtures including a C-source (carbon monoxide or methane) and a N-source (nitrogen or ammonia) was irradiated with the followings: High energy protons or electrons from accelerators, gamma-rays from 60Co, UV light from a deuterium lamp, and soft X-rays or UV light from an electron synchrotron. Amino acids were detected in the products of particles, gamma-rays and soft X-rays irradiation from each gas mixture examined. UV light gave, however, no amino acid precursors in the gas mixture of carbon monoxide, nitrogen and nitrogen. It gave only a trace of them in the gas mixture of carbon monoxide, ammonia and water or that of methane, nitrogen and water. Yield of amino acid precursors by photons greatly depended on their wavelength. These results suggest that nitrogen-containing organic compounds like amino acid precursors were formed chiefly with high energy particles, not UV photons, in Titan or primitive Earth/Mars atmospheres where ammonia is not available as a predominant N-source. PMID:11605633

  13. Formation of bioorganic compounds in simulated planetary atmospheres by high energy particles or photons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobayashi, Kensei; Masuda, Hitomi; Ushio, Ken-ichiro; Ohashi, Akihiro; Yamanashi, Hiroto; Kaneko, Takeo; Takahashi, Jun-ichi; Hosokawa, Teruo; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Saito, Takeshi

    Various types of organic compounds have been detected in Jupiter, Titan, and cometary coma. It is probable that organic compounds were formed in primitive Earth and Mars atmospheres. Cosmic rays and solar UV are believed to be two major energy sources for organic formation in space. We examined energetics of organic formation in simulated planetary atmospheres. Gas mixtures including a C-source (carbon monoxide or methane) and a N-source (nitrogen or ammonia) was irradiated with the followings: High energy protons or electrons from accelerators, gamma-rays from 60Co, UV light from a deuterium lamp, and soft X-rays or UV light from an electron synchrotron. Amino acids were detected in the products of particles, gamma-rays and soft X-rays irradiation from each gas mixture examined. UV light gave, however, no amino acid precursors in the gas mixture of carbon monoxide, nitrogen and nitrogen. It gave only a trace of them in the gas mixture of carbon monoxide, ammonia and water or that of methane, nitrogen and water. Yield of amino acid precursors by photons greatly depended on their wavelength. These results suggest that nitrogen-containing organic compounds like amino acid precursors were formed chiefly with high energy particles, not UV photons, in Titan or primitive Earth/Mars atmospheres where ammonia is not available as a predominant N-source.

  14. Water in planetary and cometary atmospheres: H2O/HDO transmittance and fluorescence models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, G. L.; Mumma, M. J.; Bonev, B. P.; Novak, R. E.; Barber, R. J.; Disanti, M. A.

    2012-02-01

    We developed a modern methodology to retrieve water (H2O) and deuterated water (HDO) in planetary and cometary atmospheres, and constructed an accurate spectral database that combines theoretical and empirical results. On the basis of a greatly expanded set of spectroscopic parameters, we built a full non-resonance cascade fluorescence model and computed fluorescence efficiencies for H2O (500 million lines) and HDO (700 million lines). The new line list was also integrated into an advanced terrestrial radiative transfer code (LBLRTM) and adapted to the CO2 rich atmosphere of Mars, for which we adopted the complex Robert-Bonamy formalism for line shapes. We retrieved water and D/H in the atmospheres of Mars, comet C/2007 W1 (Boattini), and Earth by applying the new formalism to spectra obtained with the high-resolution spectrograph NIRSPEC/Keck II atop Mauna Kea (Hawaii). The new model accurately describes the complex morphology of the water bands and greatly increases the accuracy of the retrieved abundances (and the D/H ratio in water) with respect to previously available models. The new model provides improved agreement of predicted and measured intensities for many H2O lines already identified in comets, and it identifies several unassigned cometary emission lines as new emission lines of H2O. The improved spectral accuracy permits retrieval of more accurate rotational temperatures and production rates for cometary water.

  15. MICROWAVE REMOTE SENSING OF PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES: THE 50 YEARS FROM MARINER 2 TO NASA-JUNO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    2013-10-01

    In November 2012, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of spacecraft-based exploration of planets and satellites other our own. The first successful interplanetary mission (Mariner 2) included the first spaceborne microwave radiometer for studying planetary atmospheres which measured the 1.3 and 2.0 cm emission spectrum of Venus (also known as the Cytherean spectrum), These measurements, plus accompanying earth-based observations of the centimeter-wavelength spectrum were used to establish early models of the composition and structure of Venus. Shortly thereafter, measurements of the microwave emission spectrum of Jupiter (also known as the Jovian spectrum) from 1.18 to 1.58 cm were conducted. In both sets of observations, wavelengths near the 1.35 cm water-vapor resonance were selected in hope of detecting the spectral signature of water vapor, but none was found. Thus the question remained, “where’s the water?” The NASA-Juno mission is the first mission since Mariner 2 to carry a microwave radiometer instrument designed specifically for atmospheric sensing. It is expected to finally detect water in the Jovian atmosphere.

  16. 12 years of atmospheric monitoring by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard Mars Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giuranna, Marco; Grassi, Davide; Aronica, Alessandro; Scaccabarozzi, Diego; Saggin, Bortolino; Aoki, Shohei; Wolkenberg, Paulina; Formisano, Vittorio

    2016-04-01

    We use thermal-infrared spectra returned by the Mars Express Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS-MEx) to retrieve atmospheric and surface temperature, and dust and water ice aerosol optical depth. More than 2,500,000 spectra have been used to build this new dataset, covering the full range of season, latitude, longitude, and local time. The data presented here span more than six Martian years (from MY26, Ls = 331°, 10 January 2004 to MY 33, Ls = 78°, 6 December 2015). We successfully retrieved atmospheric temperatures and aerosols opacity in the polar regions, including the polar nights. By exploiting PFS/MEx capability to perform observations at different local times (LT), this dataset allows investigation of the daily cycles of suspended dust and ice. We present an overview of the seasonal and latitudinal dependence of atmospheric quantities during the relevant period, as well as an assessment of the interannual variability in the current Martian climate, including spatial, daily (LT), seasonal, and interannual variations of the aphelion equatorial cloud belt. With unprecedented spatial and temporal coverage and details revealed, this dataset offers new challenges to the GCMs and, at the same time, a new reference for the MYs complementary to those observed by MGS-TES.

  17. Water Planetary and Cometary Atmospheres: H2O/HDO Transmittance and Fluorescence Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Villanueva, G. L.; Mumma, M. J.; Bonev, B. P.; Novak, R. E.; Barber, R. J.; DiSanti, M. A.

    2012-01-01

    We developed a modern methodology to retrieve water (H2O) and deuterated water (HDO) in planetary and cometary atmospheres, and constructed an accurate spectral database that combines theoretical and empirical results. Based on a greatly expanded set of spectroscopic parameters, we built a full non-resonance cascade fluorescence model and computed fluorescence efficiencies for H2O (500 million lines) and HDO (700 million lines). The new line list was also integrated into an advanced terrestrial radiative transfer code (LBLRTM) and adapted to the CO2 rich atmosphere of Mars, for which we adopted the complex Robert-Bonamy formalism for line shapes. We then retrieved water and D/H in the atmospheres of Mars, comet C/2007 WI, and Earth by applying the new formalism to spectra obtained with the high-resolution spectrograph NIRSPEC/Keck II atop Mauna Kea (Hawaii). The new model accurately describes the complex morphology of the water bands and greatly increases the accuracy of the retrieved abundances (and the D/H ratio in water) with respect to previously available models. The new model provides improved agreement of predicted and measured intensities for many H2O lines already identified in comets, and it identifies several unassigned cometary emission lines as new emission lines of H2O. The improved spectral accuracy permits retrieval of more accurate rotational temperatures and production rates for cometary water.

  18. Simulating super earth atmospheres in the laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claudi, R.; Erculiani, M. S.; Galletta, G.; Billi, D.; Pace, E.; Schierano, D.; Giro, E.; D'Alessandro, M.

    2016-01-01

    Several space missions, such as JWST, TESS and the very recently proposed ARIEL, or ground-based experiments, as SPHERE and GPI, have been proposed to measure the atmospheric transmission, reflection and emission spectra of extrasolar planets. The planet atmosphere characteristics and possible biosignatures will be inferred by studying planetary spectra in order to identify the emission/absorption lines/bands from atmospheric molecules such as water (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3), etc. In particular, it is important to know in detail the optical characteristics of gases in the typical physical conditions of the planetary atmospheres and how these characteristics could be affected by radiation driven photochemical and biochemical reaction. The main aim of the project `Atmosphere in a Test Tube' is to provide insights on exoplanet atmosphere modification due to biological intervention. This can be achieved simulating planetary atmosphere at different pressure and temperature conditions under the effects of radiation sources, used as proxies of different bands of the stellar emission. We are tackling the characterization of extrasolar planet atmospheres by mean of innovative laboratory experiments described in this paper. The experiments are intended to reproduce the conditions on warm earths and super earths hosted by low-mass M dwarfs primaries with the aim to understand if a cyanobacteria population hosted on a Earth-like planet orbiting an M0 star is able to maintain its photosynthetic activity and produce traceable signatures.

  19. A high sensitivity polarimeter for the direct detection and characterization of extra-solar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hough, James H.; Lucas, Philip W.; Bailey, Jeremy A.; Tamura, Motohide

    2003-02-01

    We are constructing a high sensitivity optical polarimeter capable of detecting fractional polarization levels below 10-6. The science goal is to directly detect extra-solar planets (ESP), in contrast to the indirect methods such as radial velocity measurements. The polarimeter will detect starlight scattered from the atmosphere of the planet as a polarisation signal thereby giving information on the planetary atmospheres. The radius of the planet and the planet temperature can be determined from the measured albedo. The position angle of polarisation will enable the mass of planets, detected through radial velocity measurements, to be determined without the uncertainty of the orbit inclination (Msini). The polarimeter has an essentially simple and classical design but is able to take advantage, inter alia, of modern detector technology.

  20. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    SciTech Connect

    Macintosh, B

    2005-04-11

    One of the most exciting scientific discoveries in the last decade of the twentieth century was the first detection of planets orbiting a star other than our own. By now more than 130 extrasolar planets have been discovered indirectly, by observing the gravitational effects of the planet on the radial velocity of its parent star. This technique has fundamental limitations: it is most sensitive to planets close to their star, and it determines only a planet's orbital period and a lower limit on the planet's mass. As a result, all the planetary systems found so far are very different from our own--they have giant Jupiter-sized planets orbiting close to their star, where the terrestrial planets are found in our solar system. Such systems have overturned the conventional paradigm of planet formation, but have no room in them for habitable Earth-like planets. A powerful complement to radial velocity detections of extrasolar planets will be direct imaging--seeing photons from the planet itself. Such a detection would allow photometric measurements to determine the temperature and radius of a planet. Also, direct detection is most sensitive to planets in wide orbits, and hence more capable of seeing solar systems resembling our own, since a giant planet in a wide orbit does not preclude the presence of an Earth-like planet closer to the star. Direct detection, however, is extremely challenging. Jupiter is roughly a billion times fainter than our sun. Two techniques allowed us to overcome this formidable contrast and attempt to see giant planets directly. The first is adaptive optics (AO) which allows giant earth-based telescopes, such as the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope, to partially overcome the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. The second is looking for young planets: by searching in the infrared for companions to young stars, we can see thermal emission from planets that are still warm with the heat of their formation. Together with a UCLA team that leads the

  1. Formation, Habitability, and Detection of Extrasolar Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heller, René; Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Émeline; Grasset, Olivier; Lewis, Karen; Barnes, Rory; Zuluaga, Jorge I.

    2014-09-01

    The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1-0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology.

  2. Formation, habitability, and detection of extrasolar moons.

    PubMed

    Heller, René; Williams, Darren; Kipping, David; Limbach, Mary Anne; Turner, Edwin; Greenberg, Richard; Sasaki, Takanori; Bolmont, Emeline; Grasset, Olivier; Lewis, Karen; Barnes, Rory; Zuluaga, Jorge I

    2014-09-01

    The diversity and quantity of moons in the Solar System suggest a manifold population of natural satellites exist around extrasolar planets. Of peculiar interest from an astrobiological perspective, the number of sizable moons in the stellar habitable zones may outnumber planets in these circumstellar regions. With technological and theoretical methods now allowing for the detection of sub-Earth-sized extrasolar planets, the first detection of an extrasolar moon appears feasible. In this review, we summarize formation channels of massive exomoons that are potentially detectable with current or near-future instruments. We discuss the orbital effects that govern exomoon evolution, we present a framework to characterize an exomoon's stellar plus planetary illumination as well as its tidal heating, and we address the techniques that have been proposed to search for exomoons. Most notably, we show that natural satellites in the range of 0.1-0.5 Earth mass (i) are potentially habitable, (ii) can form within the circumplanetary debris and gas disk or via capture from a binary, and (iii) are detectable with current technology. PMID:25147963

  3. Formation of spectral lines in planetary atmospheres. III - The use of analytic scattering diagrams in computations of synthetic spectra for cloudy atmospheres.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, G. E.

    1972-01-01

    Results of some comparisons that have been made of line profiles and equivalent widths computed from atmospheric models where the scattering has been represented by the Mie theory and a simple analytic expression, the Heyney-Greenstein function. These results show that the spectroscopic features for these models are indistinguishable and demonstrate the value of using this simple analytic function in terms of the great saving in computer time when computing synthetic spectra for any cloudy planetary atmosphere.

  4. DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, Tyler D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David

    2010-09-20

    Glint, the specular reflection of sunlight off Earth's oceans, may reveal the presence of oceans on an extrasolar planet. As an Earth-like planet nears crescent phases, the size of the ocean glint spot increases relative to the fraction of the illuminated disk, while the reflectivity of this spot increases. Both effects change the planet's visible reflectivity as a function of phase. However, strong forward scattering of radiation by clouds can also produce increases in a planet's reflectivity as it approaches crescent phases, and surface glint can be obscured by Rayleigh scattering and atmospheric absorption. Here, we explore the detectability of glint in the presence of an atmosphere and realistic phase-dependent scattering from oceans and clouds. We use the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model to simulate Earth's broadband visible brightness and reflectivity over an orbit. Our validated simulations successfully reproduce phase-dependent Earthshine observations. We find that the glinting Earth can be as much as 100% brighter at crescent phases than simulations that do not include glint, and that the effect is dependent on both orbital inclination and wavelength, where the latter dependence is caused by Rayleigh scattering limiting sensitivity to the surface. We show that this phenomenon may be observable using the James Webb Space Telescope paired with an external occulter.

  5. Observational Studies of Transiting Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southworth, J.

    2015-07-01

    The study of transiting extrasolar planets is only 15 years old, but has matured into a rich area of research. I review the observational aspects of this work, concentrating on the discovery of transits, the characterization of planets from photometry and spectroscopy, the Homogeneous Studies project, starspots, orbital obliquities, and the atmospheric properties of the known planets. I begin with historical context and conclude with a glance to a future of TESS, CHEOPS, Gaia and PLATO.

  6. How common are aeolian processes on planetary bodies with very thin atmospheres?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pähtz, Thomas; Duran, Orencio

    2016-04-01

    Observations from the Voyager 2, New Horizons, and Rosetta missions indicate that aeolian surface features, such as ripples and dunes, do not only occur on the surfaces of Earth, Mars, and Titan, but seemingly also on the surfaces of planetary bodies with extremely thin atmospheres, such as Triton, Pluto, and the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is highly intriguing since the saltation-threshold wind shear velocities predicted for these bodies from standard saltation-threshold models are so large that wind erosion actually should not occur. Here, guided by coupled DEM/RANS numerical simulations of sediment transport in Newtonian fluid using the numerical model by Duran et al. (POF 24, 103306, 2012), we propose an analytical model based entirely on physical princinples that predicts the minimal fluid speeds required to sustain sediment transport in Newtonian fluid. The analytical model is consistent with measurements of the transport threshold in water and Earth's air and with a recent observational estimate of the threshold on Mars. When applied to Triton and Pluto, it predicts threshold wind shear velocities (ut) of about 1-3m/s, which is comparable to wind shear occurring during storms on Earth and Mars, for particles with diameters (d) within the range d ∈ [200,3000]μm. The minimal values (≈ 1m/s) are thereby predicted for surprisingly large particles with d ≈ 2000μm. When applied to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the analytical model predicts threshold wind shear velocities that are fairly extreme (e.g., ut = 45m/s for d = 1cm), but nonetheless consistent with wind shear velocities estimated to occur on this comet. From our results, we conclude that surface-shaping wind erosion and thus the occurrence of aeolian surface features might be much more common on low-air-density planetary bodies than previously thought.

  7. Aerial Vehicle Surveys of other Planetary Atmospheres and Surfaces: Imaging, Remote-sensing, and Autonomy Technology Requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Gregory; Ippolito, Corey; Alena, Rick

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review the anticipated imaging and remote-sensing technology requirements for aerial vehicle survey missions to other planetary bodies in our Solar system that can support in-atmosphere flight. In the not too distant future such planetary aerial vehicle (a.k.a. aerial explorers) exploration missions will become feasible. Imaging and remote-sensing observations will be a key objective for these missions. Accordingly, it is imperative that optimal solutions in terms of imaging acquisition and real-time autonomous analysis of image data sets be developed for such vehicles.

  8. Polarimetry of hot-Jupiter systems and radiative transfer models of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bott, Kimberly; Bailey, Jeremy; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Cotton, Daniel; Marshall, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    Thousands of exoplanets and planet candidates have been detected. The next important step in the contexts of astrobiology, planetary classification and planet formation is to characterise them. My dissertation aims to provide further characterisation to four hot Jupiter exoplanets: the relatively well-characterised HD 189733b, WASP-18b which is nearly large enough to be a brown dwarf, and two minimally characterised non-transiting hot Jupiters: HD 179949b and tau Bootis b.For the transiting planets, this is done through two means. First, published data from previous observations of the secondary eclipse (and transit for HD 189733b) are compared to models created with the Versatile Software for the Transfer of Atmospheric Radiation (VSTAR). Second, new polarimetric observations from the HIgh Precision Polarimetric Instrument are compared to Lambert-Rayleigh polarised light phase curves. For the non-transiting planets, only the polarimetric measurements are compared to models, but toy radiative transfer models are produced for concept. As an introduction to radiative transfer models, VSTAR is applied to the planet Uranus to measure its D/H isotope ratio. A preliminary value is derived for D/H in one part of the atmosphere.Fitting a single atmospheric model to the transmitted, reflected, and emitted light, I confirm the presence of water on HD 189733b, and present a new temperature profile and cloud profile for the planet. For WASP-18b, I confirm the general shape of the temperature profile. No conclusions can be drawn from the polarimetric measurements for the non-transiting planets. I detect a possible variation with phase for transiting planet WASP-18b but cannot confirm it at this time. Alternative sources to the planet are discussed. For HD 189733b, I detect possible variability in the polarised light at the scale expected for the planet. However, the data are also statistically consistent with no variability and are not matched to the phase of the planet.

  9. Possibilities for the detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Knacke, Roger F

    2003-01-01

    We consider possibilities for the remote detection of microbial life on extrasolar planets. The Darwin/Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) telescope concepts for observations of terrestrial planets focus on indirect searches for life through the detection of atmospheric gases related to life processes. Direct detection of extraterrestrial life may also be possible through well-designed searches for microbial life forms. Satellites in Earth orbit routinely monitor colonies of terrestrial algae in oceans and lakes by analysis of reflected ocean light in the visible region of the spectrum. These remote sensing techniques suggest strategies for extrasolar searches for signatures of chlorophylls and related photosynthetic compounds associated with life. However, identification of such life-related compounds on extrasolar planets would require observations through strong, interfering absorptions and scattering radiances from the remote atmospheres and landmasses. Techniques for removal of interfering radiances have been extensively developed for remote sensing from Earth orbit. Comparable techniques would have to be developed for extrasolar planet observations also, but doing so would be challenging for a remote planet. Darwin/TPF coronagraph concepts operating in the visible seem to be best suited for searches for extrasolar microbial life forms with instruments that can be projected for the 2010-2020 decades, although resolution and signal-to-noise ratio constraints severely limit detection possibilities on terrestrial-type planets. The generation of telescopes with large apertures and extremely high spatial resolutions that will follow Darwin/TPF could offer striking possibilities for the direct detection of extrasolar microbial life. PMID:14678662

  10. Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pudritz, Ralph; Higgs, Paul; Stone, Jonathon

    2013-01-01

    Preface; Part I. Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life: 1. Observations of extrasolar planetary systems Shay Zucker; 2. The atmospheres of extrasolar planets L. Jeremy Richardson and Sara Seager; 3. Terrestrial planet formation Edward Thommes; 4. Protoplanetary disks, amino acids and the genetic code Paul Higgs and Ralph Pudritz; 5. Emergent phenomena in biology: the origin of cellular life David Deamer; Part II. Life on Earth: 6. Extremophiles: defining the envelope for the search for life in the Universe Lynn Rothschild; 7. Hyperthermophilic life on Earth - and on Mars? Karl Stetter; 8. Phylogenomics: how far back in the past can we go? Henner Brinkmann, Denis Baurain and Hervé Philippe; 9. Horizontal gene transfer, gene histories and the root of the tree of life Olga Zhaxybayeva and J. Peter Gogarten; 10. Evolutionary innovation versus ecological incumbency Adolf Seilacher; 11. Gradual origins for the Metazoans Alexandra Pontefract and Jonathan Stone; Part III. Life in the Solar System?: 12. The search for life on Mars Chris McKay; 13. Life in the dark dune spots of Mars: a testable hypothesis Eörs Szathmary, Tibor Ganti, Tamas Pocs, Andras Horvath, Akos Kereszturi, Szaniszlo Berzci and Andras Sik; 14. Titan: a new astrobiological vision from the Cassini-Huygens data François Raulin; 15. Europa, the Ocean Moon: tides, permeable ice, and life Richard Greenberg; Index.

  11. VISTA: a micro-thermogravimeter to analyze condensable species in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palomba, Ernesto; Zampetti, Emiliano; Longobardo, Andrea; Biondi, David; Saggin, Bortolino; Boccaccini, Angelo; Dirri, Fabrizio

    Thermogravimetry is a technique largely used in order to study absorption/desorption and sublimation/evaporation processes in several environments. Micro-thermogravimetry (mu-TGA) is particularly suitable for space applications, due to the very small mass, volume and power required by mu-TGA sensors. VISTA (Volatile In Situ Thermogravimetry Analyser) is a micro-thermogravimeter developed at IAPS-INAF (Rome) which aims to measure the amount of volatiles of scientific interest (e.g. water, organics) in planetary environments. It is based on Piezoelectric Crystal Microbalances (PCM), whose resonant frequency is linearly related to the deposited mass. The PCM heating/cooling allows the release/deposition of volatile materials, allowing to measure their abundance and to infer their composition. The instrument has been selected in the payload of the ESA MarcoPolo-R proposed mission, aiming to analyze in situ and bring to Earth samples of asteroidal regolith. In this framework, VISTA would measure the water and organic content in the asteroid regolith, detect the possible cometary-like activity of the asteroid and assess the contamination issue. VISTA could be used also to assess relevant scientific issue concerning planetary atmospheres. It has been studied for the ESA Cosmic Vision proposed missions EVE (European Venus Explorer) and TAE (Titan Aerial Explorer), which planned an in-situ analysis of the Venus and Titan atmosphere, respectively. In the framework of a Venus in-situ mission, VISTA would have the following goals: - Measurement of dew points of condensable species, and hence of humidity (by cooling the PCM down to condensation temperatures) - Measurement of amount of refractory species in the Venus cloud aerosols (by heating the PCM) - Measurement of electric charge of cloud particles (by coupling the thermogravimeter and an electric field generator) In the framework of a Titan in-situ mission, the heating of the VISTA PCM would: - determine the presence of

  12. Extrasolar comets : dynamics and composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecavelier des Etangs, Alain; Wilson, Paul Anthony; Kiefer, Flavien

    2015-12-01

    Extrasolar comets, or exocomets, are detected using transit spectroscopy in young planetary systems.Spectroscopic observations of β Pictoris revealed a high rate of transits, allowing statistical analysis of exocomets populations. Using more than 1,000 archival spectra, we obtained a sample of several hundreds of signatures of exocomets transiting the disk of the parent star. Statistical analysis of the observed properties of these exocomets allowed the identification of two populations with different physical and dynamical properties. One family consists of exocomets producing shallow absorption lines at high radial velocities (>40 km/s), which can be attributed to old exhausted comets trapped in a mean motion resonance with a massive planet, possibly β Pic b. The second family consists of exocomets which produce deep absorption lines at low radial velocities (˜ 15 km/s), which could be related to the recent fragmentation of one or a few parent bodies.Most recently, our last HST/COS observations of β Pic yielded the first detection of exocomets in the far-UV. Several new species were detected for the first time in exocomets, including HI, CII, NI, OI and all the ionization states of Si. Measuring the abundance of the key species such as Hydrogen, Carbon, Nitrogen and Oxygen in evaporating exocomets allows us to trace the condensation and evaporation processes present in the late stages of planetary formation. Moreover, the measured radial velocities of these exocomets are consistent with the two dynamical populations previously identified. Most importantly, correlations between the dynamical properties and abundances seems to show up. In short, these two families of exocomets have different dynamical properties, and their origin could be determined by studying their chemical composition. I will present the latest results on that subject, and provide an overview of other systems for which signatures of exocomets have been observed.

  13. Commission 53: Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boss, Alan; Lecavelier des Etangs, Alain; Mayor, Michel; Bodenheimer, Peter; Collier-Cameron, Andrew; Kokubo, Eiichiro; Mardling, Rosemary; Minniti, Dante; Queloz, Didier

    2012-04-01

    Commission 53 was created at the 2006 Prague General Assembly (GA) of the IAU, in recognition of the outburst of astronomical progress in the field of extrasolar planet discovery, characterization, and theoretical work that has occurred since the discovery of the first planet in orbit around a solar-type star in 1995. Commission 53 is the logical successor to the IAU Working Group on Extrasolar Planets (WGESP), which ended its six years of existence in August 2006. The founding President of Commission 53 was Michael Mayor, in honor of his seminal contributions to this new field of astronomy. The current President is Alan Boss, the former chair of the WGESP. The current members of the Commission 53 (C53) Organizing Committee (OC) began their service in August 2009 at the conclusion of the Rio de Janeiro IAU GA.

  14. THE COMPOSITIONAL DIVERSITY OF EXTRASOLAR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS. II. MIGRATION SIMULATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2012-11-20

    Prior work has found that a variety of terrestrial planetary compositions are expected to occur within known extrasolar planetary systems. However, such studies ignored the effects of giant planet migration, which is thought to be very common in extrasolar systems. Here we present calculations of the compositions of terrestrial planets that formed in dynamical simulations incorporating varying degrees of giant planet migration. We used chemical equilibrium models of the solid material present in the disks of five known planetary host stars: the Sun, GJ 777, HD4203, HD19994, and HD213240. Giant planet migration has a strong effect on the compositions of simulated terrestrial planets as the migration results in large-scale mixing between terrestrial planet building blocks that condensed at a range of temperatures. This mixing acts to (1) increase the typical abundance of Mg-rich silicates in the terrestrial planets' feeding zones and thus increase the frequency of planets with Earth-like compositions compared with simulations with static giant planet orbits, and (2) drastically increase the efficiency of the delivery of hydrous phases (water and serpentine) to terrestrial planets and thus produce waterworlds and/or wet Earths. Our results demonstrate that although a wide variety of terrestrial planet compositions can still be produced, planets with Earth-like compositions should be common within extrasolar planetary systems.

  15. The Compositional Diversity of Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets. II. Migration Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O'Brien, David P.; Raymond, Sean N.

    2012-11-01

    Prior work has found that a variety of terrestrial planetary compositions are expected to occur within known extrasolar planetary systems. However, such studies ignored the effects of giant planet migration, which is thought to be very common in extrasolar systems. Here we present calculations of the compositions of terrestrial planets that formed in dynamical simulations incorporating varying degrees of giant planet migration. We used chemical equilibrium models of the solid material present in the disks of five known planetary host stars: the Sun, GJ 777, HD4203, HD19994, and HD213240. Giant planet migration has a strong effect on the compositions of simulated terrestrial planets as the migration results in large-scale mixing between terrestrial planet building blocks that condensed at a range of temperatures. This mixing acts to (1) increase the typical abundance of Mg-rich silicates in the terrestrial planets' feeding zones and thus increase the frequency of planets with Earth-like compositions compared with simulations with static giant planet orbits, and (2) drastically increase the efficiency of the delivery of hydrous phases (water and serpentine) to terrestrial planets and thus produce waterworlds and/or wet Earths. Our results demonstrate that although a wide variety of terrestrial planet compositions can still be produced, planets with Earth-like compositions should be common within extrasolar planetary systems.

  16. Helium 584 Å and H Lyman-α Airglow in Giant Planetary Atmospheres: Modeling, Observations, and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parkinson, Christopher; Esposito, Larry W.

    2016-07-01

    The atmosphere of the outer planets is mainly composed of H2 and neutral atomic helium. The study of He 584 Å and H Lyman-α brightnesses is interesting as the EUV and FUV (Extreme and Far Ultraviolet) planetary airglow have the potential to yield useful information about mixing and other important parameters in their thermospheres. Time variation, asymmetries, and polar enhancement of the airglow are also possible and analysis of the public archived NASA mission data sets (i.e. Voyager and Cassini) can help solve some of the outstanding problems associated with these phenomena. The comparison of observations with results from sophisticated photochemical and radiative transfer models can also help ameliorate unexplained differences in the dynamical processes operating within planetary upper atmospheres. Powerful analysis techniques allow us to extract information on atmospheric mixing, temperatures, and temporal changes due to the solar and seasonal cycles from the variations in distribution and intensity of airglow emissions that result. The presentation will discuss the implications of interpretations from comparison of modeling and observations in giant planetary atmospheres.

  17. Satellite radio occultation investigations of internal gravity waves in the planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirillovich, Ivan; Gubenko, Vladimir; Pavelyev, Alexander

    Internal gravity waves (IGWs) modulate the structure and circulation of the Earth’s atmosphere, producing quasi-periodic variations in the wind velocity, temperature and density. Similar effects are anticipated for the Venus and Mars since IGWs are a characteristic of stably stratified atmosphere. In this context, an original method for the determination of IGW parameters from a vertical temperature profile measurement in a planetary atmosphere has been developed [Gubenko et al., 2008, 2011, 2012]. This method does not require any additional information not contained in the profile and may be used for the analysis of profiles measured by various techniques. The criterion for the IGW identification has been formulated and argued. In the case when this criterion is satisfied, the analyzed temperature fluctuations can be considered as wave-induced. The method is based on the analysis of relative amplitudes of the wave field and on the linear IGW saturation theory in which these amplitudes are restricted by dynamical (shear) instability processes in the atmosphere. When the amplitude of an internal wave reaches the shear instability threshold, energy is assumed to be dissipated in such a way that the IGW amplitude is maintained at the instability threshold level as the wave propagates upwards. We have extended the developed technique [Gubenko et al., 2008] in order to reconstruct the complete set of wave characteristics including such important parameters as the wave kinetic and potential energy per unit mass and IGW fluxes of the energy and horizontal momentum [Gubenko et al., 2011]. We propose also an alternative method to estimate the relative amplitudes and to extract IGW parameters from an analysis of perturbations of the Brunt-Vaislala frequency squared [Gubenko et al., 2011]. An application of the developed method to the radio occultation (RO) temperature data has given the possibility to identify the IGWs in the Earth's, Martian and Venusian atmospheres and

  18. Cross Sections for Electron Impact Excitation of Ions Relevant to Planetary Atmospheres Observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tayal, Swaraj S.

    1998-01-01

    The goal of this research grant was to calculate accurate oscillator strengths and electron collisional excitation strengths for inelastic transitions in atomic species of relevance to Planetary Atmospheres. Large scale configuration-interaction atomic structure calculations have been performed to obtain oscillator strengths and transition probabilities for transitions among the fine-structure levels and R-matrix method has been used in the calculations of electron-ion collision cross sections of C II, S I, S II, S III, and Ar II. A number of strong features due to ions of sulfur have been detected in the spectra of Jupiter satellite Io. The electron excitation cross sections for the C II and S II transitions are studied in collaboration with the experimental atomic physics group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There is excellent agreement between experiment and theory which provide an accurate and broad-base test of the ability of theoretical methods used in the calculation of atomic processes. Specifically, research problems have been investigated for: electron impact excitation cross sections of C II: electron impact excitation cross sections of S III; energy levels and oscillator strengths for transitions in S III; collision strengths for electron collisional excitation of S II; electron impact excitation of inelastic transitions in Ar II; oscillator strengths of fine-structure transitions in neutral sulfur; cross sections for inelastic scattering of electrons from atomic nitrogen; and excitation of atomic ions by electron impact.

  19. Toward a coherent set of radiative transfer tools for the analysis of planetary atmospheres .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, D.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Zasova, L. V.; Piccioni, G.; Adriani, A.; Moriconi, M. L.; Sindoni, G.; D'Aversa, E.; Snels, M.; Altieri, F.; Migliorini, A.; Stefani, S.; Politi, R.; Dinelli, B. M.; Geminale, A.; Rinaldi, G.

    The IAPS experience in the field of analysis of planetary atmospheres from visual and infrared measurements dates back to the early '90 in the frame of the IFSI participation to the Mars96 program. Since then, the forward models as well as retrieval schemes have been constantly updated and have seen a large usage in the analysis of data from Mars Express, Venus Express and Cassini missions. At the eve of a new series of missions (Juno, ExoMars, JUICE), we review the tools currently available to the Italian community, the latest developments and future perspectives. Notably, recent reanalysis of PFS-MEX and VIRTIS-VEX data \\citep{Grassi2014} leaded to a full convergence of complete Bayesian retrieval schemes and approximate forward models, achieving a degree of maturity and flexibility quite close to the state-of-the-art NEMESIS package \\citep{Irwin2007}. As a test case, the retrieval code for the JIRAM observations of hot-spots will be discussed, with extensive validation against simulated observations.

  20. Arctic Sea Ice Export Through Fram Strait and Atmospheric Planetary Waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Koblinsky, Chester (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A link is found between the variability of Arctic sea ice export through Ram Strait and the phase of the longest atmospheric planetary wave (zonal wave 1) in SLP for the period 1958-1997. Previous studies have identified a link between From Strait ice export and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), but this link has been described as unstable because of a lack of consistency over time scales longer than the last two decades. Inconsistent and low correlations are also found between From Strait ice export and the Arctic Oscillation (AD) index. This paper shows that the phase of zonal wave 1 explains 60% - 70% of the simulated From Strait ice export variance over the Goodyear period 1958 - 1997. Unlike the NAB and AD links, these high variances are consistent for both the first and second halves of the Goodyear period. This consistency is attributed to the sensitivity of the wave I phase at high latitudes to the presence of secondary low pressure systems in the Barents Sea that serve to drive sea ice southward through From Strait. These results provide further evidence that the phase of zonal wave 1 in SLP at high latitudes drives regional as well as hemispheric low frequency Arctic Ocean and sea ice variability.

  1. A Chemical Kinetics Network for Lightning and Life in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimmer, P. B.; Helling, Ch

    2016-05-01

    There are many open questions about prebiotic chemistry in both planetary and exoplanetary environments. The increasing number of known exoplanets and other ultra-cool, substellar objects has propelled the desire to detect life and prebiotic chemistry outside the solar system. We present an ion–neutral chemical network constructed from scratch, Stand2015, that treats hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen chemistry accurately within a temperature range between 100 and 30,000 K. Formation pathways for glycine and other organic molecules are included. The network is complete up to H6C2N2O3. Stand2015 is successfully tested against atmospheric chemistry models for HD 209458b, Jupiter, and the present-day Earth using a simple one-dimensional photochemistry/diffusion code. Our results for the early Earth agree with those of Kasting for CO2, H2, CO, and O2, but do not agree for water and atomic oxygen. We use the network to simulate an experiment where varied chemical initial conditions are irradiated by UV light. The result from our simulation is that more glycine is produced when more ammonia and methane is present. Very little glycine is produced in the absence of any molecular nitrogen and oxygen. This suggests that the production of glycine is inhibited if a gas is too strongly reducing. Possible applications and limitations of the chemical kinetics network are also discussed.

  2. Atmosphere in a Test Tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claudi, R.; Pace, E.; Ciaravella, A.; Micela, G.; Piccioni, G.; Billi, D.; Cestelli Guidi, M.; Coccola, L.; Erculiani, M. S.; Fedel, M.; Galletta, G.; Giro, E.; La Rocca, N.; Morosinotto, T.; Poletto, L.; Schierano, D.; Stefani, S.

    The ancestor philosophers' dream of thousand of new world is finally realised: more than 1800 extrasolar planets have been discovered in the neighborhood of our Sun. Most of them are very different from those we used to know in our Solar System. Others orbit the Habitable Zone (HZ) of their parent stars. Space missions, as JWST and the very recently proposed ARIEL, or ground based instruments, like SPHERE@VLT, GPI@GEMINI and EPICS@ELT, have been proposed and built to measure the atmospheric transmission, reflection and emission spectra over a wide wavelength range of these new worlds. In order to interpret the spectra coming out by this new instrumentation, it is important to know in detail the optical characteristics of gases in the typical physical conditions of the planetary atmospheres and how those characteristics could be affected by radiation driven photochemical and bio-chemical reaction. Insights in this direction can be achieved from laboratory studies of simulated planetary atmosphere of different pressure and temperature conditions under the effects of radiation sources, used as proxies of different bands of the stellar emission. ''Atmosphere in a Test Tube'' is a collaboration among several Italian astronomical, biological and engineering institutes in order to share their experiencece in performing laboratory experiments on several items concerning extrasolar planet atmospheres.

  3. A Lumped Element Thermal Model of Solar Flare Gradual Phase EUV Emissions for Planetary Atmosphere Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiemann, Edward; Eparvier, Francis G.

    2015-04-01

    Gradual phase solar flare EUV emissions show a time dependence related to the cooling of the flare plasma where emission lines with higher formation temperatures peak earlier than cooler emission lines. Because photon absorption height in a planetary atmosphere is wavelength dependent, being able to spectrally model this time dependence using available wavelengths is necessary to accurately characterize the temporal response of an atmosphere to a flare when high time cadence measurements of the EUV spectrum are unavailable. Furthermore, both the spectral and wavelength dependent temporal behavior of a flare impact where the total flare energy is absorbed in an atmosphere.To address this challenge, we have developed a Lumped Element Thermal Model (LETM) which can accurately model the flare gradual phase time evolution for emission lines with peak formation temperatures above 106 K based on a cooling rate derived from only two emission lines. We will show that the 13.3 nm Fe XX and 9.4 nm Fe XVIII emission lines can be used to determine a cooling rate. This cooling rate can then be used to calculate a time constant, τi, associated with a ith EUV emission; and the ith emission’s time-response can then be modeled by passing the measured Fe XX time-series through a digital low pass filter with time constant τi. An implication of the LETM, is that it constrains the time evolution of the volume integrated flare irradiance which is directly related to the flare emission measure. Detailed analysis suggests that the LETM provides a method to measure the flare thermal conductance and specific heat, and constrains the flare cooling rate and differential emission measure.To broaden the utility of the LETM, correlations between the emission line derived cooling rate and broadband measurements made by MAVEN EUV or other commonly available Earth assets must be found. Therefore, in addition to introducing the LETM, we will review progress towards finding correlations with

  4. A Balloon-Borne Telescope System for Planetary Atmosphere and Plasma Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taguchi, M.; Yoshida, K.; Sakamoto, Y.; Kanazawa, T.; Shoji, Y.; Sawakami, T.; Takahashi, Y.; Hoshino, N.; Sato, T.; Sakanoi, T.

    2007-12-01

    A telescope floating in the polar stratosphere can continuously monitor planets for more than 24 hours. Thin, clear and stable air of the stratosphere makes it possible to observe planets in a condition free from cloud with fine seeing and high atmospheric transmittance. Moreover, a balloon-borne telescope system is less expensive compared with a huge terrestrial telescope or a direct planetary probe mission. Targets of a balloon-borne telescope system will extend over various atmospheric and plasma phenomena on almost all the planets, i.e., a sodium tail of Mercury, lightning, airglow and aurora in the atmospheres of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, escaping atmospheres of the Earth-type planets, satellite-induced luminous events in the Jovian atmosphere, etc. The first target is global dynamics of the Venusian atmosphere by detecting cloud motion in UV and NIR imagery. A decoupling mechanism and a pair of control moment gyros (CMGs) are mounted at the top of the gondola. The decoupling mechanism isolates the gondola from a balloon and also transfers an excess angular momentum of the CMGs to the balloon. The attitude of the gondola is stabilized at a constant sun azimuthal angle so that a solar cell panel faces to the sun. A 300 mm F30 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope is installed at the bottom of the gondola. DC/DC converters, a PC, a high voltage power supply for a piezo-electrically moving mirror and digital video recorders are contained in a sealed cell. The azimuthal angle is detected by a sun-sensor. A PC processes sensor output to control DC motors used in the decoupling mechanism and CMGs with an accuracy in azimuthal attitude of about 0.5 deg. The two-axis gimbal mount of the telescope is controlled by the same PC, guiding an object within a field-of-view of a guide telescope. Residual tracking error is detected by a position sensitive photomultiplier tube and corrected by the two-axis moving mirror installed in the optical system. The optical path is divided into

  5. Pervasive orbital eccentricities dictate the habitability of extrasolar earths.

    PubMed

    Kita, Ryosuke; Rasio, Frederic; Takeda, Genya

    2010-09-01

    The long-term habitability of Earth-like planets requires low orbital eccentricities. A secular perturbation from a distant stellar companion is a very important mechanism in exciting planetary eccentricities, as many of the extrasolar planetary systems are associated with stellar companions. Although the orbital evolution of an Earth-like planet in a stellar binary system is well understood, the effect of a binary perturbation on a more realistic system containing additional gas-giant planets has been very little studied. Here, we provide analytic criteria confirmed by a large ensemble of numerical integrations that identify the initial orbital parameters leading to eccentric orbits. We show that an extrasolar earth is likely to experience a broad range of orbital evolution dictated by the location of a gas-giant planet, which necessitates more focused studies on the effect of eccentricity on the potential for life. PMID:20879864

  6. Extrasolar Planet Inferometric Survey (EPIcS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shao, Michael; Baliunas, Sallie; Boden, Andrew; Kulkarni, Shrinivas; Lin, Douglas N. C.; Loredo, Tom; Queloz, Didier; Shaklan, Stuart; Tremaine, Scott; Wolszczan, Alexander

    2004-01-01

    The discovery of the nature of the solar system was a crowning achievement of Renaissance science. The quest to evaluate the properties of extrasolar planetary systems is central to both the intellectual understanding of our origins and the cultural understanding of humanity's place in the Universe; thus it is appropriate that the goals and objectives of NASA's breakthrough Origins program emphasize the study of planetary systems, with a focus on the search for habitable planets. We propose an ambitious research program that will use SIM - the first major mission of the Origins program - to explore planetary systems in our Galactic neighborhood. Our program is a novel two-tiered SIM survey of nearby stars that exploits the capabilities of SIM to achieve two scientific objectives: (i) to identify Earth-like planets in habitable regions around nearby Sunlike stars: and (ii) to explore the nature and evolution of planetary systems in their full variety. The first of these objectives was recently recommended by the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee (the McKee-Taylor Committee) as a prerequisite for the development of the Terrestrial Planet Finder mission later in the decade. Our program combines this two-part survey with preparatory and contemporaneous research designed to maximize the scientific return from the limited and thus precious observing resources of SIM.

  7. Evolutionary Models of Extrasolar Giant Planets and Brown Dwarfs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burrows, A.; Hubbard, B.; Lunine, J.; Guillot, T.; Saumon, D.; Freedman, R.

    1996-09-01

    With the discovery of the companions of 51 Peg, 55 Cnc, tau Boo, upsilon And, 70 Vir, 47 UMa, and Gl229, evolutionary and spectral models of gas giants and/or brown dwarfs with masses from 0.3 through 60 times that of Jupiter assume a new and central role in the emerging field of extrasolar planetary studies. In this contribution, we describe the structural, atmospheric, and evolutionary characteristics of such exotic objects, as determined by our recent theoretical calculations (Burrows et al. 1995; Guillot et al. 1996; Saumon et al. 1996; Marley et al. 1996). The issue, in part diversionary, of what distinguishes a brown dwarf from a giant planet will be addressed, as will the luminosities, effective temperatures, gravities, colors, and spectral signatures of these beasts as a function of age and mass. Our theoretical calculations can be used to establish direct search strategies via SIRTF, ISO, and HST (NICMOS), and via various ground--based adaptive optics and interferometric platforms planned for the near future.

  8. HAT-P-15b: A 10.9 DAY EXTRASOLAR PLANET TRANSITING A SOLAR-TYPE STAR

    SciTech Connect

    Kovacs, G.; Bakos, G. A.; Hartman, J. D.; Torres, G.; Noyes, R. W.; Latham, D. W.; Sasselov, D. D.; Stefanik, R. P.; Esquerdo, G. A.; Fernandez, J. M.; Howard, A. W.; Marcy, G. W.; Isaacson, H.; Fischer, D. A.; Johnson, J. A.; Lazar, B. Beky J.; Papp, I.; Sari, P.

    2010-12-01

    We report the discovery of HAT-P-15b, a transiting extrasolar planet in the 'period valley', a relatively sparsely populated period regime of the known extrasolar planets. The host star, GSC 2883-01687, is a G5 dwarf with V= 12.16. It has a mass of 1.01 {+-} 0.04 M{sub sun}, radius of 1.08 {+-} 0.04 R{sub sun}, effective temperature 5568 {+-} 90 K, and metallicity [Fe/H] = +0.22 {+-} 0.08. The planetary companion orbits the star with a period P = 10.863502 {+-} 0.000027 days, transit epoch T{sub c} = 2454638.56019 {+-} 0.00048 (BJD), and transit duration 0.2285 {+-} 0.0015 days. It has a mass of 1.946 {+-} 0.066 M{sub J} and radius of 1.072 {+-} 0.043 R{sub J} yielding a mean density of 1.96 {+-} 0.22 g cm{sup -3}. At an age of 6.8{sup +2.5}{sub -1.6} Gyr, the planet is H/He-dominated and theoretical models require about 2% (10 M{sub +}) worth of heavy elements to reproduce its measured radius. With an estimated equilibrium temperature of {approx}820 K during transit, and {approx}1000 K at occultation, HAT-P-15b is a potential candidate to study moderately cool planetary atmospheres by transmission and occultation spectroscopy.

  9. Extrasolar Planets in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    George, Samuel J.

    2011-01-01

    The field of extrasolar planets is still, in comparison with other astrophysical topics, in its infancy. There have been about 300 or so extrasolar planets detected and their detection has been accomplished by various different techniques. Here we present a simple laboratory experiment to show how planets are detected using the transit technique.…

  10. Modelling of N2 Vegard-Kaplan and LBH emissions in the planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Sonal Kumar; Bhardwaj, Anil

    The N_{2} triplet band emissions are common features in the dayglow of Earth. Recent discoveries of N _{2} Vegard-Kaplan (VK) band emissions on Mars by SPICAM/Mars-Express and N _{2} VK and LBH band emissions on Titan by Cassini's UVIS have led planetary scientists to look for the processes governing the N _{2} triplet and singlet band emissions in different planetary atmospheres. We have developed a model to calculate N _{2} triplet and Lyman-Birge-Hopefield (LBH) band emissions in the dayglow of Venus, Mars, Titan, and Pluto. The Steady state photoelectron fluxes and volume excitation rates have been calculated using the Analytical Yield Spectra (AYS) technique. Since interstate cascading is important for triplet and singlet states of N _{2}, the population of any given level of N _{2} triplet and singlet states is calculated under statistical equilibrium considering direct excitation, cascading, and quenching effects. Relative population of all vibrational levels of each triplet and singlet states is calculated in the model. Line of sight intensities and height-integrated overhead intensities have been calculated for VK ( A(3Sigma_u^+) - X(1Sigma^+_g) ), first positive ( B(3Pi_g) - A(3Sigma^+_u) ), second positive ( C(3Pi_u) - B(3Pi_g) ), Wu-Benesch (W(3Delta_u) - B(3Pi_g) ), B '-> B, E -> B, E-> C, E-> A, and LBH (a(1Pi_g) - X(1Sigma^+_g) ) bands of N _{2}. The N _{2} VK band span wavelength range from far ultraviolet to visible, and some transitions even originate at wavelength more than 1000 nm. Our calculations show that the overhead intensity of VK bands in the wavelength range 400-800, 300-190, 200-300, and 150-200 nm are 22%, 39%, 35%, and 4% of the total VK band emission. On Titan, the calculated intensities of N _{2} VK and LBH bands in 150-190 and 120-190 nm wavelength range, respectively, are in good agreement with the Cassini-UVIS observation. On Mars, calculated intensities of N _{2} VK bands are in agreement with the SPICAM observed limb profile of

  11. Planetary-scale wave structures of the earth's atmosphere revealed from the COSMIC observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anisetty, S. K. A. V. Prasad Rao; Brahmanandam, P. S.; Uma, G.; Babu, A. Narendra; Huang, Ching-Yuang; Kumar, G. Anil; Ram, S. Tulasi; Wang, Hsiao-Lan; Chu, Yen-Hsyang

    2014-02-01

    GPS radio occultation (GPS RO) method, an active satellite-to-satellite remote sensing technique, is capable of producing accurate, all-weather, round the clock, global refractive index, density, pressure, and temperature profiles of the troposphere and stratosphere. This study presents planetary-scale equatorially trapped Kelvin waves in temperature profiles retrieved using COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) satellites during 2006-2009 and their interactions with background atmospheric conditions. It is found that the Kelvin waves are not only associated with wave periods of higher than 10 days (slow Kelvin waves) with higher zonal wave numbers (either 1 or 2), but also possessing downward phase progression, giving evidence that the source regions of them are located at lower altitudes. A thorough verification of outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) reveals that deep convection activity has developed regularly over the Indonesian region, suggesting that the Kelvin waves are driven by the convective activity. The derived Kelvin waves show enhanced (diminished) tendencies during westward (eastward) phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in zonal winds, implying a mutual relation between both of them. The El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) below 18 km and the QBO features between 18 and 27 km in temperature profiles are observed during May 2006-May 2010 with the help of an adaptive data analysis technique known as Hilbert Huang Transform (HHT). Further, temperature anomalies computed using COSMIC retrieved temperatures are critically evaluated during different phases of ENSO, which has revealed interesting results and are discussed in light of available literature.

  12. Turbulence in planetary occultations. II - Effects on atmospheric profiles derived from Doppler measurements. III - Effects on atmospheric profiles derived from intensity measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haugstad, B. S.

    1978-01-01

    The nature and magnitude of turbulence-induced errors in atmospheric profiles derived from Doppler measurements made during radio occultations are investigated. It is found that turbulence in planetary atmospheres induces both fluctuating and systematic errors in derived profiles, but the errors of both types are very small. Consideration of the occultation of Mariner 10 by Venus and of the Pioneer occultations by Jupiter shows that the rms fractional errors in the atmospheric profiles derived from these observations were less than 0.01 in both temperature and pressure, while the fractional systematic errors were typically of the order of 1 millionth. The extent to which atmospheric profiles derived from radio and optical intensity measurements are affected by turbulence is also examined. The results indicate that turbulence in planetary atmospheres has only a marginal effect on derived profiles in the weak-scattering limit and that the turbulence-induced errors in this case are always much larger than the corresponding errors in profiles derived from radio Doppler measurements.

  13. Photochemical abiotic synthesis of amino-acid precursors from simulated planetary atmospheres by vacuum ultraviolet light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Jun-Ichi; Masuda, Hitomi; Kaneko, Takeo; Kobayashi, Kensei; Saito, Takeshi; Hosokawa, Teruo

    2005-07-01

    For the purpose of investigating the photon energy dependence of the photoinduced abiotic synthesis of organic molecules, gas mixtures that simulate typical planetary atmospheres, including a carbon source (CO or CH4), a nitrogen source (N2 or NH3), and H2O, were irradiated with synchrotron radiation through a vacuum-ultraviolet transmitting window. Three kinds of window material, fused silica, synthetic quartz, and MgF2, were used as a high-energy-cutting filter, whose absorption-edge energies are 6.4, 8.1, and 10.5 eV, respectively. Three types of gas mixture, Titan-type (CH4-N2-H2O), comet-type (CO-NH3-H2O), and primitive-Earth-type (CO-N2-H2O), were irradiated with vacuum-ultraviolet photons in the three energy ranges. After the irradiation, amino-acid formation yields in the acid-hydrolyzed solution of the product were measured with a high-performance liquid chromatograph method. From the Titan- and comet-type mixtures, amino acids were detected by irradiation with photons lower than 8.1 eV. For both mixtures, the averaged quantum yields of glycine generation in the photon energy region of 7-10.5 eV were of the order of 10-5, which was larger by about one order than that in the region 5-8 eV. On the other hand, from the primitive-Earth-type mixture, amino-acid formation was difficult to detect even with irradiation as high as 10.5 eV, even though amino acids were generated in comparable yields from the Titan- and comet-type mixtures by irradiation with soft x rays or proton beam, whose energies are much higher. These results suggest that the vacuum ultraviolet light is a more effective energy source for the generation of the precursors of bioorganic compounds in extraterrestrial environments than in primitive-Earth atmosphere.

  14. Photochemical abiotic synthesis of amino-acid precursors from simulated planetary atmospheres by vacuum ultraviolet light

    SciTech Connect

    Takahashi, Jun-ichi; Masuda, Hitomi; Kaneko, Takeo; Kobayashi, Kensei; Saito, Takeshi; Hosokawa, Teruo

    2005-07-15

    For the purpose of investigating the photon energy dependence of the photoinduced abiotic synthesis of organic molecules, gas mixtures that simulate typical planetary atmospheres, including a carbon source (CO or CH{sub 4}), a nitrogen source (N{sub 2} or NH{sub 3}), and H{sub 2}O, were irradiated with synchrotron radiation through a vacuum-ultraviolet transmitting window. Three kinds of window material, fused silica, synthetic quartz, and MgF{sub 2}, were used as a high-energy-cutting filter, whose absorption-edge energies are 6.4, 8.1, and 10.5 eV, respectively. Three types of gas mixture, Titan-type (CH{sub 4}-N{sub 2}-H{sub 2}O), comet-type (CO-NH{sub 3}-H{sub 2}O), and primitive-Earth-type (CO-N{sub 2}-H{sub 2}O), were irradiated with vacuum-ultraviolet photons in the three energy ranges. After the irradiation, amino-acid formation yields in the acid-hydrolyzed solution of the product were measured with a high-performance liquid chromatograph method. From the Titan- and comet-type mixtures, amino acids were detected by irradiation with photons lower than 8.1 eV. For both mixtures, the averaged quantum yields of glycine generation in the photon energy region of 7-10.5 eV were of the order of 10{sup -5}, which was larger by about one order than that in the region 5-8 eV. On the other hand, from the primitive-Earth-type mixture, amino-acid formation was difficult to detect even with irradiation as high as 10.5 eV, even though amino acids were generated in comparable yields from the Titan- and comet-type mixtures by irradiation with soft x rays or proton beam, whose energies are much higher. These results suggest that the vacuum ultraviolet light is a more effective energy source for the generation of the precursors of bioorganic compounds in extraterrestrial environments than in primitive-Earth atmosphere.

  15. Laboratory and theoretical work in the service of planetary atmospheric research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coustenis, Athena

    2015-08-01

    A large quantity of observations is obtained by instruments onboard space missions exploring our solar system and by large ground-based telescopes observing the planets and also the exoplanets. Spectroscopy plays a major role in this type of investigation. To analyze and exploit these observations, planetary scientists need spectroscopic data covering wide ranges in wavelength but also in temperature, pressure, distance, etc.The outer regions of our solar system in particular, including the giant gaseous planets Jupiter and Saturn and their satellites, have recently been the target of space missions such as Cassini-Huygens and several investigations from the ground. Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, in particular, offers many similarities with our own planet, among which a dense atmosphere whose major component is dinitrogen at about 95%. Combining with methane (at a few percent) and hydrogen, gives rise to a complex organic chemistry with hydrocarbons and nitriles. Oxygen compounds also exist in Titan’s atmosphere. By studying Titan, we learn about our own planet and our Solar system Solar as a whole [1,2,3]. To properly interpret the Cassini-Huygens data and in anticipation of future missions like ESA’s JUICE to the Jupiter system, spectroscopic data are crucially needed. In the field of exoplanets (over 1000 discovered to date), it also becomes urgent to have adequate data of several molecules in order to analyze the observations returned to us every day by major observatories on Earth and in the space [4,5]. I will discuss recent applications from theoretical and experimental studies on the investigation of Titan and exoplanets, with emphasis on methane. I will also present some needs for future analyses.References: [1] Campargue, A., et al. 2012. Icarus 219, 110-128. [2] Coustenis, A., et al. 2013. Astrophys. J. 799, 177, 9p. [3] Hirtzig, et al., 2013. Icarus 226, 470-486 and corrigendum 1182-1182. [4] Tinetti, G., Encrenaz, Th., Coustenis, A., 2013

  16. Elemental compositions of two extrasolar rocky planetesimals

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.; Koester, D. E-mail: jura@astro.ucla.edu E-mail: ben@astro.ucla.edu

    2014-03-10

    We report Keck/HIRES and Hubble Space Telescope/COS spectroscopic studies of extrasolar rocky planetesimals accreted onto two hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133. In G29-38, eight elements are detected, including C, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, and Fe while in GD 133, O, Si, Ca, and marginally Mg are seen. These two extrasolar planetesimals show a pattern of refractory enhancement and volatile depletion. For G29-38, the observed composition can be best interpreted as a blend of a chondritic object with some refractory-rich material, a result from post-nebular processing. Water is very depleted in the parent body accreted onto G29-38, based on the derived oxygen abundance. The inferred total mass accretion rate in GD 133 is the lowest of all known dusty white dwarfs, possibly due to non-steady state accretion. We continue to find that a variety of extrasolar planetesimals all resemble to zeroth order the elemental composition of bulk Earth.

  17. Elemental Compositions of Two Extrasolar Rocky Planetesimals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Jura, M.; Koester, D.; Klein, B.; Zuckerman, B.

    2014-03-01

    We report Keck/HIRES and Hubble Space Telescope/COS spectroscopic studies of extrasolar rocky planetesimals accreted onto two hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133. In G29-38, eight elements are detected, including C, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, and Fe while in GD 133, O, Si, Ca, and marginally Mg are seen. These two extrasolar planetesimals show a pattern of refractory enhancement and volatile depletion. For G29-38, the observed composition can be best interpreted as a blend of a chondritic object with some refractory-rich material, a result from post-nebular processing. Water is very depleted in the parent body accreted onto G29-38, based on the derived oxygen abundance. The inferred total mass accretion rate in GD 133 is the lowest of all known dusty white dwarfs, possibly due to non-steady state accretion. We continue to find that a variety of extrasolar planetesimals all resemble to zeroth order the elemental composition of bulk Earth. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  18. The aurora as a source of planetary-scale waves in the middle atmosphere. [atmospheric turbulence caused by auroral energy absorption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiu, Y. T.; Straus, J. M.

    1974-01-01

    Photographs of global scale auroral forms taken by scanning radiometers onboard weather satellites in 1972 show that auroral bands exhibit well organized wave motion with typical zonal wave number of 5 or so. The scale size of these waves is in agreement with that of well organized neutral wind fields in the 150- to 200-km region during the geomagnetic storm of May 27, 1967. Further, the horizontal scale size revealed by these observations are in agreement with that of high altitude traveling ionospheric disturbances. It is conjectured that the geomagnetic storm is a source of planetary and synoptic scale neutral atmospheric waves in the middle atmosphere. Although there is, at present, no observation of substorm related waves of this scale size at mesospheric and stratospheric altitudes, the possible existence of a new source of waves of the proper scale size to trigger instabilities in middle atmospheric circulation systems may be significant in the study of lower atmospheric response to geomagnetic activity.

  19. Detecting Extrasolar Planets With Millimeter-Wave Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    Do nearby stars have planetary systems like our own? How do such systems evolve? How common are such systems? Proposed radio observatories operating at millimeter wavelengths could start answering these questions within the next 6-10 years, according to scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Bryan Butler, Robert Brown, Richard Simon, Al Wootten and Darrel Emerson, all of NRAO, presented their findings today to the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Antonio, TX. Detecting planets circling other stars is a particularly difficult task, and only a few such planets have been discovered so far. In order to answer fundamental questions about planetary systems and their origin, scientists need to find and study many more extrasolar planets. According to the NRAO scientists, millimeter-wavelength observatories could provide valuable information about extrasolar planetary systems at all stages of their evolution. "With instruments planned by 2005, we could detect planets the size of Jupiter around a solar-type star out to a distance of 100 light-years," said Robert Brown, Associate Director of NRAO. "That means," he added, "that we could survey approximately 2,000 stars of different types to learn if they have planets this size." Millimeter waves occupy the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between radio microwaves and infrared waves. Telescopes for observing at millimeter wavelengths utilize advanced electronic equipment similar to that used in radio telescopes observing at longer wavelengths. Millimeter-wave observatories offer a number of advantages in the search for extrasolar planets. Planned multi-antenna millimeter-wave telescopes can provide much higher resolving power, or ability to see fine detail, than current optical or infrared telescopes. Millimeter-wave observations would not be degraded by interference from the "zodiacal light" reflected by interplanetary dust, either in the extrasolar system or our own solar system

  20. Atmospheric General Circulations of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets: Dependence on Planetary Rotation Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakajima, K.; Noda, S.; Ishiwatari, M.; Takahashi, Y. O.; Takehiro, S.; Morikawa, Y.; Nishizawa, S.; Hayashi, Y.-Y.

    2012-06-01

    Using a general circulation model, we investigate how climate over water covered, synchronously rotating planet vary as planetary rotation rate change. We find large variety of circulation, which, however, does not affect zonal heat transport.

  1. Venusian middle-atmospheric dynamics in the presence of a strong planetary-scale 5.5-day wave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Masaru; Takahashi, Masaaki

    2012-02-01

    The middle atmospheric dynamics on Venus are investigated using a middle atmosphere general circulation model. The magnitude of the superrotation is sensitive to the amplitude of the planetary-scale waves. In particular, the critical level absorptions of the forced planetary-scale waves might contribute to the maintenance of the superrotation near the cloud base. In the case of strong 5.5-day wave forcing, the superrotation with zonal wind speed higher than 100 m s -1 is maintained by the forced wave. Four-day and 5.5-day waves are found near the equatorial cloud top and base, respectively. The planetary-scale waves have a Y-shaped pattern maintained by the amplitude modulation in the presence of strong thermal tides. The polar hot dipole is unstable and its dynamical behavior is complex near the cloud top in this model. The dipole merges into a monopole or breaks up into a tripole when the divergent eddies with high zonal wavenumbers are predominant in the hot dipole region. A cold collar is partly enhanced by a cold phase of slowly propagating waves with zonal wavenumber 1. Although such a complex dipole behavior has not been observed yet, it is likely to occur under a dynamical condition similar to the present simulation. Thus, the dynamical approach using a general circulation model might be useful for analyzing Venus Express and ground-based observation data.

  2. Planetary Surface Instruments Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, Charles (Editor); Treiman, Allan H. (Editor); Kostiuk, Theodor (Editor)

    1996-01-01

    This report on planetary surface investigations and planetary landers covers: (1) the precise chemical analysis of solids; (2) isotopes and evolved gas analyses; (3) planetary interiors; planetary atmospheres from within as measured by landers; (4) mineralogical examination of extraterrestrial bodies; (5) regoliths; and (6) field geology/processes.

  3. Basic research in meteorology and atmospheric physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Opstbaum, R.

    1972-01-01

    A survey is reported of methods for sounding the atmospheric temperature profile by remote measurements. The emphasis for this period was placed on sounding in the microwave region of the spectrum, sounding in cloudy atmosphere, and measuring sea temperatures remotely. Summaries of the research in the following areas are included: orbital detection of stratospheric aerosols, monthly precipitation charts for the world, determining planetary cloud structure by remote polarization measurement, analysis of Mariner 6 and 7 multicolor photometric photographs of Mars, and techniques for photometric detection of extrasolar planets.

  4. Laboratory studies, analysis, and interpretation of the spectra of hydrocarbons present in planetary atmospheres including cyanoacetylene, acetylene, propane, and ethane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blass, William E.; Daunt, Stephen J.; Peters, Antoni V.; Weber, Mark C.

    1990-01-01

    Combining broadband Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) from the McMath facility at NSO and from NRC in Ottawa and narrow band TDL data from the laboratories with computational physics techniques has produced a broad range of results for the study of planetary atmospheres. Motivation for the effort flows from the Voyager/IRIS observations and the needs of Voyager analysis for laboratory results. In addition, anticipation of the Cassini mission adds incentive to pursue studies of observed and potentially observable constituents of planetary atmospheres. Current studies include cyanoacetylene, acetylene, propane, and ethane. Particular attention is devoted to cyanoacetylen (H3CN) which is observed in the atmosphere of Titan. The results of a high resolution infrared laboratory study of the line positions of the 663, 449, and 22.5/cm fundamental bands are presented. Line position, reproducible to better than 5 MHz for the first two bands, are available for infrared astrophysical searches. Intensity and broadening studies are in progress. Acetylene is a nearly ubiquitous atmospheric constituent of the outer planets and Titan due to the nature of methane photochemistry. Results of ambient temperature absolute intensity measurements are presented for the fundamental and two two-quantum hotband in the 730/cm region. Low temperature hotband intensity and linewidth measurements are planned.

  5. Planet Formation and the Characteristics of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    An overview of current theories of planetary growth, emphasizing the formation of extrasolar planets, is presented. Models of planet formation are based upon observations of the Solar System, extrasolar planets, and young stars and their environments. Terrestrial planets are believed to grow via pairwise accretion until the spacing of planetary orbits becomes large enough that the configuration is stable for the age of the system. Giant planets begin their growth like terrestrial planets, but if they become massive enough before the protoplanetary disk dissipates, then they are able to accumulate substantial amounts of gas. These models predict that rocky planets should form in orbit about most single stars. It is uncertain whether or not gas giant planet formation is common, because most protoplanetary disks may dissipate before solid planetary cores can grow large enough to gravitationally trap substantial quantities of gas. A potential hazard to planetary systems is radial decay of planetary orbits resulting from interactions with material within the disk. Planets more massive than Earth have the potential to decay the fastest, and may be able to sweep up smaller planets in their path. The implications of the giant planets found in recent radial velocity searches for the abundances of habitable planets are discussed.

  6. ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION OF ECCENTRIC HOT NEPTUNE GJ436b

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, Nikole K.; Showman, Adam P.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Marley, Mark S.; Freedman, Richard S.; Lodders, Katharina

    2010-09-01

    GJ436b is a unique member of the transiting extrasolar planet population being one of the smallest and least irradiated and possessing an eccentric orbit. Because of its size, mass, and density, GJ436b could plausibly have an atmospheric metallicity similar to Neptune (20-60 times solar abundances), which makes it an ideal target to study the effects of atmospheric metallicity on dynamics and radiative transfer in an extrasolar planetary atmosphere. We present three-dimensional atmospheric circulation models that include realistic non-gray radiative transfer for 1, 3, 10, 30, and 50 times solar atmospheric metallicity cases of GJ436b. Low metallicity models (1 and 3 times solar) show little day/night temperature variation and strong high-latitude jets. In contrast, higher metallicity models (30 and 50 times solar) exhibit day/night temperature variations and a strong equatorial jet. Spectra and light curves produced from these simulations show strong orbital phase dependencies in the 50 times solar case and negligible variations with orbital phase in the 1 times solar case. Comparisons between the predicted planet/star flux ratio from these models and current secondary eclipse measurements support a high metallicity atmosphere (30-50 times solar abundances) with disequilibrium carbon chemistry at play for GJ436b. Regardless of the actual atmospheric composition of GJ436b, our models serve to illuminate how metallicity influences the atmospheric circulation for a broad range of warm extrasolar planets.

  7. PHOTOMETRIC ORBITS OF EXTRASOLAR PLANETS

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Robert A.

    2009-09-10

    We define and analyze the photometric orbit (PhO) of an extrasolar planet observed in reflected light. In our definition, the PhO is a Keplerian entity with six parameters: semimajor axis, eccentricity, mean anomaly at some particular time, argument of periastron, inclination angle, and effective radius, which is the square root of the geometric albedo times the planetary radius. Preliminarily, we assume a Lambertian phase function. We study in detail the case of short-period giant planets (SPGPs) and observational parameters relevant to the Kepler mission: 20 ppm photometry with normal errors, 6.5 hr cadence, and three-year duration. We define a relevant 'planetary population of interest' in terms of probability distributions of the PhO parameters. We perform Monte Carlo experiments to estimate the ability to detect planets and to recover PhO parameters from light curves. We calibrate the completeness of a periodogram search technique, and find structure caused by degeneracy. We recover full orbital solutions from synthetic Kepler data sets and estimate the median errors in recovered PhO parameters. We treat in depth a case of a Jupiter body-double. For the stated assumptions, we find that Kepler should obtain orbital solutions for many of the 100-760 SPGP that Jenkins and Doyle estimate Kepler will discover. Because most or all of these discoveries will be followed up by ground-based radial velocity observations, the estimates of inclination angle from the PhO may enable the calculation of true companion masses: Kepler photometry may break the 'msin i' degeneracy. PhO observations may be difficult. There is uncertainty about how low the albedos of SPGPs actually are, about their phase functions, and about a possible noise floor due to systematic errors from instrumental and stellar sources. Nevertheless, simple detection of SPGPs in reflected light should be robust in the regime of Kepler photometry, and estimates of all six orbital parameters may be feasible in

  8. On the origin of jets and vortices in turbulent planetary atmospheres.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jougla, Thibault; Dritschel, David G.

    2016-04-01

    Stratified rotating fluids tend to form large scale coherent structures. These structures are present in many different geophysical fluids, for example jet streams in the Earth's atmosphere, the famous and conspicuous jets in the Jovian atmosphere, and oceanic jets like the latent jets and the well-known main currents including the Gulf stream and Kuroshio. Observations, numerical models, and laboratory experiments have sought to explain their origins and their evolutions. To investigate the coexistence, evolution and vertical structure of jets and vortices in turbulent planetary atmospheres, we make use of the widely studied two-layer quasi-geostrophic shallow water model on the β-plane. Numerical simulations at ultra-high resolution are carried out with the Combined Lagrangian Advection Method [1]. Following Panetta 1988 [2], to characterise the pole to equator heating variation on a planet, a vertical shear is imposed and maintained by thermal damping. To crudely represent convection from the bottom layer to the top layer, hetons are constantly added to the flow. Many numerical simulations covering a large range of parameters have been run. The thermal damping and vertical shear dependence has been widely studied and analysed. The baroclinicity of the flow is clearly evident in all cases studied. Moreover, the flow is strongly dependent on thermal damping. There is a competition between baroclinic instabilities trying to reduce the imposed vertical shear and thermal damping trying to maintain the vertical shear. Without any thermal damping, the imposed vertical shear quickly erodes. On the other hand if the thermal damping is very high, the flow is mainly dominated by incoherent, small-scale turbulence. For weaker thermal damping, the competition between baroclinic instability and thermal damping may lead to oscillations between stable and turbulent phases. However, thermal damping does not have a significant impact on the number of homogeneous regions and jets

  9. Analytic evaluation of the weighting functions for remote sensing of blackbody planetary atmospheres : the case of limb viewing geometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ustinov, Eugene A.

    2006-01-01

    In a recent publication (Ustinov, 2002), we proposed an analytic approach to evaluation of radiative and geophysical weighting functions for remote sensing of a blackbody planetary atmosphere, based on general linearization approach applied to the case of nadir viewing geometry. In this presentation, the general linearization approach is applied to the limb viewing geometry. The expressions, similar to those obtained in (Ustinov, 2002), are obtained for weighting functions with respect to the distance along the line of sight. Further on, these expressions are converted to the expressions for weighting functions with respect to the vertical coordinate in the atmosphere. Finally, the numerical representation of weighting functions in the form of matrices of partial derivatives of grid limb radiances with respect to the grid values of atmospheric parameters is used for a convolution with the finite field of view of the instrument.

  10. A TEOM (tm) particulate monitor for comet dust, near Earth space, and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Scientific missions to comets, near earth space, and planetary atmospheres require particulate and mass accumulation instrumentation for both scientific and navigation purposes. The Rupprecht & Patashnick tapered element oscillating microbalance can accurately measure both mass flux and mass distribution of particulates over a wide range of particle sizes and loadings. Individual particles of milligram size down to a few picograms can be resolved and counted, and the accumulation of smaller particles or molecular deposition can be accurately measured using the sensors perfected and toughened under this contract. No other sensor has the dynamic range or sensitivity attained by these picogram direct mass measurement sensors. The purpose of this contract was to develop and implement reliable and repeatable manufacturing methods; build and test prototype sensors; and outline a quality control program. A dust 'thrower' was to be designed and built, and used to verify performance. Characterization and improvement of the optical motion detection system and drive feedback circuitry was to be undertaken, with emphasis on reliability, low noise, and low power consumption. All the goals of the contract were met or exceeded. An automated glass puller was built and used to make repeatable tapered elements. Materials and assembly methods were standardized, and controllers and calibrated fixtures were developed and used in all phases of preparing, coating and assembling the sensors. Quality control and reliability resulted from the use of calibrated manufacturing equipment with measurable working parameters. Thermal and vibration testing of completed prototypes showed low temperature sensitivity and high vibration tolerance. An electrostatic dust thrower was used in vacuum to throw particles from 2 x 10(exp 6) g to 7 x 10(exp -12) g in size. Using long averaging times, particles as small as 0.7 to 4 x 10(exp 11) g were weighted to resolutions in the 5 to 9 x 10(exp -13) g range

  11. Optical Spectra of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara R.; Hubeny, Ivan; Sudarsky, David; Burrows, Adam

    2004-01-01

    The flux distribution of a planet relative to its host star is a critical quantity for planning space observatories to detect and characterize extrasolar giant planets (EGP's). In this paper, we present optical planet-star contrasts of Jupiter-mass planets as a function of stellar type, orbital distance, and planetary cloud characteristics. As originally shown by Sudarsky et al. (2000, 2003), the phaseaveraged brightness of an EGP does not necessarily decrease monotonically with greater orbital distance because of changes in its albedo and absorption spectrum at lower temperatures. We apply our results to Eclipse, a 1.8-m optical telescope + coronograph to be proposed as a NASA Discovery mission later this year.

  12. Working model of the atmosphere and near planetary space of Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moroz, V. I. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

    Basic physical characteristics of Jupiter, its gravitational field, atmosphere, electromagnetic radiation, magnetosphere, meteorite situation and satellites are presented in tables, graphs and figures. Means of observation of the atmosphere and three models of the atmosphere are presented and analyzed.

  13. Direct imaging of extra-solar planets

    SciTech Connect

    Olivier, S.S.; Max, V.E.; Brase, J.M.; Caffano, C.J.; Gavel, D.T.; Macintosh, B.A.

    1997-03-01

    Direct imaging of extra-solar planets may be possible with the new generation of large ground-based telescopes equipped with state- of- the-art adaptive optics (AO) systems to compensate for the blurring effect of the Earth`s atmosphere. The first of these systems is scheduled to begin operation in 1998 on the 10 in Keck II telescope. In this paper, general formulas for high-contrast imaging with AO systems are presented and used to calculate the sensitivity of the Keck AO system. The results of these calculations show that the Keck AO system should achieve the sensitivity necessary to detect giant planets around several nearby bright stars.

  14. UV photoabsorption cross sections of CO, N2, and SO2 for studies of the ISM and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Peter L.; Rufus, J.; Yoshino, K.; Parkinson, W. H.; Stark, Glenn; Pickering, Juliet C.; Thorne, A. P.

    2002-01-01

    We report high-resolution laboratory measurements of photoabsorption cross sections of CO, N2, and SO2 in the wavelength range 80 to 320 nm. The motivation is to provide the quantitative data that are needed to analyze observations of absorption by, and to model photochemical processes in, the interstellar medium and a number of planetary atmospheres. Because of the high resolution of the spectrometers used, we can minimize distortion of the spectrum that occurs when instrument widths are greater than the widths of spectral features being measured. In many cases, we can determine oscillator strengths of individual rotational lines - a unique feature of our work.

  15. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Plávalová, Eva

    2012-04-01

    When a star is described as a spectral class G2V, we know that the star is similar to our Sun. We know its approximate mass, temperature, age, and size. When working with an extrasolar planet database, it is very useful to have a taxonomy scale (classification) such as, for example, the Harvard classification for stars. The taxonomy has to be easily interpreted and present the most relevant information about extrasolar planets. I propose an extrasolar planet taxonomy scale with four parameters. The first parameter concerns the mass of an extrasolar planet in the form of units of the mass of other known planets, where M represents the mass of Mercury, E that of Earth, N Neptune, and J Jupiter. The second parameter is the planet's distance from its parent star (semimajor axis) described in a logarithm with base 10. The third parameter is the mean Dyson temperature of the extrasolar planet, for which I established four main temperature classes: F represents the Freezing class, W the Water class, G the Gaseous class, and R the Roasters class. I devised one additional class, however: P, the Pulsar class, which concerns extrasolar planets orbiting pulsar stars. The fourth parameter is eccentricity. If the attributes of the surface of the extrasolar planet are known, we are able to establish this additional parameter where t represents a terrestrial planet, g a gaseous planet, and i an ice planet. According to this taxonomy scale, for example, Earth is 1E0W0t, Neptune is 1N1.5F0i, and extrasolar planet 55 Cnc e is 9E-1.8R1. PMID:22506608

  16. High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, J W

    2006-08-18

    Direct imaging of extrasolar planets is an important, but challenging, next step in planetary science. Most planets identified to date have been detected indirectly--not by emitted or reflected light but through the effect of the planet on the parent star. For example, radial velocity techniques measure the doppler shift in the spectrum of the star produced by the presence of a planet. Indirect techniques only probe about 15% of the orbital parameter space of our solar system. Direct methods would probe new parameter space, and the detected light can be analyzed spectroscopically, providing new information about detected planets. High contrast adaptive optics systems, also known as Extreme Adaptive Optics (ExAO), will require contrasts of between 10{sup -6} and 10{sup -7} at angles of 4-24 {lambda}/D on an 8-m class telescope to image young Jupiter-like planets still warm with the heat of formation. Contrast is defined as the intensity ratio of the dark wings of the image, where a planet might be, to the bright core of the star. Such instruments will be technically challenging, requiring high order adaptive optics with > 2000 actuators and improved diffraction suppression. Contrast is ultimately limited by residual static wavefront errors, so an extrasolar planet imager will require wavefront control with an accuracy of better than 1 nm rms within the low- to mid-spatial frequency range. Laboratory demonstrations are critical to instrument development. The ExAO testbed at the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics was designed with low wavefront error and precision optical metrology, which is used to explore contrast limits and develop the technology needed for an extrasolar planet imager. A state-of-the-art, 1024-actuator micro-electrical-mechanical-systems (MEMS) deformable mirror was installed and characterized to provide active wavefront control and test this novel technology. I present 6.5 x 10{sup -8} contrast measurements with a prolate shaped pupil and flat mirror

  17. Using N2-N2 Collisionally-Induced Absorption to Detect N2 and Determine Pressure in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwieterman, Edward; Robinson, T. D.; Meadows, V.; Crisp, D.; Misra, A.

    2014-01-01

    Planetary habitability is determined by the stability of liquid water at the surface, which depends on surface temperature and pressure. While molecular nitrogen (N2) constitutes the bulk of Earth’s atmosphere 78% by volume) and is the biggest contributor to surface pressure, it is also extremely hard to remotely detect. In particular, N2 lacks significant absorption features in the visible to near infrared because it is a symmetric homonuclear molecule with no transitional dipole moment. However, nitrogen has a collisionally-induced absorption (CIA) feature near 4.3 μm, nearly coincident with the 4.3 μm CO2 band but extending to shorter wavelengths. This feature has been known to spectroscopists for some time, but has never been considered in the context of exoplanet characterization from full-disk observations. We report a direct detection of this N2-N2 CIA feature in disk-integrated spectra of Earth taken by NASA’s EPOXI mission. We use the Virtual Planetary Laboratory’s 3D, line-by-line, multiply scattering Earth Model (Robinson et al., 2011) to match the EPOXI spectrum with a synthetic spectrum that includes N2-N2 CIA (coefficients from Lafferty et al., 1996). Because N2 is stable in the atmosphere for geologically long periods and is present in large quantities in the atmospheres of Earth and Venus, it may be a major component of many terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. Since the strength of a CIA feature goes as the square of the density of the gas, it is more sensitive to pressure than other forms of absorption. We use a self-consistent 1D climate model and a line-by-line radiative transfer model to explore different pressure scenarios from 0.2 to 10 bars assuming pure N2-CO2-H2O atmospheres. We investigate the detectability of N2 in direct beam and transmission and quantify the signal-to-noise ratio required to distinguish between the different pressure cases. For example, to detect the difference between the 1 and 2 bar models at a 5-sigma level in

  18. Connection between the spherical albedo and the observable characteristics of a planetary atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Fomin, N.N.; Yanovitskii, E.G.

    1986-07-01

    Semiempirical dependences of the geometrical albedo and the reflection coefficient at the center of a planetary disk on the spherical albedo are found. The nonsteady analogs of these quantities are studied on the basis of the approximate equations obtained. These analogs can be used in the analysis of radiation transfer in forbidden molecular absorption bands.

  19. Planetary population synthesis coupled with atmospheric escape: a statistical view of evaporation

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Sheng; Ji, Jianghui; Mordasini, Christoph; Van Boekel, Roy; Henning, Thomas; Parmentier, Vivien E-mail: mordasini@mpia.de

    2014-11-01

    We apply hydrodynamic evaporation models to different synthetic planet populations that were obtained from a planet formation code based on the core-accretion paradigm. We investigated the evolution of the planet populations using several evaporation models, which are distinguished by the driving force of the escape flow (X-ray or EUV), the heating efficiency in energy-limited evaporation regimes, or both. Although the mass distribution of the planet populations is barely affected by evaporation, the radius distribution clearly shows a break at approximately 2 R {sub ⊕}. We find that evaporation can lead to a bimodal distribution of planetary sizes and to an 'evaporation valley' running diagonally downward in the orbital distance—planetary radius plane, separating bare cores from low-mass planets that have kept some primordial H/He. Furthermore, this bimodal distribution is related to the initial characteristics of the planetary populations because low-mass planetary cores can only accrete small primordial H/He envelopes and their envelope masses are proportional to their core masses. We also find that the population-wide effect of evaporation is not sensitive to the heating efficiency of energy-limited description. However, in two extreme cases, namely without evaporation or with a 100% heating efficiency in an evaporation model, the final size distributions show significant differences; these two scenarios can be ruled out from the size distribution of Kepler candidates.

  20. The correlation of VLF propagation variations with atmospheric planetary-scale waves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Deland, R. J.; Potemra, T. A.; Gavin, R. F.

    1973-01-01

    Variations in the received daytime phase of long distance, cesium-controlled, VLF transmission were compared to the height variations of the 10-mb isobaric surface during the first three months of 1965 and 1969. The VLF phase values are also compared to height variations of constant electron densities in the E-region and to variations of f-min which have been shown to be well correlated with planetary-scale variations in the stratosphere by Deland and Cavalieri (1973). The VLF phase variations show good correlation with these previous ionospheric measurements and with the 10-mb surfaces. The planetary scale waves in the stratosphere are shown to be travelling on the average eastward in 1965 and westward in 1969. These correlations are interpreted as due to the propagation of travelling planetary scale waves with westward tilted wave fronts. Upward energy transport due to the vertical structure of those waves is also discussed. These correlations provide further evidence for the coupling between the lower ionosphere at about 70 km altitude (the daytime VLF reflection height and the stratosphere, and they demonstrate the importance of planetary wave phenomena to VLF propagation.

  1. On the temperature dependence of possible S8 infrared bands in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1976-01-01

    Measurements of the temperature dependence between 77 and 333 K of the infrared spectrum of cyclic octatomic sulfur are reported. It is suggested that the 23 micrometer Jovian feature is not due to 3 sub 8 and that the temperature dependence of the frequency of the 835/cm band of S sub 8 may be a useful temperature marker in planetary studies.

  2. New Planetary Energy Balance, Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction and their Effects on Extreme Events in North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karrouk, Mohammed-Said

    2016-04-01

    Global warming has now reached the energetic phase of H2O's return to the ground after the saturation of the atmosphere in evaporation since the 80s and 90s of the last century, which were characterized by severe droughts, mainly in Africa. This phase is the result of the accumulation of thermal energy exchanges in the Earth-Ocean-Atmosphere system that resulted in the thrust reversal of the energy balance toward the poles. This situation is characterized by a new thermal distribution: above the ocean, the situation is more in surplus compared to the mainland, or even opposite when the balance is negative on the land, and in the atmosphere, warm thermal advection easily reach the North Pole (planetary crests), as well as cold advection push deep into North Africa and the Gulf of Mexico (planetary valleys). This "New Ground Energy Balance" establishes a "New Meridian Atmospheric Circulation (MAC)" with an undulating character throughout the year, including the winter characterized by intense latitudinal very active energy exchanges between the surplus areas (tropical) and the deficit (polar) on the one hand, and the atmosphere, the ocean and the continent on the other. The excess radiation balance increases the potential evaporation of the atmosphere and provides a new geographical distribution of H2O worldwide: the excess water vapor is easily converted by cold advection (polar vortex) to heavy rains that cause floods or snow storms that paralyze the normal functioning of human activities, which creates many difficulties for users and leaves damage and casualties, but ensures water availability missing since a long time in many parts of the world, in Africa, Europe and America. The new thermal distribution reorganizes the geography of atmospheric pressure: the ocean energy concentration is transmitted directly to the atmosphere, and the excess torque is pushed northward. The Azores anticyclone is strengthened and is a global lock by the Atlantic ridge at Greenland

  3. A Massively Parallel Particle Code for Rarefied Ionized and Neutral Gas Flows in Earth and Planetary Atmospheres, Ionospheres and Magnetospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Combi, Michael R.

    2004-01-01

    In order to understand the global structure, dynamics, and physical and chemical processes occurring in the upper atmospheres, exospheres, and ionospheres of the Earth, the other planets, comets and planetary satellites and their interactions with their outer particles and fields environs, it is often necessary to address the fundamentally non-equilibrium aspects of the physical environment. These are regions where complex chemistry, energetics, and electromagnetic field influences are important. Traditional approaches are based largely on hydrodynamic or magnetohydrodynamic MHD) formulations and are very important and highly useful. However, these methods often have limitations in rarefied physical regimes where the molecular collision rates and ion gyrofrequencies are small and where interactions with ionospheres and upper neutral atmospheres are important.

  4. Pressure Effects on Product Channels of Hydrocarbon Radical-Radical Reactions; Implications for Modelling of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fahr, A.; Halpern, J.; N'doumi, M.

    2011-10-01

    Previously we had studied the kinetics and product channels of small unsaturated hydrocarbon radical (C2 and C3s) reactions relevant to planetary atmospheric modelling. Reactions of C2 radicals (such as vinyl, H2CCH and ethynyl C2H) and C3 radicals (such as propargyl, HCCCH2 and allyl, H2CCCH3) can affect the abundances of a large number of stable observable C3, C4, C5, C6 and larger molecules, including linear, aromatic and even poly aromatic molecules. We have experimentally determined pressuredependent product yields for self- and cross-radical reactions performed at 298 K and at selected pressures between ~4 Torr (0.5 kPa) and 760 Torr (101 kPa). Final products were determined by gas chromatograph with mass spectrometry/flame ionization detection (GC/MS/FID). In some cases complementary computational studies extended the pressure and temperature range of the observations and provided valuable information on complex reaction mechanisms. These studies provide a systematic framework so that important energetic and structural parameters for radical-radical reactions can be assessed. Here we report a compilation of our earlier results relevant to planetary atmospheres in addition to recent ones for allyl radical (H2CCCH3) reactions.

  5. Planetary astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, David; Hunten, Donald; Ahearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Black, David; Brown, Robert A.; Brown, Robert Hamilton; Cochran, Anita L.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Depater, Imke

    1991-01-01

    The authors profile the field of astronomy, identify some of the key scientific questions that can be addressed during the decade of the 1990's, and recommend several facilities that are critically important for answering these questions. Scientific opportunities for the 1990' are discussed. Areas discussed include protoplanetary disks, an inventory of the solar system, primitive material in the solar system, the dynamics of planetary atmospheres, planetary rings and ring dynamics, the composition and structure of the atmospheres of giant planets, the volcanoes of IO, and the mineralogy of the Martian surface. Critical technology developments, proposed projects and facilities, and recommendations for research and facilities are discussed.

  6. Multiple scattering of polarized light in planetary atmospheres. II - Sunlight reflected by terrestrial water clouds.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, J. E.

    1971-01-01

    The intensity and polarization of sunlight reflected by terrestrial water clouds are computed with the doubling method. The calculations illustrate that this method can be effectively used in problems involving strongly anisotropic phase matrices. The method can, therefore, be used to derive information about planetary clouds, including those of the earth, from polarimetric observations. The results of the computations indicate that the polarization is more sensitive than the intensity to cloud microstructure, such as particle size and shape.

  7. Extrasolar planet detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korechoff, R. P.; Diner, D. J.; Tubbs, E. F.; Gaiser, S. L.

    1994-01-01

    This paper discusses the concept of extrasolar planet detection using a large-aperture infared imaging telescope. Coronagraphic stellar apodization techniques are less efficient at infrared wavelengths compared to the visible, as a result of practical limitations on aperture dimensions, thus necessitating additional starlight suppression to make planet detection feasible in this spectral domain. We have been investigating the use of rotational shearing interferometry to provide up to three orders of magnitude of starlight suppression over broad spectral bandwidths. We present a theoretical analysis of the system performance requirements needed to make this a viable instrument for planet detection, including specifications on the interferometer design and telescope aperture characteristics. The concept of using rotational shearing interferometry as a wavefront error detector, thus providing a signal that can be used to adaptively correct the wavefront, will be discussed. We also present the status of laboratory studies of on-axis source suppression using a recently constructed rotational shearing interferometer that currently operates in the visible.

  8. Homogeneous Studies of Transiting Extrasolar Planets: Current Status and Future Plans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, John

    2011-09-01

    We now know of over 500 planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. The jewels in the crown are the transiting planets, for these are the only ones whose masses and radii are measurable. They are fundamental for our understanding of the formation, evolution, structure and atmospheric properties of extrasolar planets. However, their characterization is not straightforward, requiring extremely high-precision photometry and spectroscopy as well as input from theoretical stellar models. I summarize the motivation and current status of a project to measure the physical properties of all known transiting planetary systems using homogeneous techniques (Southworth 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 in preparation). Careful attention is paid to the treatment of limb darkening, contaminating light, correlated noise, numerical integration, orbital eccentricity and orientation, systematic errors from theoretical stellar models, and empirical constraints. Complete error budgets are calculated for each system and can be used to determine which type of observation would be most useful for improving the parameter measurements. Known correlations between the orbital periods, masses, surface gravities, and equilibrium temperatures of transiting planets can be explored more safely due to the homogeneity of the properties. I give a sneak preview of Homogeneous Studies Paper 4, which includes the properties of thirty transiting planetary systems observed by the CoRoT, Kepler and Deep Impact space missions. Future opportunities are discussed, plus remaining problems with our understanding of transiting planets. I acknowledge funding from the UK STFC in the form of an Advanced Fellowship.

  9. Effects of Temperature Variations with Height on the Nonequilibrium Populations of Vibrational States of Molecules in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenov, A. O.; Shved, G. M.

    2003-07-01

    The model of the standard problem of radiative transfer in a vibrational-rotational band that we suggested previously (Shved and Semenov, 2001) for a nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) in vibrational molecular states is used to study the populations of these states in a nonisothermal planetary atmosphere. The temperature profile in the atmosphere is specified as a temperature perturbation in the form of a Gaussian function that is superimposed on an isothermal atmosphere. We show that the temperature profile has a complex effect on the state populations, which makes it difficult to analytically represent this effect. We investigate the influence of the peculiar features of the temperature profile in an LTE layer on the non-LTE height and suggest a criterion for determining those features that weakly affect this height. Using the populations of the CO2 0110 and 0001 states in the atmospheres of the Earth and Mars as examples, we show that the formulas suggested for estimating the non-LTE height are efficient.

  10. On the wavelength dependence of the effects of turbulence on average refraction angles in occultations by planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haugstad, B. S.; Eshleman, V. R.

    1979-01-01

    The dependence of the effects of planetary atmospheric turbulence on radio or optical wavelength in occultation experiments is discussed, and the analysis of Hubbard and Jokipii (1977) is criticized. It is argued that in deriving a necessary condition for the applicability of their method, Hubbard and Jokipii neglect a factor proportional to the square of the ratio of atmospheric or local Fresnel zone radius and the inner scale of turbulence, and fail to establish sufficient conditions, thereby omitting the square of the ratio of atmospheric scale height and the local Fresnel zone radius. The total discrepancy is said to mean that the results correspond to geometrical optics instead of wave optics, as claimed, thus being inapplicable in a dicussion of wavelength dependence. Calculations based on geometrical optics show that the bias in the average bending angle depends on the wavelength in the same way as does the bias in phase path caused by turbulence in a homogeneous atmosphere. Hubbard and Jokipii comment that the criterion of Haugstad and Eshleman is incorrect and show that there is a large wave optical domain where the results are independent of wavelength.

  11. Solar cycle influence on troposphere and middle atmosphere via ozone layer in the presence of planetary waves: Simulation with ARM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krivolutsky, A. A.; Cherepanova, L. A.; Dement'eva, A. V.

    2015-10-01

    Global circulation model of the Troposphere-Middle Atmosphere-Lower Thermosphere ARM (Atmospheric Research Model) is used to simulate the thermal and wind response to solar cycle-induced UV variations. ARM covers altitudes from 1 to 135 km and has corresponding spatial resolution: 1 km in altitude; 11.25° in longitude; 5° in latitude. Internal Gravity Waves parameterization and planetary waves (PWs) structure on the basis of observations are determined at the lower boundary of the model. Changes in UV radiation, which is absorbed by ozone and molecular oxygen, are introduced into the model to find the corresponding global wind and temperature response. Stationary PWs with zonal wave numbers 1-3 are included at lower boundary in model runs. The simulations show that atmospheric response to solar cycle has a visible nonzonal character with the amplitude of about 5 K in the troposphere for the winter season. The effect is rather smaller for summer due to the trapping PWs at lower altitudes. So, in accordance with the results of simulations, the link between the solar UV variability and the middle and low atmosphere strongly depends on the ozone and PWs activity.

  12. Origin of planetary atmospheres and their role in the evolution of life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Siegfried J.

    2002-11-01

    The successful synthesis of amino acids in a reducing gas mixture presumably resembling the primary Earth atmosphere, by the Miller-Urey experiment, had a long lasting influence on the general perception of such an early atmosphere. Based on atmospheric escape, such a reducing atmosphere, however, has a lifetime of only millions of years. According to present view the early atmosphere of Earth may have resulted from mantle degassing of volatiles (H2O, CO2, N2), followed by later accumulation of O2 as product of life (photosynthesis). For Mars, with similar degassing products, evolution of life could have been possible in its early history. Non-reducing atmospheres (with liquid water) although not conductive for local synthesis of prebiotic molecules, may provide a benign environment for the evolution of life via ubiquitous supply of "building blocks" from external sources.

  13. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, P. G.

    1985-01-01

    Radio absorptivity data for the Venus middle atmosphere (1 to 6 atm, temperatures from 500 to 575K) obtained from spacecraft radio occultation experiments (at 3.6 to 13.4 cm wavelengths) and earth-based radio astronomical observations (1 to 3 cm wavelength range) are compared to laboratory observations at the latter wavelength range under simulated Venus conditions to infer abundances of microwave-absorbing atmospheric constituents, i.e. H2SO4 in a CO2 atmosphere.

  14. Laboratory evaluation of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, P. G.

    1984-01-01

    The microwave absorbing properties of gaseous sulfuric acid (H2SO4) under Venus atmospheric conditions are investigated. The results are applied to measurements from Mariner 5, Mariner 10, and Pioneer/Venus Radio Occultation experiments, to determine abundancies of gaseous sulfuric acid in the Venus atmosphere. The microwave properties of the vapors accompanying liquid H2SO4 are studied to estimate the vapor pressure in an atmospheric model.

  15. The final fate of planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaensicke, Boris

    2015-12-01

    The discovery of the first extra-solar planet around a main-sequence star in 1995 has changed the way we think about the Universe: our solar system is not unique. Twenty years later, we know that planetary systems are ubiquitous, orbit stars spanning a wide range in mass, and form in an astonishing variety of architectures. Yet, one fascinating aspect of planetary systems has received relatively little attention so far: their ultimate fate.Most planet hosts will eventually evolve into white dwarfs, Earth-sized stellar embers, and the outer parts of their planetary systems (in the solar system, Mars and beyond) can survive largely intact for billions of years. While scattered and tidally disrupted planetesimals are directly detected at a small number of white dwarfs in the form infrared excess, the most powerful probe for detecting evolved planetary systems is metal pollution of the otherwise pristine H/He atmospheres.I will present the results of a multi-cycle HST survey that has obtained COS observations of 136 white dwarfs. These ultraviolet spectra are exquisitely sensitive to the presence of metals contaminating the white atmosphere. Our sophisticated model atmosphere analysis demonstrates that at least 27% of all targets are currently accreting planetary debris, and an additional 29% have very likely done so in the past. These numbers suggest that planet formation around A-stars (the dominant progenitors of today's white dwarf population) is similarly efficient as around FGK stars.In addition to post-main sequence planetary system demographics, spectroscopy of the debris-polluted white dwarf atmospheres provides a direct window into the bulk composition of exo-planetesimals, analogous to the way we use of meteorites to determine solar-system abundances. Our ultraviolet spectroscopy is particularly sensitive to the detection of Si, a dominant rock-forming species, and we identify up to ten additional volatile and refractory elements in the most strongly

  16. Toward a Model for Detecting Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rye, R.; Storrie-Lombardi, M.

    2001-12-01

    The search for life extraterrestrial life has rapidly expanded during the past several years. In addition to missions to Mars and Europa, NASA now envisions launching an orbiting telescope, Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), capable of resolving Earth-sized planets around stars as far away as 50 parsecs within the next 10-15 years. By that time we need to develop our understanding of the effects of life on such planets in order to confidently distinguish inhabited planets from barren ones. Our group is in the process of developing a fully coupled generalized 1-D radiative transfer-atmospheric chemistry model. Around this core we are building the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) to generate synthetic spectra of hypothetical extrasolar terrestrial planets. Computational modules mimicking the influence of life on atmospheric chemistry/climate are of central importance for analyzing data from TPF and related missions. Here we describe our rationale and initial efforts to parameterize the effects of life using a Virtual Microbial Community (VMC). At first glance, the task of modeling hypothetical inhabited planets appears intractable. However, we may assume that most planets settle into a fairly small number of stable climate/chemistry regimes during their history. These regimes are maintained by negative feedback loops. Transitions from one stable solution to another are singularities, times during which the system is unregulated and may vary wildly. In this context, life is one of several processes modifying the chemical composition of a planetary atmosphere, potentially modifying climate. We seek to elucidate those processes and signatures unique to life and visible from space. The VMC is a first attempt at quantifying the possible range of effects of life on the atmosphere of a planet. We start from the presumption that kinetics and thermodynamics are the same throughout the universe. Given the remarkable metabolic diversity of life on Earth, we assume that all

  17. Earth as an Exoplanet: Lessons in Recognizing Planetary Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meadows, Victoria; Robinson, Tyler; Misra, Amit; Ennico, Kimberly; Sparks, William B.; Claire, Mark; Crisp, David; Schwieterman, Edward; Bussey, D. Ben J.; Breiner, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Earth will always be our best-studied example of a habitable world. While extrasolar planets are unlikely to look exactly like Earth, they may share key characteristics, such as oceans, clouds and surface inhomogeneity. Earth's globally-averaged characteristics can therefore help us to recognize planetary habitability in data-limited exoplanet observations. One of the most straightforward ways to detect habitability will be via detection of 'glint', specular reflectance from an ocean (Robinson et al., 2010). Other methods include undertaking a census of atmospheric greenhouse gases, or attempting to measure planetary surface temperature and pressure, to determine if liquid water would be feasible on the planetary surface. Here we present recent research on detecting planetary habitability, led by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory Team. This work includes a collaboration with the NASA Lunar Science Institute on the detection of ocean glint and ozone absorption using Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) Earth observations (Robinson et al., 2014). This data/model comparison provides the first observational test of a technique that could be used to determine exoplanet habitability from disk-integrated observations at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. We find that the VPL spectral Earth model is in excellent agreement with the LCROSS Earth data, and can be used to reliably predict Earth's appearance at a range of phases relevant to exoplanet observations. Determining atmospheric surface pressure and temperature directly for a potentially habitable planet will be challenging due to the lack of spatial-resolution, presence of clouds, and difficulty in spectrally detecting many bulk constituents of terrestrial atmospheres. Additionally, Rayleigh scattering can be masked by absorbing gases and absorption from the underlying surface. However, new techniques using molecular dimers of oxygen (Misra et al., 2014) and nitrogen

  18. The role of atmospheric planetary-scale waves in the D region winter anomaly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muraoka, Y.; Petzoldt, K.; Labitzke, K.

    1986-01-01

    Characteristics of the D region winter anomaly are examined, by using ionospheric data along a meridian chain of stations near Japan. The data were obtained by means of long-distance VLF radio wave propagation and HF radio wave vertical sounding. Interesting features are the equatorward extension of the anomaly and the variability of its duration. These features are further discussed in comparison with radiance data measured by pressure modulator radiometer channel 3000 (maximum weight near 80-km altitude in the mesosphere) on board Nimbus 6 during two winters, 1975/1976 and 1976/1977. Meteorological conditions during these winters were quite different, a major stratospheric sudden warming taking place during the latter winter but not during the former winter. The key result of this study is that the occurrence of the winter anomaly is basically associated with the amplification of a planetary-scale wave with zonal wave number 1 in the mesosphere. At the same time we find that the local appearance of the anomaly near Japan is controlled by the movement and latitudinal structure of the excited wave 1. It is further indicated that the increase in mesospheric local temperature is not always associated with the occurrence of the anomaly, suggesting that another dynamical effect of planetary-scale waves is important for the occurrence of the anomaly.

  19. Earth as an Extrasolar Planet: Earth Model Validation Using EPOXI Earth Observations

    PubMed Central

    Meadows, Victoria S.; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A.; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K.; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward

  20. Earth as an extrasolar planet: Earth model validation using EPOXI earth observations.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Tyler D; Meadows, Victoria S; Crisp, David; Deming, Drake; A'hearn, Michael F; Charbonneau, David; Livengood, Timothy A; Seager, Sara; Barry, Richard K; Hearty, Thomas; Hewagama, Tilak; Lisse, Carey M; McFadden, Lucy A; Wellnitz, Dennis D

    2011-06-01

    The EPOXI Discovery Mission of Opportunity reused the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft to obtain spatially and temporally resolved visible photometric and moderate resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopic observations of Earth. These remote observations provide a rigorous validation of whole-disk Earth model simulations used to better understand remotely detectable extrasolar planet characteristics. We have used these data to upgrade, correct, and validate the NASA Astrobiology Institute's Virtual Planetary Laboratory three-dimensional line-by-line, multiple-scattering spectral Earth model. This comprehensive model now includes specular reflectance from the ocean and explicitly includes atmospheric effects such as Rayleigh scattering, gas absorption, and temperature structure. We have used this model to generate spatially and temporally resolved synthetic spectra and images of Earth for the dates of EPOXI observation. Model parameters were varied to yield an optimum fit to the data. We found that a minimum spatial resolution of ∼100 pixels on the visible disk, and four categories of water clouds, which were defined by using observed cloud positions and optical thicknesses, were needed to yield acceptable fits. The validated model provides a simultaneous fit to Earth's lightcurve, absolute brightness, and spectral data, with a root-mean-square (RMS) error of typically less than 3% for the multiwavelength lightcurves and residuals of ∼10% for the absolute brightness throughout the visible and NIR spectral range. We have extended our validation into the mid-infrared by comparing the model to high spectral resolution observations of Earth from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, obtaining a fit with residuals of ∼7% and brightness temperature errors of less than 1 K in the atmospheric window. For the purpose of understanding the observable characteristics of the distant Earth at arbitrary viewing geometry and observing cadence, our validated forward model can be

  1. CARBON-RICH MOLECULAR CHAINS IN PROTOPLANETARY AND PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES: QUANTUM MECHANISMS AND ELECTRON ATTACHMENT RATES FOR ANION FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    Carelli, F.; Grassi, T.; Gianturco, F. A.; Satta, M.

    2013-09-10

    The elementary mechanisms through which molecular polyynes could form stable negative ions after interacting with free electrons in planetary atmospheres (e.g., Titan's) are analyzed using quantum scattering calculations and quantum structure methods. The case of radical species and of nonpolar partners are analyzed via specific examples for both the C{sub n}H and HC{sub n}H series, with n values from 4 to 12. We show that attachment processes to polar radicals are dominating the anionic production and that the mediating role of dipolar scattering states is crucial to their formation. The corresponding attachment rates are presented as calculated upper limits to their likely values and are obtained down to the low temperatures of interest. The effects of the computed rates, when used in simple evolutionary models, are also investigated and presented in detail.

  2. Tm:germanate Fiber Laser for Planetary Water Vapor Atmospheric Profiling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, Norman P.; De Young, Russell

    2009-01-01

    The atmospheric profiling of water vapor is necessary for finding life on Mars and weather on Earth. The design and performance of a water vapor lidar based on a Tm:germanate fiber laser is presented.

  3. Microwave studies of planetary atmospheres. [by Mariner 2 Space Probe for Jupiter and Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, D. E.

    1975-01-01

    Data from microwave observations of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Venus are examined. Radar features with corresponding coordinates of longitude and lattitude are given, along with scans of Mariner 2 radiometer beams.

  4. Minor constituents in planetary atmospheres: Ultraviolet spectroscopy from the orbiting astronomical observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.; Sagan, C.

    1972-01-01

    OAO data between 2000 A and 3600 A, obtained by the Wisconsin experimental package objective grating scanning spectrometer, are used to set upper limits to the abundances of many minor constituents in the atmospheres of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus.

  5. A Grant from NASA's Office of Space Station Science, Planetary Atmosphere's Program to Boston University

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yelle, Roger V.

    2000-01-01

    In the past three years of this program we have made contributions to a variety of subjects in research on Jupiter's Atmosphere, the Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Jupiter, the abundance of CH4 in Pluto's atmosphere, and the emissivity of Pluto's Surface. We also performed work on two projects related to Titan, and an analysis of the visible spectrum of a brown dwarf. The highpoints are briefly summarized and a list of papers supported partly or wholly by this program is also provided.

  6. Spectral properties of condensed phases of disulfur monoxide, polysulfur oxide, and irradiated sulfur. [in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hapke, Bruce; Graham, Francis

    1989-01-01

    The spectral reflectances of S2O, as well as the polysulfur oxide (PSO) condensate dissociation products of SO2 and condensates of elemental sulfur irradiated with UV light and X-rays, have been ascertained in the 200-1700 nm range with a view to the relevance of these compounds to the interpretation of planetary data. While S2O is a dark red solid, PSO is a pale yellow one that absorbs strongly in the UV but exhibits no bands in either the visible or near IR. Elemental S produces strong bands in the UV, and while it is normally white at room temperature, UV irradiation causes it to turn yellow. X-ray irradiation of S turns it orange.

  7. Radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres: Submillimeter-wave spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schloerb, F. Peter

    1991-01-01

    During 1990, a significant step was made in asertaining the molecular composition of comets by our Planetary Astronomy group at the University of Massachusetts. We obtained several exciting new detections of submillimeter wave spectral lines from molecules in the coma of Comet Levy (1990c) using the 10m telescope of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, located on Mauna Kea. The molecules HCN, formaldahyde, and methanol were all detected in abundances that make them important minor constituents of the nucleus. Moreover, the emission was so strong that, for the first time, it was possible to map the distribution of these species in the coma and study their behavior as they flow outwards from the nucleus.

  8. A method for computing visible and infrared polarized monochromatic radiation in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wauben, W. M. F.; de Haan, J. F.; Hovenier, J. W.

    1994-02-01

    In this paper we present a computational method, based on the so-called adding principle, for calculating the polarized monochromatic radiation in plane-parallel vertically inhomogeneous atmospheres. Our computer code is verified by comparing numerical results with those obtained by other investigators using different methods. We consider not only the well-known case of illumination by a unidirectional beam of light at the top of the atmosphere, but also illumination by isotropically radiating internal sources and illumination by an isotropically radiating ground surface below the atmosphere. Numerical results for all relevant Stokes parameters are tabulated for a two-layer atmosphere containing molecules and haze particles. These results pertain to the three types of illumination mentioned above. Furthermore, we describe some general features of polarized radiation in an optically thick homogeneous atmosphere containing cloud C1 water droplets. It is shown that multiple scattering of radiation in such a cloudy atmosphere may not be ignored at infrared wavelengths if molecular absorption is negligible.

  9. Outer satellite atmospheres: Their nature and planetary interactions. [atmospheric models for Amalthea, Ganymede, Callisto, and Titan are presented

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, W. H.

    1978-01-01

    Results show that Amalthea is likely to form a tightly-bound partial toroidal-shaped hydrogen cloud about its planet, while Ganymede, Callisto and Titan may have rather large, complete and nearly symmetric toroidal-shaped clouds. The toroidal cloud for Amalthea compares favorably with spacecraft data of Pioneer 10 for a satellite escape flux of order 10 to the 11th power atoms/sq cm/sec. Model results for Ganymede, Callisto and Titan suggest that these extended hydrogen atmospheres are likely to be detected by the Voyager spacecrafts and that Titan's cloud might also be detected by the Pioneer 11 spacecraft. Ions created because of atoms lost through ionization processes from these four extended hydrogen atmospheres and from the sodium cloud of Io are discussed.

  10. Outer satellite atmospheres: Their extended nature and planetary interactions. [sodium cloud of Io, hydrogen torus of Titan, and comet atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smyth, W. H.

    1980-01-01

    Highly developed numerical models are applied to interpret extended-atmosphere data for the sodium cloud of Io and the hydrogen torus of Titan. Solar radiation pressure was identified and verified by model calculations as the mechanism to explain two different east-west asymmetries observed in the sodium cloud. Analysis of sodium line profile data, suggesting that a Jupiter magnetospheric wind may be responsible for high speed sodium atoms emitted from Io, and preliminary modeling of the interaction of the Io plasma torus and Io's sodium cloud are also reported. Models presented for Titan's hydrogen torus are consistent both with the recent Pioneer 11 measurements and earlier Earth-orbiting observations by the Copernicus satellite. Progress is reported on developing models for extended gas and dust atmospheres of comets.

  11. High resolution infrared spectroscopy: Some new approaches and applications to planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, M. J.

    1978-01-01

    The principles of spectral line formation and of techniques for retrieval of atmospheric temperature and constituent profiles are discussed. Applications to the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are illustrated by results obtained with Fourier transform and infrared heterodyne spectrometers at resolving powers (lambda/delta hyperon lambda of approximately 10,000 and approximately 10 to the seventh power), respectively, showing the high complementarity of spectroscopy at these two widely different resolving powers. The principles of heterodyne spectroscopy are presented and its applications to atmospheric probing and to laboratory spectroscopy are discussed. Direct absorption spectroscopy with tuneable semiconductor lasers is discussed in terms of precision frequency-and line strength-measurements, showing substantial advances in laboratory infrared spectroscopy.

  12. Studies of the chemistry of vibrationally and electronically excited species in planetary upper atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, J. L.

    1984-01-01

    The vibrational distribution of O2(+) in the atmospheres of Venus and Mars was investigated to compare with analogous values in the Earth's atmosphere. The dipole moment of the Z(2) Pi sub u - X(2) Pi sub g transition of O2(+) is calculated as a function of internuclear distance. The band absorption oscillator strengths and band transition probabilities of the second negative system are derived. The vibrational distribution of O2(+) in the ionosphere of Venus is calculated for a model based on data from the Pioneer Venus neutral mass spectrometer.

  13. Near-Term Prospects for Extra-Solar Planet Detection: The Astrometric Imaging Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrile, Richard J.; Levy, Eugene H.; Gatewood, George D.

    The Astrometric Imaging Telescope (AIT) is a 1.5 to 2 meter diameter space-based telescope designed to carry out a comprehensive program of direct and indirect extra-solar planet detection. The telescope consists of two separate instruments, an astrometric experiment to measure the reflex motion of the parent stars and an imaging coronagraph to directly image planets and the circumstellar region. The astrometric technique utilizes the Multichannel Astrometric Photometer (MAP) which passes a Ronchi ruling over a field of stars and measures the centroid of the stars in two orthogonal observations. Used above the Earth's atmosphere this will be about two orders of magnitude more accurate than any existing astrometric instrument and will achieve an accuracy of about 10 microarcseconds. This will allow detection and study of Uranus-size or larger planets in Jovian orbits around several hundred nearby stars. The astrometric study of a parent star of a planetary system will lead to an accurate determination of its distance. The distance is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the annual parallactic motion. The same study yields the major characteristics of the individual bodies within the planetary system. The periods of the orbits are obtained from the analysis of the motions of the central star. Thy are directly related to the distances between the individual planets in the system and the system's sun. The distances in turn determine the thermal radiation level, or effective temperature, at the planet's orbit. With sufficient precision and time, the analysis of the apparent motion of the target star will also yield the eccentricities and the relative inclinations of the orbits of each of the planetary bodies. Assuming the mass of the primary star can be accurately estimated, the study will also yield the mass of each planet.

  14. Radar coverage predictions through time- and range-dependent refractive atmospheres with planetary boundary layer and electromagnetic parabolic equation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skura, J. P.; Schemm, C. E.; Ko, H. W.; Manzi, L. P.

    The enhancement of the capability of electromagnetic parabolic equation (EMPE) and other propagation codes by using predictions from an atmospheric forecast model to provide refractivity data for range-dependent and time-varying situations is demonstrated. Starting from measured temperature and humidity data at one location and time, the JHU/APL planetary boundary layer (PBL) model is used to obtained predictions for a 24-h forecast period. Predicted fields of temperature, humidity, and refractivity after 12 and 24 h are compared with measured data to verify the forecast, and vertical profiles of refractivity for each hour are provided, along with appropriate radar parameters, as input to EMPE. The EMPE calculations of expected radiation patterns as functions of height and range at selected times demonstrate the effects of hourly changes in the structure of the lower atmosphere on radar propagation. The radar propagation calculations have been repeated using the IREPS code to illustrate the similarities and differences between the two models when applied to this somewhat idealized, horizontally homogeneous situation.

  15. Zeppelin NT - Measurement Platform for the Exploration of Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics in the Planetary Boundary Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofzumahaus, Andreas; Holland, Frank; Oebel, Andreas; Rohrer, Franz; Mentel, Thomas; Kiendler-Scharr, Astrid; Wahner, Andreas; Brauchle, Artur; Steinlein, Klaus; Gritzbach, Robert

    2014-05-01

    The planetary boundary layer (PBL) is the chemically most active and complex part of the atmosphere where freshly emitted reactive trace gases, tropospheric radicals, atmospheric oxidation products and aerosols exhibit a large variability and spatial gradients. In order to investigate the chemical degradation of trace gases and the formation of secondary pollutants in the PBL, a commercial Zeppelin NT was modified to be used as an airborne measurement platform for chemical and physical observations with high spatial resolution. The Zeppelin NT was developed by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) and is operated by Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei (DZR) in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The modification was performed in cooperation between Forschungszentrum Jülich and ZLT. The airship has a length of 75 m, can lift about 1 ton of scientific payload and can be manoeuvered with high precision by propeller engines. The modified Zeppelin can carry measurement instruments mounted on a platform on top of the Zeppelin, or inside the gondola beneath the airship. Three different instrument packages were developed to investigate a. gas-phase oxidation processes involving free radicals (OH, HO2) b. formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) c. new particle formation (nucleation) The presentation will describe the modified airship and provide an overview of its technical performance. Examples of its application during the recent PEGASOS flight campaigns in Europe will be given.

  16. Low-temperature Kinetic Studies of OH Radical Reactions Relevant to Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Townsend, T. M.; Antiñolo, M.; Ballesteros, B.; Jimenez, E.; Canosa, A.

    2011-05-01

    In the solar system, the temperature (T) of the atmosphere of giant planets or their satellites is only several tens of Kelvin (K). The temperature of the tropopause of Titan (satellite of Saturn) and the surface of Mars is 70 K and 210 K, respectively. In the Earth's atmosphere, T decreases from 298 K (surface) to 210 K close to the T-inversion region (tropopause). The principal oxidants in the Earth's lower atmosphere are ozone, the hydroxyl (OH) radical and hydrogen peroxide. A number of critical atmospheric chemical problems depend on the Earth's oxidising capacity, which is essentially the global burden of these oxidants. In the interstellar clouds and circumstellar envelopes, OH radicals have also been detected. As the chemistry of atmospheres is highly influenced by temperature, the knowledge of the T-dependence of the rate coefficients for OH-reactions (k) is the key to understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms. In general, these reactions take place on a short temporal scale. Therefore, a detection technique with high temporal resolution is required. Measurements of k at low temperatures can be achieved by maintaining a thermalised environment using either cryogenic cooling (T>200 K) or supersonic gas expansion with a Laval nozzle (several tens of K). The pulsed laser photolysis technique coupled with laser induced fluorescence detection has been widely used in our laboratory to determine the rate coefficients of OH-reactions with different volatile organic compounds, such as alcohols (1), saturated and unsaturated aliphatic aldehydes (2), linear ketones (3), as a function of temperature (260 350 K). An experimental system based on the CRESU (Cinetique de Reaction en Ecoulement Supersonique Uniforme or Reaction Kinetics in a Uniform Supersonic Flow) technique is currently under construction. This technique will allow the performance of kinetic studies of OH-reactions of astrophysical interest at temperatures lower than 200 K.

  17. Planetary Habitability of the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendez, Abel

    2009-09-01

    Habitability is a qualitative concept generally defined as the suitability of an environment to support life. Although there are many works related to planetary habitability, there is no practical quantitative definition of habitability. The search for habitable environments in the Solar System and beyond requires a method to quantify and compare their significance. Therefore, this study presents a quantitative approach to assess the habitability of Earth and other planetary bodies. A Quantitative Habitability Model (QH Model) was develop and used to model the terrestrial habitability as a standard for comparison. The QH Model provides a simple ecophysiology-based framework that can be used to predict the potential distribution, abundance and productivity of life in planetary bodies from local to global scales. The simplest QH Model calculates habitability from the environment temperature and relative humidity in gas phases (i.e. atmospheres), and from temperature and salinity in liquid phases (i.e. oceans). The model was used to explain the latitudinal gradients of primary producers on Earth and was validated with ground and satellites observations of net primary productivity (NPP). The potential global habitability for prokaryotes of the upper-troposphere of Venus, the subsurface of Mars, Europa, Titan, and Enceladus was compared. Results show that Enceladus has the zone with the highest mean habitability in the Solar System although to deep for direct exploration. Results also show that the current global terrestrial environment of land areas is not optimized for primary producers, but it was during some paleoclimates. The QH Model has applications in ecosystem modeling, global climate studies including paleoclimates and global warming, planetary protection, and astrobiology. It can also be used to quantify the potential for life of any terrestrial-size extrasolar planet as compared to Earth. This study was partially supported by UPR Arecibo and NASA

  18. Evaporation of ice in planetary atmospheres - Ice-covered rivers on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallace, D.; Sagan, C.

    1979-01-01

    The existence of ice covered rivers on Mars is considered. It is noted that the evaporation rate of water ice on the surface of a planet with an atmosphere involves an equilibrium between solar heating and radiative and evaporative cooling of the ice layer. It is determined that even with a mean Martian insolation rate above the ice of approximately 10 to the -8th g per sq cm/sec, a flowing channel of liquid water will be covered by ice which evaporates sufficiently slowly that the water below can flow for hundreds of kilometers even with modest discharges. Evaporation rates are calculated for a range of frictional velocities, atmospheric pressures, and insolations and it is suggested that some subset of observed Martian channels may have formed as ice-choked rivers. Finally, the exobiological implications of ice covered channels or lakes on Mars are discussed.

  19. Detonation propulsion experiments and theory. [for spacecraft in high pressure planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Back, L. H.; Dowler, W. L.; Varsi, G.

    1982-01-01

    Test data are presented for the use of a single detonation of explosives in long-cone, short-cone, straight, and firing-plug nozzles to provide propulsion in a simulated Jupiter atmosphere, as well as the ambient gases N, CO2 and He. The long-cone nozzle yielded a progressive increase with ambient pressure for the higher molecular weight gases CO2 and N, while the lower molecular weight He and simulated Jupiter atmosphere showed a specific pulse decrease with increasing ambient pressure. The short-plug nozzle yielded a small specific impulse reduction with increasing ambient pressure, and its results were found to be nearly independent of ambient gas molecular weight. All data gathered are analyzed by using first principles, approximate blast wave theory predictions, and two-dimensional numerical calculations. Rarefaction and oscillatory wave phenomena are found to significantly influence specific impulse.

  20. Diode laser measurements of CO line widths at planetary atmospheric temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varanasi, P.; Chudamani, S.; Kapur, S.

    1987-01-01

    A tunable diode laser spectrometer and the sweep integration technique were used to measure hydrogen-broadened half-widths and nitrogen-broadened half-widths of eight lines between P(1) and P(15) in the CO fundamental at several temperatures between 94 and 298 K. The results are of interest in connection with studies of the atmospheres of earth, Jupiter, Saturn, and Titan.

  1. Electronic excitation and isentropic coefficients of high temperature planetary atmosphere plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Colonna, Gianpiero; Capitelli, Mario

    2012-07-15

    In this paper, we have discussed the effects of electronically excited states of atomic species in affecting the isentropic coefficients of plasmas, focusing on mixtures representing the atmospheres of Jupiter, Mars, and Earth. General behaviors have been rationalized on the basis of simplified approaches. The contribution of the electronically excited states has been evidenced by comparing results obtained considering only the ground state and those obtained using either Fermi or Griem cutoff criteria.

  2. Calculation of polarization and anisotropy of resonant and fluorescent scattering. [in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamberlain, Joseph W.

    1990-01-01

    Formulas are derived for the swift calculation of the angular intensity distribution and the degree of polarization associated with the resonant and fluorescent scattering of radiation by atoms which occurs in the rarefied upper atmospheres of planets during sunlit airglow phenomena. Attention is given to spectral lines with hyperfine structure, which are indicative of nuclear spin processes. The method employed involves summations over Zeeman components, allowing an evaluation of polarization through the addition of underlying simple resonant and fluorescent scattering channels.

  3. On the hydrodynamic model of thermal escape from planetary atmospheres and its comparison with kinetic simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkov, A. N.

    2016-06-01

    Parkers' model of thermal escape implies the search of solutions of one-dimensional hydrodynamic equations for an inviscid but thermally conducting gas with a critical point and vanishing temperature far from the source. The properties of solutions of this model are studied for neutral mon- and diatomic gases with the viscosity index varying from 1/2 to 1. The domains of existence and uniqueness of solutions in terms of the source Jeans escape parameter and Knudsen number are established. The solutions are found to exist only in a narrow range of the critical point Jeans parameter. The lower and upper limits of this range correspond to solutions that are dominated by either heat conduction or adiabatic expansion. Thermal escape described by Parker's model occurs in two asymptotic regimes: the low-density (LD) regime, when escape is dominated by heat conduction, and the high-density (HD) regime, when escape is dominated by adiabatic expansion. Expressions for the mass and energy escape rates in these regimes are found theoretically. The comparison of results of hydrodynamic and kinetic simulations performed in identical conditions shows that Parker's model is capable of describing thermal escape only in the HD regime, providing decent agreement with the kinetic model in terms of the atmospheric structure below the exobase and the mass and energy escape rates. In the LD regime, Parker's model predicts a much faster drop in atmospheric temperature and less extended atmospheres, and can both over- and underestimate the escape rates in orders of magnitude.

  4. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1991-01-01

    Laboratory measurements of microwave and millimeter wave properties of the simulated atmosphere of the outer planets and their satellites has continued. One of the focuses is on the development of a radiative transfer model of the Jovian atmosphere at wavelengths from 1 mm to 10 cm. This modeling effort led to laboratory measurements of the millimeter wave opacity of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) under simulated Jovian conditions. Descriptions of the modeling effort, the Laboratory experiment, and the observations are presented. Correlative studies of measurements with Pioneer-Venus radio occultation measurements with longer wavelength emission measurements have provided new ways for characterizing temporal and spatial variations in the abundance of both gases H2SO4 and SO2, and for modeling their roles in the subcloud atmosphere. Laboratory measurements were conducted on 1.35 cm (and 13 cm) opacity of gaseous SO2 and absorptivity of gaseous SO2 at the 3.2 mm wavelength under simulated Venus conditions. Laboratory measurements were completed on millimeter wave dielectric properties of liquid H2SO4, in order to model the effects of the opacity of the clouds of Venus onto millimeter wave emission spectrum.

  5. Evaporation of ice in planetary atmospheres: Ice-covered rivers on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallace, D.; Sagan, C.

    1978-01-01

    The evaporation rate of water ice on the surface of a planet with an atmosphere involves an equilibrium between solar heating and radiative and evaporative cooling of the ice layer. The thickness of the ice is governed principally by the solar flux which penetrates the ice layer and then is conducted back to the surface. Evaporation from the surface is governed by wind and free convection. In the absence of wind, eddy diffusion is caused by the lower density of water vapor in comparison to the density of the Martian atmosphere. For mean martian insolations, the evaporation rate above the ice is approximately 10 to the minus 8th power gm/sq cm/s. Evaporation rates are calculated for a wide range of frictional velocities, atmospheric pressures, and insolations and it seems clear that at least some subset of observed Martian channels may have formed as ice-chocked rivers. Typical equilibrium thicknesses of such ice covers are approximately 10m to 30 m; typical surface temperatures are 210 to 235 K.

  6. Simulating influence of QBO phase on planetary waves during a stratospheric warming in a general circulation model of the middle atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koval, Andrey; Gavrilov, Nikolai; Pogoreltsev, Alexander; Savenkova, Elena

    2016-04-01

    One of the important factors of dynamical interactions between the lower and upper atmosphere is energy and momentum transfer by atmospheric internal gravity waves. For numerical modeling of the general circulation and thermal regime of the middle and upper atmosphere, it is important to take into account accelerations of the mean flow and heating rates produced by dissipating internal waves. The quasi-biennial oscillations (QBOs) of the zonal mean flow at lower latitudes at stratospheric heights can affect the propagation conditions of planetary waves. We perform numerical simulation of global atmospheric circulation for the initial conditions corresponding to the years with westerly and easterly QBO phases. We focus on the changes in amplitudes of stationary planetary waves (SPWs) and traveling normal atmospheric modes (NAMs) in the atmosphere during SSW events for the different QBO phases. For these experiments, we use the global circulation of the middle and upper atmosphere model (MUAM). There is theory of PW waveguide describing atmospheric regions where the background wind and temperature allow the wave propagation. There were introduced the refractive index for PWs and found that strongest planetary wave propagation is in areas of large positive values of this index. Another important PW characteristic is the Eliassen-Palm flux (EP-flux). These characteristics are considered as useful tools for visualizing the PW propagation conditions. Sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event has significant influence on the formation of the weather anomalous and climate changes in the troposphere. Also, SSW event may affect the dynamical and energy processes in the upper atmosphere. The major SSW events imply significant temperature rises (up to 30 - 40 K) at altitudes 30 - 50 km accompanying with corresponding decreases, or reversals, of climatological eastward zonal winds in the stratosphere.

  7. The Evryscope and extrasolar planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fors, Octavi; Law, Nicholas Michael; Ratzloff, Jeffrey; del Ser, Daniel; Wulfken, Philip J.; Kavanaugh, Dustin

    2015-08-01

    The Evryscope (Law et al. 2015) is a 24-camera hemispherical all-sky gigapixel telescope (8,000 sq.deg. FoV) with rapid cadence (2mins exposure, 4sec readout) installed at CTIO. Ground-based single-station transiting surveys typically suffer from light curve sparsity and suboptimal efficiency because of their limited field of view (FoV), resulting in incomplete and biased detections. In contrast, the Evryscope offers 97% survey efficiency and one of the single-station most continuous and simultaneous monitoring of millions of stars (only limited by the day-night window).This unique facility is capable of addressing new and more extensive planetary populations, including: 1) for the first time, continuously monitor every 2mins a set of ~1000 bright white dwarfs (WDs). This will allow us to put constraints on the habitable planet fraction of Ceres-size planetesimals at the level of 30%, only in a survey timescales of a few weeks, as well as first-time testing planetary evolution models beyond the AGB phase. 2) search for rocky planets in the habitable zone around ~5,000 bright, nearby M-dwarfs. 3) synergies between Evryscope and upcoming exoplanets missions (e.g. TESS, PLATO) are also promising for target pre-imaging characterization, and increasing the giant planet yield by recovering multiple transits from planets seen as single transit events from space. 4) all-sky 2-min cadence of rare microlensing events of nearby stars. 5) all-sky continuous survey of microlensing events of nearby stars at 2mins cadence. 6) increase the census of giant planets around ~70,000 nearby, bright (g<10) solar-type stars, whose atmospheres can be characterized by follow-up observations. We are developing new data analysis algorithms to address the above scientific goals: from detecting the extremely short and faint transits around WDs, to disentangle planetary signals from very bright stars, and to combine space-based light curves with the Evryscope's ones. We will present the first

  8. Earth, Jupiter and Saturn as guides for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs: a lightning climatology study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodosán, Gabriella; Asensio Torres, Rubén; Helling, Christiane; Vorgul, Irena

    2015-04-01

    Large-scale electrostatic discharges (i.e. lightning) have been observed in the Solar System. Apart from Earth there are direct detections from Jupiter and Saturn and indirect (only radio) detection from Uranus and Neptune. Recent observations made by the Venus Explorer revealed radio signals that may be related to lightning. Observations indicate that clouds form on extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. The conditions in these clouds may be good for lightning to occur, which can be a main ionization process in these atmospheres (lightning in mineral clouds e.g.: Bailey et al. 2014, ApJ, 784, 43; Helling at al. 2013, ApJ, 767, 136; Helling et al. 2013, P&SS, 77, 152). In this study our aim is to compare lightning climatology from Earth, Jupiter and Saturn and use these statistics as a guide to study potential lightning on extrasolar planetary objects. Earth is a fair analogy for rocky or ocean planets while Jupiter and Saturn resemble giant planets and brown dwarfs. To give an estimate on the total lightning energy (or power) that can reach us from a particular extrasolar body, we need to know how much lightning can occur on the object globally. We will show the possibilities in the number and quality of the giant planet data sets, which may give a fine comparison of future observations of extrasolar giant gas planets and even brown dwarfs. Data were obtained from Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS)/Optical Transient Detector (OTD) (e.g.: Cecil et al. 2014, Atmospheric Research, 135, 404), Sferics Timing and Ranging Network (STARNET) (e.g.: Morales Rodrigues et al. 2011, 2014, XIV and XV International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity) and World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) (e.g.: Hutchins et al. 2012, Radio Science, 47, RS6005), four major lightning detecting networks, which monitor lightning occurrence in the optical or radio range on Earth. We compare flash/stroke rates in space and time and use the data to refer to Earth as a transiting exoplanet. We

  9. Multiplex gas chromatography: an alternative concept for gas chromatographic analysis of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valentin, J. R.

    1989-01-01

    Gas chromatography (GC) is a powerful technique for analyzing gaseous mixtures. Applied to the earth's atmosphere, GC can be used to determine the permanent gases--such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen--and to analyze organic pollutants in air. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has used GC in spacecraft missions to Mars (the Viking Biology Gas Exchange Experiment [GEX] and the Viking Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer [GC-MS]) and to Venus (the Pioneer Venus Gas Chromatograph [PVGC] on board the Pioneer Venus sounder probe) for determining the atmospheric constituents of these two planets. Even though conventional GC was very useful in the Viking and Pioneer missions, spacecraft constraints and limitations intrinsic to the technique prevented the collection of more samples. With the Venus probe, for instance, each measurement took a relatively long time to complete (10 min), and successive samples could not be introduced until the previous samples had left the column. Therefore, while the probe descended through the Venusian atmosphere, only three samples were acquired at widely separated altitudes. With the Viking mission, the sampling rate was not a serious problem because samples were acquired over a period of one year. However, the detection limit was a major disadvantage. The GC-MS could not detect simple hydrocarbons and simple alcohols below 0.1 ppm, and the GEX could not detect them below 1 ppm. For more complex molecules, the detection limits were at the parts-per-billion level for both instruments. Finally, in both the Viking and Pioneer missions, the relatively slow rate of data acquisition limited the number of analyses, and consequently, the amount of information returned. Similar constraints are expected in future NASA missions. For instance, gas chromatographic instrumentation is being developed to collect and analyze organic gases and aerosols in the atmosphere of Titan (one of Saturn's satellites). The Titan

  10. Multiplex gas chromatography: an alternative concept for gas chromatographic analysis of planetary atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Valentin, J R

    1989-03-01

    Gas chromatography (GC) is a powerful technique for analyzing gaseous mixtures. Applied to the earth's atmosphere, GC can be used to determine the permanent gases--such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen--and to analyze organic pollutants in air. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has used GC in spacecraft missions to Mars (the Viking Biology Gas Exchange Experiment [GEX] and the Viking Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer [GC-MS]) and to Venus (the Pioneer Venus Gas Chromatograph [PVGC] on board the Pioneer Venus sounder probe) for determining the atmospheric constituents of these two planets. Even though conventional GC was very useful in the Viking and Pioneer missions, spacecraft constraints and limitations intrinsic to the technique prevented the collection of more samples. With the Venus probe, for instance, each measurement took a relatively long time to complete (10 min), and successive samples could not be introduced until the previous samples had left the column. Therefore, while the probe descended through the Venusian atmosphere, only three samples were acquired at widely separated altitudes. With the Viking mission, the sampling rate was not a serious problem because samples were acquired over a period of one year. However, the detection limit was a major disadvantage. The GC-MS could not detect simple hydrocarbons and simple alcohols below 0.1 ppm, and the GEX could not detect them below 1 ppm. For more complex molecules, the detection limits were at the parts-per-billion level for both instruments. Finally, in both the Viking and Pioneer missions, the relatively slow rate of data acquisition limited the number of analyses, and consequently, the amount of information returned. Similar constraints are expected in future NASA missions. For instance, gas chromatographic instrumentation is being developed to collect and analyze organic gases and aerosols in the atmosphere of Titan (one of Saturn's satellites). The Titan

  11. Influence of planetary scale waves on the upper atmospheric optical dayglow emissions over equatorial-low-latitude

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laskar, F. I.; Duggirala, P. R.; Thatiparthi, V. L.; Chakrabarti, S.; Reddy, M.; Raghavarao, R.; Pathan, B. M.; Khekale, P. V.

    2012-12-01

    Systematic measurement of optical dayglow emissions at multiple wavelengths, namely, 557.7nm , 630.0nm, and 777.4nm have been carried out over a large field-of-view using a newly built Multiwavelength Imaging Spectograph using Echelle-grating (MISE) during January-February 2011 from a low latitude station, Hyderabad (Geographic: 17.5 deg. N, 78.5 deg. E; Mag.: 8.6 deg. N, 151.8 deg. E), India. Several large and small scale features are seen in all the wavelengths. In contrast to the earlier measurement of OI-630.0nm red-line emission during the high solar activity period (2001), current optical dayglow measurements during relatively low solar epoch (2011) show no similarity with that of the solar flux. However, it is noted that the variation in strength of the equatorial electrojet (EEJ) seems to be similar to that of optical measurements in 2011. This is also in contrast with the measurements in 2001, where no similarity was seen between EEJ and OI-630.0nm dayglow intensity. Periodogram analysis of these two data sets (optical and EEJ) show a marked difference in the occurrence of the quasi-16-day planetary wave periods before noon and in the afternoon hours. In order to investigate the coupling of atmospheric regions, periodogram analysis of total electron content (TEC) and SABER measured mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) temperature data were carried out. Interestingly, the TEC data from Bangalore (Mag. Lat 4 deg. N) shows contrasting behaviour in terms of periodicities before noon and afternoon similar to those in optical dayglow intensities, SABER temperatures, and the strength of the EEJ while the TEC periodicities of another further away station (Ahmedabad, Mag. Lat 15 deg. N) does not show any such behaviour. It is suggested that planetary wave of periods of quasi-9-day and quasi-16-day, which are observed in MLT have their influence on the behaviour of the upper atmosphere as seen in optical, radio and magnetic measurements. These results point to

  12. Laboratory studies of atomic collision processes of importance in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stebbings, R. F.; Smith, K.

    1984-01-01

    Progress in the following research supported under NSG 7386 is reported: (1) measurement of differential cross sections for atomic and molecular collisions relevant to analysis and modeling of data from Pioneer 11, Pioneer 12, Voyager 1, and Voyager 2; (2) analysis of measured differential cross section results to provide scattering data in forms that are easy to apply to atmospheric modeling work; (3) analysis of the data to give basic information on the molecular potentials involved in the scattering process; and (4) development and initial use of apparatus to study dissociative processes in neutral molecules.

  13. Collaborative project. Ocean-atmosphere interaction from meso- to planetary-scale. Mechanics, parameterization, and variability

    SciTech Connect

    Saravanan, Ramalingam; Small, Justin

    2015-12-01

    Most climate models are currently run with grid spacings of around 100km, which, with today’s computing power, allows for long (up to 1000 year) simulations, or ensembles of simulations to explore climate change and variability. However this grid spacing does not resolve important components of the weather/climate system such as atmospheric fronts and mesoscale systems, and ocean boundary currents and eddies. The overall aim of this project has been to look at the effect of these small-scale features on the weather/climate system using a suite of high and low resolution climate models, idealized models and observations. High-resolution global coupled integrations using CAM/CESM were carried out at NCAR by the lead PI. At TAMU, we have complemented the work at NCAR by analyzing datasets from the high-resolution (28km) CESM integrations (Small et al., 2014) as well as very high resolution (9km, 3km) runs using a coupled regional climate (CRCM) carried out locally. The main tasks carried out were: 1. Analysis of surface wind in observations and high-resolution CAM/CCSM simulations 2. Development of a feature-tracking algorithm for studying midlatitude air-sea interaction by following oceanic mesoscale eddies and creating composites of the atmospheric response overlying the eddies. 3. Applying the Lagrangian analysis technique in the Gulf Stream region to compare data from observational reanalyses, global CESM coupled simulations, 9km regional coupled simulations and 3km convection-resolving regional coupled simulations. Our main findings are that oceanic mesoscale eddies influence not just the atmospheric boundary layer above them, but also the lower portions of the free troposphere above the boundary layer. Such a vertical response could have implications for a remote influence of Gulf Stream oceanic eddies on North Atlantic weather patterns through modulation of the storm track, similar to what has been noted in the North Pacific. The coarse resolution

  14. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1987-01-01

    Laboratory measurements were conducted to evaluate properties of atmospheric gases under simulated conditions for the outer planets. A significant addition to this effort was the capability to make such measurements at millimeter wavelengths. Measurements should soon be completed on the millimeter wave absorption from ammonia under Jovian conditions. Also studied will be the feasibility of measuring the microwave and millimeter wave properties of phosphine (PH3) under simulated Jovian conditions. Further analysis and application of the laboratory results to microwave and millimeter wave absorption data for the outer planet, such as Voyager Radio Occultation experiments, will be pursued.

  15. Mathematics of Radiation Propagation in Planetary Atmospheres: Absorption, Refraction, Time Delay, Occultation, and Abel Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huestis, D. L.

    Forward integration calculation of air mass, refraction, and time delay requires care even for very smooth model atmospheres. The literature abounds in examples of injudicious approximations, assumptions, transformations, variable substitutions, and failures to verify that the formulas work with unlimited accuracy for simple cases and also survive challenges from mathematically pathological but physically realizable cases. A few years ago we addressed the problem of evaluation of the Chapman function for attenuation along a straight line path in an exponential atmosphere. In this presentation we will describe issues and approaches for integration over light paths curved by refraction. The inverse problem, determining the altitude profile of mass density (index of refraction) or the concentration of an individual chemical species (absorption), from occultation data, also has its mathematically interesting (i.e., difficult) aspects. Now we automatically have noise and thus statistical analysis is just as important as calculus and numerical analysis. Here we will describe a new approach of least-squares fitting occultation data to an expansion over compact basis functions. This approach, which avoids numerical differentiation and singular integrals, was originally developed to analyze laboratory imaging data.Forward integration calculation of air mass, refraction, and time delay requires care even for very smooth model atmospheres. The literature abounds in examples of injudicious approximations, assumptions, transformations, variable substitutions, and failures to verify that the formulas work with unlimited accuracy for simple cases and also survive challenges from mathematically pathological but physically realizable cases. A few years ago we addressed the problem of evaluation of the Chapman function for attenuation along a straight line path in an exponential atmosphere. In this presentation we will describe issues and approaches for integration over light paths

  16. Future NASA plans for the exploration of the terrestrial and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, S.

    1974-01-01

    A brief outline of NASA's space exploration plans for the 1970s is given. Research of the upper atmosphere and near-earth space will slack off in comparison with that which was done in the past, although now missions with very specific tasks will be launched, instead of those intended to get a general picture of these regions. Space Shuttle and Spacelab will open up the possibility of using the ionosphere as a huge plasma laboratory without walls. Exploration of other planets will continue with the Mars Lander and Viking Lander, the Pioneer-Venus program, and flybys of Jupiter and Saturn.

  17. Atomic carbon emission from photodissociation of CO2. [planetary atmospheric chemistry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, C. Y. R.; Phillips, E.; Lee, L. C.; Judge, D. L.

    1978-01-01

    Atomic carbon fluorescence, C I 1561, 1657, and 1931 A, has been observed from photodissociation of CO2, and the production cross sections have been measured. A line emission source provided the primary photons at wavelengths from threshold to 420 A. The present results suggest that the excited carbon atoms are produced by total dissociation of CO2 into three atoms. The cross sections for producing the O I 1304-A fluorescence through photodissociation of CO2 are found to be less than 0.01 Mb in the wavelength region from 420 to 835 A. The present data have implications with respect to photochemical processes in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus.

  18. CALIBRATION OF EQUILIBRIUM TIDE THEORY FOR EXTRASOLAR PLANET SYSTEMS

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, Brad M. S.

    2010-11-01

    We provide an 'effective theory' of tidal dissipation in extrasolar planet systems by empirically calibrating a model for the equilibrium tide. The model is valid to high order in eccentricity and parameterized by two constants of bulk dissipation-one for dissipation in the planet and one for dissipation in the host star. We are able to consistently describe the distribution of extrasolar planetary systems in terms of period, eccentricity, and mass (with a lower limit of a Saturn mass) with this simple model. Our model is consistent with the survival of short-period exoplanet systems, but not with the circularization period of equal mass stellar binaries, suggesting that the latter systems experience a higher level of dissipation than exoplanet host stars. Our model is also not consistent with the explanation of inflated planetary radii as resulting from tidal dissipation. The paucity of short-period planets around evolved A stars is explained as the result of enhanced tidal inspiral resulting from the increase in stellar radius with evolution.

  19. From Sub-Neptunes to Earth-like Exoplanets: Modeling Optically Thick and Thin Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Howard; Rogers, Leslie; Kasting, James

    2016-01-01

    Exoplanet surveys have revealed a wide diversity of planet properties in the Milky Way. Here, we present the results from two projects modeling planet atmospheres; one considering the hydrogen/helium envelopes of sub-Neptune-mass planets, and the other, the climate of Earth-like planets.First, we modify the state-of-the-art stellar evolution code Modules for Experimental Astrophysics (MESA) to model the thermal evolution of gaseous Sub-Neptune sized planets. Including photo-evaporation, we find a resulting convergent evolution trend that could potentially imprint itself on the close-in planet population as a preferred H/He mass fraction of 0.5-3%.We also use an updated version of a radiative-convective climate model to calculate the upper atmospheric conditions of planets warmer than the present Earth. In our simulations, cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at lower surface temperatures. However, onset of moist greenhouse water-loss limit to habitability emerges when the surface temperature reaches above 350 K. This result places constraint on a more accurate calculation of the inner edge of the habitable zone around Sun-like stars.

  20. Planetary quarantine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Those areas of future missions which will be impacted by planetary quarantine (PQ) constraints were identified. The specific objectives for this reporting period were (1) to perform an analysis of the effects of PQ on an outer planet atmospheric probe, and (2) to prepare a quantitative illustration of spacecraft microbial reduction resulting from exposure to space environments. The Jupiter Orbiter Probe mission was used as a model for both of these efforts.

  1. SO_2 Absorption Cross Sections and N_2 VUV Oscillator Strengths for Planetary Atmosphere Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Peter L.; Stark, G.; Rufus, J.; Pickering, J. C.; Cox, G.; Huber, K. P.

    1998-09-01

    The determination of the chemical composition of the atmosphere of Io from Hubble Space Telescope observations in the 190-220 nm wavelength region requires knowledge of the photoabsorption cross sections of SO_2 at temperatures ranging from about 110 K to 300 K. We are engaged in a laboratory program to measure SO_2 absorption cross sections with very high resolving power (lambda /delta lambda =~ 450,000) and at a range of temperatures appropriate to the Io atmosphere. Previous photoabsorption measurements, with lambda /delta lambda =~ 100,000, have been unable to resolve the very congested SO_2 spectrum, and, thus, to elucidate the temperature dependence of the cross sections. Our measurements are being performed at Imperial College, London, using an ultraviolet Fourier transform spectrometer. We will present our recently completed room temperature measurements of SO_2 cross sections in the 190-220 nm region and plans for extending these to ~ 195 K. Analyses of Voyager VUV occultation measurements of the N_2-rich atmospheres of Titan and Triton have been hampered by the lack of fundamental spectroscopic data for N_2, in particular, by the lack of reliable f-values and line widths for electronic bands of N_2 in the 80-100 nm wavelength region. We are continuing our program of measurements of band oscillator strengths for the many (approximately 100) N_2 bands between 80 and 100 nm. We report new f-values, derived from data obtained at the Photon Factory (Tsukuba, Japan) synchrotron radiation facility with lambda /delta lambda =~ 130,000, of 37 bands in the 80-86 nm region and 21 bands in the 90-95 nm region. We have also begun the compilation of a searchable archive of N_2 data on the World Wide Web; see http://cfa-www.harvard. edu/amp/data/n2/n2home.html. The archive, covering the spectroscopy of N_2 between 80 and 100 nm, will include published and unpublished (14) N_2, (14) N(15) N, and (15) N_2 line lists and spectroscopic identifications, excited state energy

  2. PLANETARY CONSTRUCTION ZONES IN OCCULTATION: DISCOVERY OF AN EXTRASOLAR RING SYSTEM TRANSITING A YOUNG SUN-LIKE STAR AND FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR DETECTING ECLIPSES BY CIRCUMSECONDARY AND CIRCUMPLANETARY DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Mamajek, Eric E.; Quillen, Alice C.; Pecaut, Mark J.; Moolekamp, Fred; Scott, Erin L.; Kenworthy, Matthew A.; Cameron, Andrew Collier; Parley, Neil R.

    2012-03-15

    estimated total ring mass is {approx}8-0.4 M{sub Moon} (if the rings have optical opacity similar to Saturn's rings), and the edge of the outermost detected ring has orbital radius {approx}0.4-0.09 AU. In the new era of time-domain astronomy opened by surveys like SuperWASP, ASAS, etc., and soon to be revolutionized by Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, discovering and characterizing eclipses by circumplanetary and circumsecondary disks will provide us with observational constraints on the conditions that spawn satellite systems around gas giant planets and planetary systems around stars.

  3. Impact induced dehydration of serpentine and the evolution of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1982-01-01

    Results of shock recovery experiments carried out on antigorite serpentine Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 are reported. The main objective of the present study is the determination of critical shock pressures for partial and complete dehydration of serpentine under shock loading. It is pointed out that serpentine and serpentine-like layer silicates are the major water-bearing phases in carbonaceous chondrites. It appears that these minerals, and a poorly defined cometary contribution, were the most likely water-bearing phases in accreting planetesimals which led to the formation of the terrestrial planets. The obtained results imply that the process of impact induced devolatilization of volatile bearing minerals during accretion is likely to have occurred on earth. The findings lend support to the model of a terrestrial atmosphere/hydrosphere forming during the later stages of accretion of the earth.

  4. Analysis of the Chemical Composition of the Atmospheres of Stars with Debris Disks and Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas, M.; Drake, N. A.; Chavero, C.; Pereira, C. B.; Kholtygin, A. F.; Solovyov, D. I.

    2013-12-01

    Spectroscopic studies of seven low mass stars in spectral classes F, G, and K are presented. Four of these (HD 1581, HD 10700, HD 17925, and HD 22484) have debris disks and for two of them (HD 22049 and HD 222582(A + B)) planets are observed. Neither a debris disk nor planets have been observed for one the program stars (HD 20766). High resolution spectral observations of the program stars were made at the 2.2-m telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) during 2008 with the FEROS spectrograph (R = 48000, spectral range 3800-9200 Å). The fundamental parameters of the stars are determined, including effective temperature, acceleration of gravity at the stars' surface, microturbulence velocity, metallicity, and the abundances of volatile and refractory elements in their atmospheres. The positions of all these stars are indicated on a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.

  5. Shock-induced CO2 loss from CaCO3 - Implications for early planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1986-01-01

    Recovered samples from shock recovery experiments on single crystal calcite were subjected to thermogravimetric analysis to determine the amount of post-shock CO2, the decarbonization interval and the activation energy, for the removal of remaining CO2 in shock-loaded calcite. Comparison of post-shock CO2 with that initially present determines shock-induced CO2 loss as a function of shock pressure. Incipient to complete CO2 loss occurs over a pressure range of approximately 10 to approximately 70 GPa. Optical and scanning electron microscopy reveal structural changes which are related to the shock-loading. The occurrence of dark, diffuse areas, which can be resolved as highly vesticular areas as observed with a scanning electron microscope are interpreted as representing quenched partial melts, into which shock-released CO2 was injected. The experimental results are used to constrain models of shock-produced, primary CO2 atmospheres on the accreting terrestrial planets.

  6. Effects of turbulence on average refraction angles in occultations by planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eshleman, V. R.; Haugstad, B. S.

    1978-01-01

    Four separable effects of atmospheric turbulence on average refraction angles in occultation experiments are derived from a simplified analysis, and related to more general formulations by B. S. Haugstad. The major contributors are shown to be due to gradients in height of the strength of the turbulence, and the sense of the resulting changes in refraction angles is explained in terms of Fermat's principle. Because the results of analyses of such gradient effects by W. B. Hubbard and J. R. Jokipii are expressed in other ways, a special effort is made to compare all of the predictions on a common basis. We conclude that there are fundamental differences, and use arguments based on energy conservation and Fermat's principle to help characterize the discrepancies.

  7. Shock-induced CO2 loss from CaCO3: Implications for early planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lange, M. A.; Ahrens, T. J.

    1984-01-01

    Recovered samples from shock recovery experiments on single crystal calcite were subjected to thermogravimetric analysis to determine the amount of post-shock CO2, the decarbonization interval and the activation energy, for the removal of remaining CO2 in shock-loaded calcite. Comparison of post-shock CO2 with that initially present determines shock-induced CO2 loss as a function of shock pressure. Incipient to complete CO2 loss occurs over a pressure range of approximately 10 to approximately 70 GPa. Optical and scanning electron microscopy reveal structural changes, which are related to the shock-loading. The occurrence of dark, diffuse areas, which can be resolved as highly vesicular areas as observed with a scanning electron microscope are interpreted as representing quenched partial melts, into which shock-released CO2 was injected. The experimental results are used to constrain models of shock-produced, primary CO2 atmospheres on the accreting terrestrial planets.

  8. Measurements of the D/H ratio in planetary atmospheres by ground based infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Debergh, C.; Lutz, B. L.; Owen, T.; Maillard, J.-P.

    1989-01-01

    A systematic study of deuterium in the solar system using the molecules CH3D and HDO as tracers is carried out. For the outer solar system, ground-based spectra of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Titan in the region of CH3D absorptions near, 1.6 microns are obtained. The analyses of these spectra required extensive high-resolution laboratory studies of both CH4 and CH3D. For the terrestrial planets, the spectrum of Mars in the region of HDO absorption near 3.7 microns, is recorded. A similar study of Venus is underway. The values of D/H derived from these investigations are used to constrain models for the origin and evolution of the various atmospheres.

  9. On the one-dimensional chemistry-diffusion model in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xi; Showman, Adam

    Most of the current atmospheric chemistry models for planets (e.g., Krasnopolsky & Parshev 1981; Yung et al., 1984; Lavvas et al., 2008) and exo-planets (e.g., Moses et al., 2011; Line et al., 2011; Hu et al., 2012) adopt a one-dimensional (1D) chemistry-diffusion approach in the vertical coordinate such as pressure or altitude. Although only a crude approximation, these 1D models have succeeded in explaining the global-averaged vertical profiles of many chemical species in observations. One of the important assumptions of these models is that, all chemical species are transported via the same eddy diffusion profile. Here we show that, as also noticed in the Earth community (e.g., Holton 1986), in the presence of horizontal transport driven by eddies in the middle atmospheres such as the stratospheres on Earth and Titan, this “homogenous eddy diffusion” assumption generally breaks down. Instead, the eddy diffusion should depend both on the horizontal eddy mixing and the chemical lifetime of the species. It implies that the long-lived species and short-lived species could have significantly different eddy diffusion profiles. We show analytically why this new approach is more physically based. We also show numerically why the old approach fails compared with the globally averaged results from a more realistic two-dimensional (2D) simulation using the state-of-art Caltech/JPL 2D chemistry-diffusion-advection model (Zhang et al., 2013), and discuss the possible consequences. This research was supported by the Bisgrove Scholar Program in the University of Arizona.

  10. The Martian atmospheric planetary boundary layer stability, fluxes, spectra, and similarity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tillman, James E.

    1994-01-01

    This is the first analysis of the high frequency data from the Viking lander and spectra of wind, in the Martian atmospheric surface layer, along with the diurnal variation of the height of the mixed surface layer, are calculated for the first time for Mars. Heat and momentum fluxes, stability, and z(sub O) are estimated for early spring, from a surface temperature model and from Viking Lander 2 temperatures and winds at 44 deg N, using Monin-Obukhov similarity theory. The afternoon maximum height of the mixed layer for these seasons and conditions is estimated to lie between 3.6 and 9.2 km. Estimations of this height is of primary importance to all models of the boundary layer and Martian General Circulation Models (GCM's). Model spectra for two measuring heights and three surface roughnesses are calculated using the depth of the mixed layer, and the surface layer parameters and flow distortion by the lander is also taken into account. These experiments indicate that z(sub O), probably lies between 1.0 and 3.0 cm, and most likely is closer to 1.0 cm. The spectra are adjusted to simulate aliasing and high frequency rolloff, the latter caused both by the sensor response and the large Kolmogorov length on Mars. Since the spectral models depend on the surface parameters, including the estimated surface temperature, their agreement with the calculated spectra indicates that the surface layer estimates are self consistent. This agreement is especially noteworthy in that the inertial subrange is virtually absent in the Martian atmosphere at this height, due to the large Kolmogorov length scale. These analyses extend the range of applicability of terrestrial results and demonstrate that it is possible to estimate the effects of severe aliasing of wind measurements, to produce a models which agree well with the measured spectra. The results show that similarity theory developed for Earth applies to Mars, and that the spectral models are universal.

  11. Laboratory measurements and modeling of molecular photoabsorption in the ultraviolet for planetary atmospheres applications: diatomic sulfur and sulfur monoxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stark, Glenn

    2016-07-01

    Our research program comprises the measurement and modeling of ultraviolet molecular photoabsorption cross sections with the highest practical resolution. It supports efforts to interpret and model observations of planetary atmospheres. Measurement and modeling efforts on diatomic sulfur (S _{2}) and sulfur monoxide (SO) are in progress. S _{2}: Interpretations of atmospheric (Io, Jupiter, cometary comae) S _{2} absorption features are hindered by a complete lack of laboratory cross section data in the ultraviolet. We are working to quantify the photoabsorption spectrum of S _{2} from 240 to 300 nm based on laboratory measurements and theoretical calculations. We have constructed an experimental apparatus to produce a stable column of S _{2} vapor at a temperature of 800 K. High-resolution measurements of the absorption spectrum of the strong B - X system of S _{2} were completed using the NIST VUV-FTS at Gaithersburg, Maryland. These measurements are currently being incorporated into a coupled-channel model of the absorption spectrum of S _{2} to quantify the contributions from individual band features and to establish the mechanisms responsible for the strong predissociation signature of the B - X system. A successful coupled channels model can then be used to calculate the B - X absorption spectrum at any temperature. SO: There has been a long-standing need for high-resolution cross sections of sulfur monoxide radicals in the ultraviolet and vacuum ultraviolet regions, where the molecule strongly predissociates, for modeling the atmospheres of Io and Venus, and most recently for understanding sulfur isotope effects in the ancient (pre-O _{2}) atmosphere of Earth. We have produced a measurable column of SO in a continuous-flow DC discharge cell, using SO _{2} as a parent molecule. Photoabsorption measurements were recently recorded on the DESIRS beamline of the SOLEIL synchrotron, taking advantage of the high-resolution VUV-FTS on that beamline. A number of

  12. Sensitivity of MM5-simulated planetary boundary layer height to soil dataset: comparison of soil and atmospheric effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breuer, Hajnalka; Ács, Ferenc; Laza, Borbála; Horváth, Ákos; Matyasovszky, István; Rajkai, Kálmán

    2012-08-01

    The effects of two soil datasets on planetary boundary layer (PBL) height are analyzed, using model simulations. Simulations are performed with the MM5 weather prediction system over the Carpathian Basin, with 6 km horizontal resolution, investigating three summer days, two autumn, and one winter day of similar synoptic conditions. Two soil datasets include that of the United States Department of Agriculture, which is globally used, and a regional Hungarian called Hungarian unsaturated soil database. It is shown that some hydraulic parameter values between the two datasets can differ up to 5-50%. These differences resulted in 10% deviations in the space-time-averaged PBL height (averaged over Hungary and over 12 h in the daytime period). Over smaller areas, these relative deviations could reach 25%. Daytime course changes in the PBL height for reference run conditions were significant ( p < 0.01) in ≈70% of the grid points covering Hungary. Ensemble runs using different atmospheric parameterizations and soil moisture initialization setups are also performed to analyze the sensitivity under changed conditions. In these cases, the sensitivity test showed that irrespective of the radiation and PBL scheme, the effect of different soil datasets on PBL height is roughly the same. PBL height is also sensitive to field capacity (Θf) and wilting point (Θw) changes. Θf changes seem to be more important for loamy sand, while Θw changes for the clay soil textural class.

  13. Vibrational Spectroscopy of Ions and Radicals Present in the Interstellar Medium and in Planetary Atmospheres: A Theoretical Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chaban, Galina M.

    2004-01-01

    Anharmonic vibrational frequencies and intensities are calculated for OH(H2O)n and H(H2O)n radicals (that form on icy particles of the interstellar medium), HCO radical (the main intermediate in the synthesis of organic molecules in space), NH2(-) and C2H(-) anions, H5(+) cation, and other systems relevant to interstellar chemistry. In addition to pure ions and radicals, their complexes with water are studied to assess the effects of water environment on infrared spectra. The calculations are performed using the correlation-corrected vibrational self-consistent field (CC-VSCF) method with ab initio potential surfaces at the MP2 and CCSD(T) levels. Fundamental, overtone, and combination excitations are computed. The results are in good agreement with available experimental data and provide reliable predictions for vibrational excitations not yet measured in laboratory experiments. The data should be useful for interpretation of astronomically observed spectra and identification of ions and radicals present in the interstellar medium and in planetary atmospheres.

  14. Planetcam: A Visible And Near Infrared Lucky-imaging Camera To Study Planetary Atmospheres And Solar System Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin; Rojas, J.; Hueso, R.; Perez-Hoyos, S.; de Bilbao, L.; Murga, G.; Ariño, J.; Mendikoa, I.

    2012-10-01

    PlanetCam is a two-channel fast-acquisition and low-noise camera designed for a multispectral study of the atmospheres of the planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and the satellite Titan at high temporal and spatial resolutions simultaneously invisible (0.4-1 μm) and NIR (1-2.5 μm) channels. This is accomplished by means of a dichroic beam splitter that separates both beams directing them into two different detectors. Each detector has filter wheels corresponding to the characteristic absorption bands of each planetary atmosphere. Images are acquired and processed using the “lucky imaging” technique in which several thousand images of the same object are obtained in a short time interval, coregistered and ordered in terms of image quality to reconstruct a high-resolution ideally diffraction limited image of the object. Those images will be also calibrated in terms of intensity and absolute reflectivity. The camera will be tested at the 50.2 cm telescope of the Aula EspaZio Gela (Bilbao) and then commissioned at the 1.05 m at Pic-duMidi Observatory (Franca) and at the 1.23 m telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in Spain. Among the initially planned research targets are: (1) The vertical structure of the clouds and hazes in the planets and their scales of variability; (2) The meteorology, dynamics and global winds and their scales of variability in the planets. PlanetCam is also expected to perform studies of other Solar System and astrophysical objects. Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the Spanish MICIIN project AYA2009-10701 with FEDER funds, by Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07 and by Universidad País Vasco UPV/EHU through program UFI11/55.

  15. ExoMol: Large-scale production of line lists for molecules important for modelling of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yurchenko, S.; Tennyson, J.

    2013-09-01

    The spectral characterization of astrophysical objects cool enough to form polyatomic molecules (the atmospheres of planets, brown dwarfs, planetary discs etc.) requires a huge amount of fundamental molecular data. With a few exceptions the existing molecular line lists are not sufficiently accurate and complete. The aim of ExoMol [1] is to generate comprehensive line lists for all molecules likely to be observable in exoplanet atmospheres in the foreseeable future (see www.exomol.com for more details). We identified the following 40 species that are important sources of opacity in (exo)planets and brown dwarfs and where there is currently a lack of fundamental data on wavelength and temperature-dependent absorption: • Diatomics: AlO, AlH, BeH, CaH, C2, CrH, FeH, HF, HCl, KCl, MgH, MgO, NaH, NaCl, NiH, O2,SiO, SiH, S2, SH, TiH, TiO, VO, YO • Triatomics: C3, H2S, SO2 • Tetratomics: H2CO, H2CS, HCCH, HOOH, PH3,SO3 • Pentatomics: CH4, HNO3 • Larger molecules: C2H4, C2H6, C3H8, P2H2, P2H4 The production of comprehensive and very large rotation-vibration and rotation-vibration-electronic line lists requires a mixture of first principles quantum mechanical methods and empirical tuning based on laboratory spectroscopic data and makes extensive use of state-of-the-art computing. These and other aspects of molecular line lists, their production and astrophysical applications will be discussed. The contribution will make specific reference to molecules for which line lists have recently been completed or are nearing completion: phosphine, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen peroxide, methane, formaldehyde, nitric acid as well as to a number of diatomic molecules of astrophysical importance, see Fig. 1.

  16. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  17. Venus as a laboratory for studying planetary surface, interior, and atmospheric evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Hensley, S.; Helbert, J.

    2013-12-01

    As Earth's twin, Venus offers a laboratory for understanding what makes our home planet unique in our solar system. The Decadal Survey points to the role of Venus in answering questions such as the supply of water and its role in atmospheric evolution, its availability to support life, and the role of geology and dynamics in controlling volatiles and climate. On Earth, the mechanism of plate tectonics drives the deformation and volcanism that allows volatiles to escape from the interior to the atmosphere and be recycled into the interior. Magellan revealed that Venus lacks plate tectonics. The number and distribution of impact craters lead to the idea Venus resurfaced very rapidly, and inspired numerous models of lithospheric foundering and episodic plate tectonics. However we have no evidence that Venus ever experienced a plate tectonic regime. How is surface deformation affected if no volatiles are recycled into the interior? Although Venus is considered a ';stagnant' lid planet (lacking plate motion) today, we have evidence for recent volcanism. The VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express mapped the southern hemisphere at 1.02 microns, revealing areas likely to be unweathered, recent volcanic flows. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that the crater population is consistent with ongoing, regional resurfacing. How does deformation and volcanism occur in the absence of plates? At what rate is the planet resurfacing and thus outgassing? Does lithospheric recycling occur with plate tectonics? In the 25 years since Magellan, the design of Synthetic Aperture Radar has advanced tremendously, allowing order of magnitude improvements in altimetry and imaging. With these advanced tools, we can explore Venus' past and current tectonic states. Tesserae are highly deformed plateaus, thought to be possible remnants of Venus' earlier tectonic state. How did they form? Are they low in silica, like Earth's continents, indicating the presence of abundant water? Does the plains

  18. NESSI: the New Mexico Tech Extrasolar Spectroscopic Survey Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurgenson, C.; Santoro, F.; Creech-Eakman, M.; Houairi, K.; Bloemhard, H.; Vasisht, G.; Swain, M.; Deroo, P.; Moore, C.; Schmidt, L.; Boston, P.; Rodeheffer, D.; Chen, P.

    2010-07-01

    Less than 20 years after the discovery of the first extrasolar planet, exoplanetology is rapidly growing with more than one discovery every week on average since 2007. An important step in exoplanetology is the chemical characterization of exoplanet atmospheres. It has recently been shown that molecular signatures of transiting exoplanets can be studied from the ground. To advance this idea and prepare more ambitious missions such as THESIS, a dedicated spectrometer named the New Mexico Tech Extrasolar Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) is being built at New Mexico Tech in collaboration with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NESSI is a purpose-built multi-object spectrograph that operates in the J, H, and K-bands with a resolution of R = 1000 in each, as well as a lower resolution of R = 250 across the entire J/H/K region.

  19. Laboratory evaluation and application of microwave absorption properties under simulated conditions for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffes, Paul G.

    1988-01-01

    In the first half of this grant year, laboratory measurements were conducted on the millimeter-wave properties of atmospheric gases under simulated conditions for the outer planet. Significant improvements in the current system have made it possible to accurately characterize the opacity from gaseous NH3 at longer millimeter wavelengths (7 to 10 mm) under simulated Jovian conditions. In the second half of the grant year, it is hoped to extend such measurements to even shorter millimeter-wavelengths. Further analysis and application of the laboratory results to microwave and millimeter-wave absorption data for the outer planets, such as results from Voyager Radio Occultation experiments and earth-based radio astronomical observations will be continued. The analysis of available multispectral microwave opacity data from Venus, including data from the most recent radio astronomical ovservations in the 1.3 to 3.6 cm wavelength range and newly obtained Pioneer-Venus Radio Occulatation measurements at 13 cm, using the laboratory measurements as an interpretative tool will be pursued.

  20. Collision-induced Absorption in the Infrared: A Data Base for Modelling Planetary and Stellar Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borysow, Aleksandra

    1998-01-01

    Accurate knowledge of certain collision-induced absorption continua of molecular pairs such as H2-H2, H2-He, H2-CH4, CO2-CO2, etc., is a prerequisite for most spectral analyses and modelling attempts of atmospheres of planets and cold stars. We collect and regularly update simple, state of the art computer programs for the calculation of the absorption coefficient of such molecular pairs over a broad range of temperatures and frequencies, for the various rotovibrational bands. The computational results are in agreement with the existing laboratory measurements of such absorption continua, recorded with a spectral resolution of a few wavenumbers, but reliable computational results may be expected even in the far wings, and at temperatures for which laboratory measurements do not exist. Detailed information is given concerning the systems thus studied, the temperature and frequency ranges considered, the rotovibrational bands thus modelled, and how one may obtain copies of the FORTRAN77 computer programs by e-mail.