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Sample records for extrasolar planetary atmospheres

  1. On the condensating species in terrestrial extrasolar planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patzer, A. B. C.; von Paris, P.; Kitzmann, D.; Rauer, H.; Grenfell, J. L.

    2008-09-01

    ABSTRACT The formation of liquid droplets and/or solid particles has a significant impact on the thermal, dynamic, and chemical structure of the planetary environments, in which they are formed. For example, the character and distribution of the atmospheric condensates determine the appearance of such objects. It is therefore important to know, which chemical species might condense under the atmospheric conditions of extrasolar planets and how the condensate, solid or maybe liquid, nucleate in detail to finally form cloudy structures in such planetary atmospheres. In this contribution the presence of particles of likely condensates under atmospheric conditions of extrasolar terrestrial planets is discussed. Consequences regarding the condensation of major gaseous constituents of the planetary atmospheres are considered in particular. Selected applications, especially in view of the recently discovered low mass planets - so called Super-Earths -, are presented and compared. Acknowledgement: This work has been partly supported by the Forschungsallianz Planetary Evolution and Life of the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft (HGF).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marley, M. S.; Fortney, J.; Seager, S.; Barman, T.

    The key to understanding an extrasolar giant planet's spectrum - and hence its detectability and evolution - lies with its atmosphere. Now that direct observations of thermal emission from extrasolar giant planets (EGPs) are in hand, atmosphere models can be used to constrain atmospheric composition, thermal structure, and ultimately the formation and evolution of detected planets. We review the important physical processes that influence the atmospheric structure and evolution of EGPs and consider what has already been learned from the first generation of observations and modeling. We pay particular attention to the roles of cloud structure, metallicity, and atmospheric chemistry in affecting detectable properties through Spitzer Space Telescope observations of the transiting giant planets. Our review stresses the uncertainties that ultimately limit our ability to interpret EGP observations. Finally we will conclude with a look to the future as characterization of multiple individual planets in a single stellar system leads to the study of comparative planetary architectures.

  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. The Possible Belts for Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, I.-G.; Duncan, M.; Lin, D. N. C.

    2004-08-01

    More than 100 extrasolar planets have been discovered since the 1990s. Unlike those of the solar system, these planets' orbital eccentricities cover a huge range from 0 to 0.7. Incidentally, the first Kuiper belt object was discovered in 1992. Thus an interesting and important question will be whether extrasolar planetary systems could have structures like the Kuiper belt or asteroid belt. We investigate the stability of these planetary systems with different orbital eccentricities by similar procedures to Rabl & Dvorak (1988) and Holman & Wiegert (1999). We claim that most extrasolar planetary systems can have their own belts at the outer regions. However, we find that orbits with high eccentricity are very powerful in depletion of these populations.

  8. Dynamical Problems in Extrasolar Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; Haghighipour, Nader

    2016-10-01

    The past few years have witnessed a large increase in the number of extrasolar planets. Thanks to successful surveys from the ground and from space, there are now over 1000 confirmed exoplanets and more then 3000 planetary candidates. More than 130 of these systems host multiple planets. Many of these systems demonstrate physical and orbital characteristics fundamentally different from those of our solar system. The challenges associated with the diversity of planetary systems have raised many interesting questions on planet formation and orbital dynamics.

  9. 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.

  10. The chemistry of extrasolar planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bond, Jade Chantelle

    2008-06-01

    This work examines the chemical nature of extrasolar planetary systems, considering both the host star and any potential terrestrial planets located within the system. Extrasolar planetary host stars are found to be enriched over non-host stars in several r- and s-process elements. These enrichments, however, are in keeping with general galactic chemical evolution trends. This implies that host stars have not experienced any unusual chemical processing or pollution and that the observed enrichments are primordial in nature. When combined with detailed chemical models, the dynamical models of O'Brien et al. (2006) are found to produce terrestrial planets with bulk elemental abundances in excellent agreement with observed planetary values. This clearly indicates that the combination of dynamical and chemical modeling applied here is successfully reproducing the terrestrial planets of the Solar System to the first order. Furthermore, these planets are found to form with a considerable amount of water, negating the need for large amounts of exogenous delivery. Little dependence on the orbital properties of Jupiter and Saturn is observed for the main rock-forming elements due to the largely homogenous disk composition calculated. The same modeling approach is applied to known extrasolar planetary systems. Terrestrial planets were found to be ubiquitous, forming in all simulations. Generally, small (< 1[Special characters omitted.] ) terrestrial planets are produced close to their host star with little radial mixing occurring. Planetary compositions are found to be diverse, ranging from Earth-like to refractory dominated and C-dominated, containing significant amounts of carbide material. Based on these simulations, stars with Solar elemental ratios are the best place to focus future Earth-like planet searches as these systems are found to produce the most Earthlike terrestrial planets which are located within the habitable zones of their systems and containing a

  11. 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.

  12. Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Encrenaz, T.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Planetary atmospheres are the external gaseous envelopes which surround the planets. In the case of the telluric planets, they represent only a negligible fraction of their mass, but they play an essential role in the energy balance between the surfaces and the Sun. In the case of the GIANT PLANETS, which are mostly gaseous, they account for a large fraction of their total mass and constitute the...

  13. The progress of exploring extra-solar planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yu-Juan; Zhao, Gang

    2005-09-01

    With the advance of the space exploring, the study of the extra-solar planetary systems becomes an interesting topic since such system may exist the life or even the modern civilization. In this paper we give a brief introduction on the discovery of extra-solar planetary systems, and discuss the feasibility of detection techniques and methods developed in recent years. In particular, we present detailed interpretations of the results by the radial velocity method. With the launch of some specific small satellites, we can predict the discovery of a large number of candidates of the extra-solar planetary systems. We can expect that the exploring of extra-solar planetary systems will have a prospective era in the near future.

  14. 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

  15. 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,

  16. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebauer, S.; Grenfell, J. L.; Stock, J. W.; Lehmann, R.; Godolt, M.; von Paris, P.; Rauer, H.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. (2006) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  17. Evolution of Earth-like Extrasolar Planetary Atmospheres: Assessing the Atmospheres and Biospheres of Early Earth Analog Planets with a Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemical Model.

    PubMed

    Gebauer, S; Grenfell, J L; Stock, J W; Lehmann, R; Godolt, M; von Paris, P; Rauer, H

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of Earth and potentially habitable Earth-like worlds is essential to fathom our origin in the Universe. The search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone and investigation of their atmospheres with climate and photochemical models is a central focus in exoplanetary science. Taking the evolution of Earth as a reference for Earth-like planets, a central scientific goal is to understand what the interactions were between atmosphere, geology, and biology on early Earth. The Great Oxidation Event in Earth's history was certainly caused by their interplay, but the origin and controlling processes of this occurrence are not well understood, the study of which will require interdisciplinary, coupled models. In this work, we present results from our newly developed Coupled Atmosphere Biogeochemistry model in which atmospheric O2 concentrations are fixed to values inferred by geological evidence. Applying a unique tool (Pathway Analysis Program), ours is the first quantitative analysis of catalytic cycles that governed O2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O2, whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O2 is formed abiotically via CO2 photolysis. The O2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH4 with increasing O2 during the Great Oxidation Event. For a given atmospheric surface flux, different atmospheric states are possible; however, the net primary productivity of the biosphere that produces O2 is unique. Mixing, CH4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases remove O2 that

  18. Planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingersoll, A. P.; Dobrovolskis, A. R.; Jakosky, B. M.

    1979-01-01

    The present paper deals with some of the principal data on extraterrestrial atmospheres obtained during the period 1975-1978. The atmospheres of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and the Jovian satellites are examined, showing that many first-order questions concerning composition, physical state, and kinematics of these atmospheres have been answered.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Limits of photosynthesis in extrasolar planetary systems for earth-like planets.

    PubMed

    Franck, S; von Bloh, W; Bounama, C; Steffen, M; Schonberner, D; Schellnhuber, H J

    2001-01-01

    We present a general modeling scheme for investigating the possibility of photosynthesis-based life on extrasolar planets. The scheme focuses on the identification of the habitable zone in main-sequence-star planetary systems with planets of Earth mass and size. Our definition of habitability is based on the long-term possibility of photosynthetic biomass production as a function of mean planetary surface temperature and atmospheric CO2-content. All the astrophysical, climatological, biogeochemical, and geodynamic key processes involved in the generation of photosynthesis-driven life conditions are taken into account. Implicitly, a co-genetic origin of the central star and the orbiting planet is assumed. The numerical solution of an advanced geodynamic model yields realistic look-up diagrams for determining the limits of photosynthesis in extrasolar planetary systems, assuming minimum CO2 levels set by the demand of C4 photosynthesis.

  2. Inclination Excitation in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Juliette; Adams, Fred C.

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission has detected dozens of planetary systems with more than four transiting planets. This sample provides a collection of planetary systems with little or no excited inclination between the inferred orbits. This present study examines the magnitude and efficacy of three potential mechanisms for exciting orbital inclination in these systems: self-excitation of orbital inclination in initially coplanar planetary systems, perturbations by larger bodies within the planetary systems, and perturbations by massive bodies external to the systems. For each of these mechanisms, we determine the regime(s) of parameter space for which orbital inclination excitation is effective. This work provides constraints on the properties (masses and orbital elements) of possible additional bodies in observed planetery systems, and on their dynamical history. One interesting application is to consider the relative size of the external perturbations both in and out of clusters.

  3. Inclination Excitation in Compact Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Juliette; Adams, Fred C.

    2015-05-01

    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. We have explored the effectiveness of dynamical mechanisms in exciting orbital inclination in this class of solar systems. The two mechanisms we discuss are self-excitation of orbital inclination in initially (nearly) coplanar planetary systems and perturbations by additional unseen larger bodies in the outer regions of the solar systems. For both of these scenarios, we determine the regimes of parameter space for which orbital inclination can be effectively excited. For compact planetary systems with the observed architectures, we find that the orbital inclination angles are not spread out appreciably through self-excitation, resulting in a negligible scatter in impact parameter and a subsequently stable transiting system. In contrast, companions in the outer solar system can be effective in driving variations of the inclination angles of the inner planetary orbits, leading to significant scatter in impact parameter and resultantly non-transiting systems. We present the results of our study, the regimes in which each excitation method - self-excitation of inclination and excitation by a perturbing secondary - are relevant, and the magnitude of the effects.

  4. Orbital Evolution in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ke; Hamilton, D. P.

    2006-09-01

    We investigate the long-term orbital evolution of exoplanets in a planar two-planet system, subject to an applied dissipative force. Without dissipation, the orbits of the two planets oscillate with two fundamental eigenmodes due to their secular gravitational interactions: a slow mode in which the two pericenters are aligned and a fast mode in which they are anti-aligned. In each eigenmode, the two orbits precess as a rigid body at a rate determined purely by planet masses and orbital semi-major axes. In addition, the ratio between the two eccentricities is fixed. Any system of two planets can be represented by a linear combination of these two modes, with initial conditions (eccentricities and longitudes of pericenters) determining the precise mix. When eccentricities are slowly damped by perturbations such as planetary tides or disk interactions, the mode frequencies and eccentricity ratios shift slightly, and the two modes decay separately at different rates. We solve for these rates analytically -- usually one mode damps much faster than the other, and the system ends up locked in either an apsidally aligned or anti-aligned state. This mechanism provides a possible explanation for the nonzero eccentricities of "hot-Jupiters", assuming that they have companions in more eccentric orbits. Some perturbations may also cause planetary migration. For slow migration rates, two adiabatic invariants, which are functions of mode parameters (frequencies and amplitudes), exist. Through analytical study of these integrals, we seek to explain the diverse appearance of planetary orbits.

  5. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Cho, James Y-K

    2008-12-13

    Tidally synchronized planets present a new opportunity for enriching our understanding of atmospheric dynamics on planets. Subject to an unusual forcing arrangement (steady irradiation on the same side of the planet throughout its orbit), the dynamics on these planets may be unlike that on any of the Solar System planets. Characterizing the flow pattern and temperature distribution on the extrasolar planets is necessary for reliable interpretation of data currently being collected, as well as for guiding future observations. In this paper, several fundamental concepts from atmospheric dynamics, likely to be central for characterization, are discussed. Theoretical issues that need to be addressed in the near future are also highlighted.

  6. 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.

  7. Orbital Interactions in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Ke; Hamilton, D. P.

    2007-07-01

    We investigate the long-term orbital evolution of exoplanets in a planar two-planet system, subject to an applied dissipative force. Without dissipation, the orbits of the two planets oscillate with two fundamental eigenmodes due to their secular gravitational interactions: a slow mode in which the two pericenters are aligned and a fast mode in which they are anti-aligned. In each mode, the two orbits precess as a rigid body at a rate determined purely by planet masses and orbital semi-major axes. In addition, the ratio between the two eccentricities is fixed. Any system of two planets can be represented by a linear combination of these two modes, with initial conditions (eccentricities and longitudes of pericenters) determining the precise mix. When eccentricities are slowly damped by perturbations such as planetary tides or disk interactions, the mode frequencies and eccentricity ratios shift slightly, and the two modes decay separately at different rates. We solve for these rates analytically -- usually one mode damps much faster than the other, and the system ends up locked in either an apsidally aligned or anti-aligned state. Numerical integrations of both the first-order secular equations and direct N-body equations show close agreement with our analytical results. This mechanism provides a possible explanation for the nonzero eccentricities of "hot-Jupiters", assuming that they have companions in more eccentric orbits. Some perturbations may also cause planetary migration. For slow migration rates, adiabatic invariants exist, which are functions of mode parameters (frequencies and amplitudes). Similar invariants can be found for the case where mass loss is important. Through analytical study of these integrals, we seek to explain the diverse appearance of planetary orbits.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Atmospheric circulation of extrasolar giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, A. P.

    2012-12-01

    Of the many known extrasolar planets, over 100 have orbital semi-major axes less than 0.1 AU, and a significant fraction of these hot Jupiters and Neptunes are known to transit their stars, allowing them to be characterized with the Spitzer, Hubble, and groundbased telescopes. The stellar flux incident on these planets is expected to drive an atmospheric circulation that shapes the day-night temperature difference, infrared light curves, spectra, albedo, and atmospheric composition, and recent Spitzer infrared light curves show evidence for dynamical meteorology in these planets' atmospheres. Here, I will survey basic dynamical ideas and detailed 3D numerical models that illuminate the atmospheric circulation of these exotic, tidally locked planets. These models suggest that, generally, the circulation will be characterized by broad, fast zonal jets, with day-night temperature contrasts at the photosphere that may vary from small in some cases to large in others. I will discuss the dynamical mechanisms for maintaining the fast zonal jets that develop in these models, as well as the mechanisms for controlling the temperature patterns, including the day-night temperature contrasts. These mechanisms help to explain current observations, and they predict regime transitions for how the wind and temperature patterns should vary with the incident stellar flux, strength of atmospheric drag, and other parameters. These transitions are observable and in some cases are already becoming evident in the data. I will also compare the circulation of the hot Jupiters to that of young, massive giant planets being directly imaged around other stars, which will be the subject of a new observational vanguard over the next decade. To emphasize the similarities as well as differences, I will ground this discussion in our understanding of the more familiar atmospheric dynamical regime of Earth, as well as our "local" giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

  15. Atmospheric circulation of extrasolar giant planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showman, A. P.

    2011-12-01

    Of the many known extrasolar planets, nearly 200 have orbital semi-major axes less than 0.1 AU, and a significant fraction of these hot Jupiters and Neptunes are known to transit their stars, allowing them to be characterized with the Spitzer, Hubble, and groundbased telescopes. The stellar flux incident on these planets is expected to drive an atmospheric circulation that shapes the day-night temperature difference, infrared light curves, spectra, albedo, and atmospheric composition, and recent Spitzer infrared light curves show evidence for dynamical meteorology in these planets' atmospheres. Here, I will survey basic dynamical ideas and detailed 3D numerical models that illuminate the atmospheric circulation of these exotic, tidally locked planets. These models suggest that, generally, the circulation will be characterized by broad, fast zonal jets, with day-night temperature contrasts at the photosphere that may vary from small in some cases to large in others. I will discuss the dynamical mechanisms for maintaining the fast zonal jets that develop in these models, as well as the mechanisms for controlling the temperature patterns, including the day-night temperature contrasts. These mechanisms help to explain current observations, and they predict regime transitions for how the wind and temperature patterns should vary with the incident stellar flux, strength of atmospheric drag, and other parameters. These transitions are observable and in some cases are already becoming evident in the data. I will also compare the circulation of the hot Jupiters to that of young, massive giant planets being directly imaged around other stars, which will be the subject of a new observational vanguard over the next decade. To emphasize the similarities as well as differences, I will ground this discussion in our understanding of the more familiar atmospheric dynamical regime of Earth, as well as our "local" giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

  16. 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

    2006-10-05

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Is the HR8799 extrasolar system destined for planetary scattering?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goździewski, Krzysztof; Migaszewski, Cezary

    2009-07-01

    The recent discovery of a three-planet extrasolar system of HR8799 by Marois et al. is a breakthrough in the field of the direct imaging. This great achievement raises questions on the formation and dynamical stability of the system, because Keplerian fits to astrometric data disrupt during ~0.2Myr. We search for stable, self-consistent N-body orbits with the so-called GAMP (genetic algorithm with MEGNO penalty) method that incorporates stability constraints into the optimization algorithm. Our searches reveal only small regions of stable motions in the phase space of three-planet, coplanar configurations. Most likely, if the planetary masses are in 10MJ range, they may be stable only if the planets are involved in two- or three-body mean motion resonances (MMRs). We found that 80 per cent systems found by GAMP that survived 30Myr backwards integrations, eventually become unstable after 100Myr. It could mean that the HR8799 system undergo a phase of planet-planet scattering. We test a hypothesis that the less certain detection of the innermost object is due to a blending effect. In such a case, two-planet best-fitting systems are mostly stable, on quasi-circular orbits and close to the 5:2 MMR, resembling the Jupiter-Saturn pair.

  2. Dissipation in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, Gerald; Mitchell, J.

    2012-10-01

    The net radiative entropy flux of a planet is negative because atmospheres absorb solar radiation at a higher temperature than the temperature at which they re-emit an equal amount of longwave radiation to space. If in the long term the entropy of an atmosphere is constant, the radiative entropy loss must be balanced by the entropy production associated with thermally direct heat transports and dissipation. Given estimates of the thermally direct sources of entropy production and the temperature at which dissipation occurs, this determines the rate of dissipation in an atmosphere. It is estimated that the entropy production due to dissipation in the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan occurs at the rate, respectively, of about ≤23, 29, 2, and ≤4 mW m-2 K-1. If the dissipation in Earth’s atmosphere occurs between temperatures of 250 K and 288 K the dissipation rate must lie between 7.3 and 8.4 W m- 2, consistent with other recent estimates. The terrestrial heat engine operates with an efficiency of about 60% of the Carnot efficiency. Sources of dissipation in planetary atmospheres are highly uncertain, even for Earth. For Earth, frictional dissipation in rainfall is comparable to the turbulent dissipation of kinetic energy. Rainfall might also be a significant source of dissipation on Titan but it is not likely to be important for Mars or Venus. The breaking of upward propagating internal gravity waves generated by convection and flow over the surface topography is another source of dissipation and is possibly dominant on Venus.

  3. The signature of hot hydrogen in the atmosphere of the extrasolar planet HD 209458b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballester, Gilda E.; Sing, David K.; Herbert, Floyd

    2007-02-01

    About ten per cent of the known extrasolar planets are gas giants that orbit very close to their parent stars. The atmospheres of these `hot Jupiters' are heated by the immense stellar irradiation. In the case of the planet HD 209458b, this energy deposition results in a hydrodynamic state in the upper atmosphere, allowing for sizeable expansion and escape of neutral hydrogen gas. HD 209458b was the first extrasolar planet discovered that transits in front of its parent star. The size of the planet can be measured using the total optical obscuration of the stellar disk during an observed transit, and the structure and composition of the planetary atmosphere can be studied using additional planetary absorption signatures in the stellar spectrum. Here we report the detection of absorption by hot hydrogen in the atmosphere of HD 209458b. Previously, the lower atmosphere and the full extended upper atmosphere of HD 209458b have been observed, whereas here we probe a layer where the escaping gas forms in the upper atmosphere of HD 209458b.

  4. The signature of hot hydrogen in the atmosphere of the extrasolar planet HD 209458b.

    PubMed

    Ballester, Gilda E; Sing, David K; Herbert, Floyd

    2007-02-01

    About ten per cent of the known extrasolar planets are gas giants that orbit very close to their parent stars. The atmospheres of these 'hot Jupiters' are heated by the immense stellar irradiation. In the case of the planet HD 209458b, this energy deposition results in a hydrodynamic state in the upper atmosphere, allowing for sizeable expansion and escape of neutral hydrogen gas. HD 209458b was the first extrasolar planet discovered that transits in front of its parent star. The size of the planet can be measured using the total optical obscuration of the stellar disk during an observed transit, and the structure and composition of the planetary atmosphere can be studied using additional planetary absorption signatures in the stellar spectrum. Here we report the detection of absorption by hot hydrogen in the atmosphere of HD 209458b. Previously, the lower atmosphere and the full extended upper atmosphere of HD 209458b have been observed, whereas here we probe a layer where the escaping gas forms in the upper atmosphere of HD 209458b.

  5. 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

  6. Extra-solar planetary imager (ESPI) for space-based Jovian planetary detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Gezari, Daniel Y.; Melnick, Gary J.; Nisenson, Peter; Papaliolios, Costas D.; Ridgway, Stephen T.; Friedman, Edward J.; Harwit, Martin; Graf, Paul

    2003-02-01

    The Extra-Solar Planetary Imager (ESPI) is envisioned as a space based, high dynamic range, visible imager capable of detecting Jovian like planets. Initially proposed as a NASA Midex (NASA/Medium Class Explorer) mission (PI:Gary Melnick), as a space-based 1.5 x 1.5 m2 Jacquinot apodized square aperture telescope. The combination of apodization and a square aperture telescope reduces the diffracted light from a bright central source increasing the planetary to stellar contrast 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. ESPI 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 > 5 in observations lasting maximally 100 hours per star out to ~16 parsecs. We discuss the scientific ramifications, an overview of the system design including apodizing a square aperture, signal to noise issues and the effect of wavefront errors and the scalability of ESPI with respect to NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.

  7. TAU: A 1D radiative transfer code for transmission spectroscopy of extrasolar planet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollis, M. D. J.; Tessenyi, M.; Tinetti, G.

    2013-10-01

    The TAU code is a 1D line-by-line radiative transfer code, which is generally applicable for modelling transmission spectra of close-in extrasolar planets. The inputs are the assumed pressure-temperature profile of the planetary atmosphere, the continuum absorption coefficients and the absorption cross-sections for the trace molecular absorbers present in the model, as well as the fundamental system parameters taken from the published literature. The program then calculates the optical path through the planetary atmosphere of the radiation from the host star, and quantifies the absorption due to the modelled composition in a transmission spectrum of transit depth as a function of wavelength. The code is written in C++, parallelised using OpenMP, and is available for public download and use from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/exoplanets/. Running time: From 0:5 to 500 s, depending on run parameters

  8. TAU: A 1D radiative transfer code for transmission spectroscopy of extrasolar planet atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hollis, M. D. J.; Tessenyi, M.; Tinetti, G.

    2014-02-01

    The TAU code is a 1D line-by-line radiative transfer code, which is generally applicable for modeling transmission spectra of close-in extrasolar planets. The inputs are the assumed temperature-pressure profile of the planetary atmosphere, the continuum absorption coefficients and the absorption cross-sections for the trace molecular absorbers present in the model, as well as the fundamental system parameters taken from the published literature. The program then calculates the optical path through the planetary atmosphere of the radiation from the host star, and quantifies the absorption due to the modeled composition in a transmission spectrum of transit depth as a function of wavelength. The code is written in C++, parallelized using OpenMP, and is available for public download and use from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/exoplanets/.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Carbon Monoxide Affecting Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Chao; Horst, Sarah

    2016-10-01

    Atmospheric hazes are present in a range of solar system and extrasolar planetary atmospheres, and organic hazes, such as that in Titan's atmosphere, could be a source of prebiotic molecules.1 However, the chemistry occurring in planetary atmospheres and the resulting chemical structures are still not clear. Numerous experimental simulations2 have been carried out in the laboratory to understand the chemistry in N2/CH4 atmospheres, but very few simulations4 have included CO in their initial gas mixtures, which is an important component in many N2/CH4 atmospheres including Titan, Triton, and Pluto.3 Here we have conducted a series of atmosphere simulation experiments using AC glow discharge (cold plasma) as energy source to irradiate reactions in gas mixtures of CO, CH4, and N2 with a range of CO mixing ratios (from 0, 0.05%, 0.2%, 0.5%, 1%, 2.5%, to 5%) at low temperature (~100 K). Gas phase products are monitored during the reaction by quadrupole mass spectrometer (MS), and solid phase products are analyzed by solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). MS results show that with the increase of CO in the initial gases, the production of nitrogenous organic molecules increases while the production of hydrogen molecules decreases in the gas phase. NMR measurements of the solid phase products show that with the increase of CO, hydrogen atoms bonded to nitrogen or oxygen in unsaturated structures increase while those bonded to saturated carbon decrease, which means more unsaturated species and less saturated species formed with the addition of CO. MS and NMR results demonstrate that the inclusion of CO affects the compositions of both gas and solid phase products, indicating that CO has an important impact on the chemistry occurring in our experiments and probably in planetary atmospheres.1. Hörst, S. M., et al. 2012, AsBio, 12, 8092. Cable, M. L., et al. 2012, Chem. Rev., 112, 18823. Lutz, B. L., et al. 1983, Sci, 220, 1374; Greaves, J. S., et al

  13. Clouds in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    West, R.

    1999-01-01

    In the terrestrial atmosphere clouds are familiar as vast collections of small water drops or ice cyrstals suspended in the air. The study of clouds touches on many facets of armospheric science. The chemistry of clouds is tied to the chemistry of the surrounding atmosphere.

  14. Clouds in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, R.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    What are clouds? The answer to that question is both obvious and subtle. In the terrestrial atmosphere clouds are familiar as vast collections of small water drops or ice crystals suspended in the air. In the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Saturn's moon Titan, Uranus, Neptune, and possibly Pluto, they are composed of several other substances including sulfuric acid, ammonia, hydroge...

  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. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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?

  19. The Astronomical Detection of Biosignatures on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets: The Virtual Planetary Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, D.; Meadows, V. S.; Parkinson, C. D.; Allen, M. A.; Velusami, T.; Tinetti, G.; Rye, R.; Krelove, K.

    2003-05-01

    NASA and ESA are designing space-based observatories to detect and characterize extrasolar terrestrial planets. Because these systems will initially resolve planets only as point sources, we must learn to distinguish habitable worlds and to discriminate between planets with and without life based entirely on the interpretation of remote sensing observations of disk-averaged spectra. The Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL) is being developed to assess the information content of such observations and to optimize the designs and search strategies for future missions. The VPL is a suite of computer models that simulates environmental processes that contribute to a planet's spectrum. Its core consists of coupled radiative transfer, climate, and atmospheric chemistry models that have been validated in studies of the Earth and our neighboring planets. Geologic, biospheric, and exogenic modules are being added to simulate a broad range of environments on planets in orbit around stars with different luminosities and stellar types. A self consistent description of these physical, chemical, and biological processes is essential for assessing the detectability of spectral biosignatures because these processes can conspire to exaggerate or mask discriminating spectral features. Given initial conditions (stellar type, orbit characteristics, mass, radius, rotation rate, surface and atmospheric bulk composition, surface type, volatile inventory, etc.), the VPL marches forward in time to generate an equilibrium environment. It then produces a disk-averaged spectrum for a specified viewing geometry, processes this spectrum with an instrument simulator model, and analyzes it to assess the detectability of biosignatures with instruments like those being considered for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder and ESA's Darwin missions. Here, we review the objectives, scope, and architecture of the VPL, and summarize some preliminary results. This work was performed by the Jet Propulsion

  20. 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

  1. Dynamics of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    1989-01-01

    The overall goal is to illuminate the mechanisms that control weather and climate on the Earth and other planets. Each planet presents its own puzzling behavior - the stability of jets and vortices in Jupiter's otherwise turbulent atmosphere, the superrotation of the Venus atmosphere, the interplay of dust, polar volatiles, and climate change in Mars, the supersonic meteorology of Io, and the counterintuitive equator-to-pole temperature gradients on the outer planets. The data sets are generally those obtained from spacecraft - cloud-tracked winds, radiometrically inferred temperatures, and the results of in situ observations where appropriate. The approach includes both data analysis and modeling, ranging from analytic modeling to time-dependent numerical modeling of atmospheric dynamics. The latter approach involves the use of supercomputers such as the San Diego Cray. Progress is generally made when a model with a small number of free parameters either fits a data set that has a large number of independent observations or applies to several planets at once.

  2. Planetary Migration and Eccentricity and Inclination Resonances in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Man Hoi; Thommes, E. W.

    2007-07-01

    The differential migration of two planets due to planet-disk interaction can result in capture into the 2:1 eccentricity-type resonances. Both the sequence of 2:1 eccentricity-type resonances that the system is driven through by continued migration and the possibility of a subsequent capture into the 4:2 inclination-type 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-type resonances different from those found by Lee (2004). This new family has outer orbital eccentricity e2 > 0.4-0.5, asymmetric librations of both eccentricity-type mean-motion resonance variables, and orbits that intersect if they are exactly coplanar. Although this family exists for an inner-to-outer planet mass ratio m1/m2 > 0.2, it is possible to evolve into this family by fast migration only for m1/m2 > 2. Thommes & Lissauer (2003) have found that a capture into the 4:2 inclination resonances is possible only for m1/m2 < 2. We show that this capture is also possible for m1/m2 > 2 if the migration rate is slower than that adopted by Thommes & 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 equal to or shorter than the migration timescale, the eccentricities may not be able to reach the values needed to enter either the new 2:1 eccentricity resonances or the inclination resonances. Thus the discovery of extrasolar planetary systems with certain combinations of mass ratio and 2:1 resonance geometry would place a constraint on the strength of eccentricity damping during migration, as well as on the rate of migration itself.

  3. Planetary Migration and Eccentricity and Inclination Resonances in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Man Hoi; Thommes, Edward W.

    2009-09-01

    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 2 gsim 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 1/m 2 gsim 0.2, it is possible to evolve into this family by fast migration only for m 1/m 2 gsim 2. Thommes and Lissauer have found that a capture into the 4:2 inclination resonances is possible only for m 1/m 2 lsim 2. We show that this capture is also possible for m 1/m 2 gsim 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 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.

  4. Deciphering the Hot Giant Atmospheres Orbiting Nearby Extrasolar Systems with JWST

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afrin Badhan, Mahmuda; Batalha, Natasha; Deming, Drake; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; HEBRARD, Eric; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar; Irwin, Patrick Gerard Joseph

    2016-10-01

    Unique and exotic planets give us an opportunity to understand how planetary systems form and evolve over their lifetime, by placing our own planetary system in the context of the vastly different extrasolar systems that are being continually discovered by present space missions. With orbital separations that are less than one-tenth of the Mercury-Sun distance, these close-in planets provide us with valuable insights about the host stellar atmosphere and planetary atmospheres subjected to their enormous stellar insolation. Observed spectroscopic signatures reveal all spectrally active species in a planet, along with information about its thermal structure and dynamics, allowing us to characterize the planet's atmosphere. NASA's upcoming missions will give us the high-resolution spectra necessary to constrain the atmospheric properties with unprecedented accuracy. However, to interpret the observed signals from exoplanetary transit events with any certainty, we need reliable atmospheric retrieval tools that can model the expected observables adequately. In my work thus far, I have built a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) convergence scheme, with an analytical radiative equilibrium formulation for the thermal structures, within the NEMESIS atmospheric modeling tool, to allow sufficient (and efficient) exploration of the parameter space. I also augmented the opacity tables to improve the speed and reliability of retrieval models. I then utilized this upgraded version to infer the pressure-temperature (P-T) structures and volume-mixing ratios (VMRs) of major gas species in hot Jupiter dayside atmospheres, from their emission spectra. I have employed a parameterized thermal structure to retrieve plausible P-T profiles, along with altitude-invariant VMRs. Here I show my retrieval results on published datasets of HD189733b, and compare them with both medium and high spectral resolution JWST/NIRSPEC simulations. In preparation for the upcoming JWST mission, my current work

  5. 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.

  6. Water Vapour In The Atmosphere Of An Extrasolar Planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Liang, M.; Beaulieu, J.; Yung, Y. L.; Carey, S.; Ribas, I.; Tennyson, J.; Barber, B.; Allard, N.; Ballester, G.; Sing, D.; Selsis, F.

    2007-10-01

    Water is predicted to be among the most abundant (if not the most abundant) molecular species after hydrogen in the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets (`hot Jupiters'). Several attempts have been made to detect water on such planets, but have either failed to find compelling evidence for it or led to claims that should be taken with caution. Here we report an analysis of recent observations of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b taken during the transit, when the planet passed in front of its parent star. We find that absorption by water vapour is the most likely cause of the wavelength-dependent variations in the effective radius of the planet at the infrared wavelengths 3.6, 5.8 and 8 microns. The larger effective radius observed at visible wavelengths may arise from either stellar variability or the presence of clouds/hazes.

  7. Rapid heating of the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Laughlin, Gregory; Deming, Drake; Langton, Jonathan; Kasen, Daniel; Vogt, Steve; Butler, Paul; Rivera, Eugenio; Meschiari, Stefano

    2009-01-29

    Near-infrared observations of more than a dozen 'hot-Jupiter' extrasolar planets have now been reported. These planets display a wide diversity of properties, yet all are believed to have had their spin periods tidally spin-synchronized with their orbital periods, resulting in permanent star-facing hemispheres and surface flow patterns that are most likely in equilibrium. Planets in significantly eccentric orbits can enable direct measurements of global heating that are largely independent of the details of the hydrodynamic flow. Here we report 8-microm photometric observations of the planet HD 80606b during a 30-hour interval bracketing the periastron passage of its extremely eccentric 111.4-day orbit. As the planet received its strongest irradiation (828 times larger than the flux received at apastron) its maximum 8-microm brightness temperature increased from approximately 800 K to approximately 1,500 K over a six-hour period. We also detected a secondary eclipse for the planet, which implies an orbital inclination of i approximately 90 degrees , fixes the planetary mass at four times the mass of Jupiter, and constrains the planet's tidal luminosity. Our measurement of the global heating rate indicates that the radiative time constant at the planet's 8-microm photosphere is approximately 4.5 h, in comparison with 3-5 days in Earth's stratosphere.

  8. 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.

  9. Diurnal forcing of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houben, Howard C.

    1991-01-01

    The utility of the Mars Planetary Boundary Layer Model (MPBL) for calculations in support of the Mars 94 balloon mission was substantially enhanced by the introduction of a balloon equation of motion into the model. Both vertical and horizontal excursions of the balloon are calculated along with its volume, temperature, and pressure. The simulations reproduce the expected 5-min vertical oscillations of a constant density balloon at altitude on Mars. The results of these calculations are presented for the nominal target location of the balloon. A nonlinear balanced model was developed for the Martian atmosphere. It was used to initialize a primitive equation model for the simulations of the Earth's atmosphere at the time of the El Chichon eruption in 1982. It is also used as an assimilation model to update the temperature and wind fields at frequent intervals.

  10. Water vapour in the atmosphere of a transiting extrasolar planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Liang, Mao-Chang; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Yung, Yuk; Carey, Sean; Barber, Robert J.; Tennyson, Jonathan; Ribas, Ignasi; Allard, Nicole; Ballester, Gilda E.; Sing, David K.; Selsis, Franck

    2007-07-01

    Water is predicted to be among the most abundant (if not the most abundant) molecular species after hydrogen in the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets (`hot Jupiters'). Several attempts have been made to detect water on such planets, but have either failed to find compelling evidence for it or led to claims that should be taken with caution. Here we report an analysis of recent observations of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b (ref. 6) taken during the transit, when the planet passed in front of its parent star. We find that absorption by water vapour is the most likely cause of the wavelength-dependent variations in the effective radius of the planet at the infrared wavelengths 3.6μm, 5.8μm (both ref. 7) and 8μm (ref. 8). The larger effective radius observed at visible wavelengths may arise from either stellar variability or the presence of clouds/hazes. We explain the report of a non-detection of water on HD 189733b (ref. 4) as being a consequence of the nearly isothermal vertical profile of the planet's atmosphere.

  11. Water vapour in the atmosphere of a transiting extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

    Tinetti, Giovanna; Vidal-Madjar, Alfred; Liang, Mao-Chang; Beaulieu, Jean-Philippe; Yung, Yuk; Carey, Sean; Barber, Robert J; Tennyson, Jonathan; Ribas, Ignasi; Allard, Nicole; Ballester, Gilda E; Sing, David K; Selsis, Franck

    2007-07-12

    Water is predicted to be among the most abundant (if not the most abundant) molecular species after hydrogen in the atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets ('hot Jupiters'). Several attempts have been made to detect water on such planets, but have either failed to find compelling evidence for it or led to claims that should be taken with caution. Here we report an analysis of recent observations of the hot Jupiter HD 189733b (ref. 6) taken during the transit, when the planet passed in front of its parent star. We find that absorption by water vapour is the most likely cause of the wavelength-dependent variations in the effective radius of the planet at the infrared wavelengths 3.6 mum, 5.8 mum (both ref. 7) and 8 mum (ref. 8). The larger effective radius observed at visible wavelengths may arise from either stellar variability or the presence of clouds/hazes. We explain the report of a non-detection of water on HD 189733b (ref. 4) as being a consequence of the nearly isothermal vertical profile of the planet's atmosphere.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Spectral Signatures of Photosynthesis. II. Coevolution with Other Stars And The Atmosphere on Extrasolar Worlds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 μm, 1.1-1.4 μm, 1.5-1.8 μ m, and 1.8-2.5 μm. However, underwater organisms will be restricted to wavelengths shorter than 1.4 μm and more likely below 1.1 μm. M star planets without oxygenic photosynthesis will have photon fluxes above 1.6 μm 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 μm is a possible upper cutoff for electronic transiprotions 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 μm for anoxygenic photosynthesis. Under water, organisms would still be able to survive ultraviolet flares from young M stars and acquire adequate light for growth. Key Words: Photosynthesis-Astrobiology - Photosynthetic pigments - Oxygenic photosynthesis - Anoxygenic

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Proceedings of the First Greek-Austrian Workshop on Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maindl, T. I.; Varvoglis, H.; Dvorak, R.

    2017-03-01

    Along the subject line of this workshop, the common topic of the submissions is the field of extrasolar planetary systems with its multitude of facets ? from orbital dynamics to mutually destructive collisions, from binary star systems to Trojan planets to exocomets, from captured free-floating objects to artificial satellites. Despite the comparatively small number of participants ? ranging from graduate student to senior professor level ? we are proud of the submitted papers covering this wide range of aspects. In order to work towards a consistent quality-level, each of the manuscripts went through an independent review process before being accepted as a paper contribution to this volume. We would like to cordially thank the referees for their timely response-cycles, which helped tremendously in keeping our ambitious schedule.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Planetary Atmospheres as Heat Engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, G.; Mitchell, J. L.

    We review the workings of Earth's atmospheric heat engine and describe the energy and entropy exchanges that occur to support the atmospheric circulation. The heat absorbed by the atmosphere increases its internal and gravitational potential energies. A very small percentage of potential energy is converted into kinetic energy to maintain the circulation against dissipation, which irreversibly converts it to internal energy. The thermodynamic efficiency of the atmospheric heat engine can be defined as the fraction of the radiative imbalance at the surface converted to the kinetic energy of the motions. This is equivalent to the ratio of the frictional energy dissipation to the convective heat flux. Estimates of this ratio for Earth are several percent, much less than the Carnot efficiency of about 13%. We apply these concepts to the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, and Titan. The rate of dissipation of atmospheric kinetic energy is one of the main quantities entering the energy budgets of these planetary atmospheres. For Earth, frictional dissipation in rainfall is comparable to the turbulent dissipation of kinetic energy. Rainfall might also be a significant source of dissipation on Titan but it is not likely to be important for Mars or Venus. Frictional dissipation in dust storms might be a uniquely martian phenomenon. The breaking of upward propagating internal gravity waves generated by convection and flow over surface topography is another source of dissipation and is possibly dominant on Venus. The fluxes of radiative entropy are estimated for Earth, Venus, Mars, and Titan. The net radiative entropy flux of a planet is negative because atmospheres absorb solar radiation at a higher temperature than the temperature at which they reemit an equal amount of longwave radiation to space. If in a state of statistical equilibrium, the entropy of an atmosphere is constant; the radiative entropy loss must be balanced by the entropy production associated with thermally

  4. Balloon Measurements of Winds in Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wayne, S.; Kitchen, A.; Perry, R.; Petersen, P.; Slater, J.; Oudrhiri, K.; Asmar, S.; Atkinson, D.

    2014-06-01

    Atmospheric dynamics can be better measured if data is recorded from many spatially separated capsules. One method under study is to use a planetary lander that releases multiple balloon-bourne transceivers that can be Doppler tracked by the lander.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Spin of Planetary Probes in Atmospheric Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, R. D.

    Probes that enter planetary atmospheres are often spun during entry or descent for a variety of reasons. Their spin rate histories are influenced by often subtle effects. The spin requirements, control methods and flight experience from planetary and earth entry missions are reviewed. An interaction of the probe aerodynamic wake with a drogue parachute, observed in Gemini wind tunnel tests, is discussed in connection with the anomalous spin behaviour of the Huygens probe.

  8. Planetary atmospheres: Microwave spectroscopic and space physics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, R. Todd

    1990-01-01

    Ground-based spectroscopic observations of isotopes of CO in the atmosphere of Mars, Venus, and Titan were collected over the 1982-1990 period. These observations were analyzed to obtain information on the photochemistry, dynamics, and thermal profiles of these planetary atmospheres. In the cases of the mesosphere (80-100 km altitude) of Venus and the lower atmosphere (0-70 km altitude) of Mars, the primary conclusion of this research is that significant interannual variation in the global, thermal, and compositional structures of these atmospheres occur over 10 year periods. The Titan studies have focussed on pinning down the true atmosphere CO abundance. A more detailed summary of the results for each of these planetary atmospheres is provided.

  9. 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.

  10. Cryptic photosynthesis--extrasolar planetary oxygen without a surface biological signature.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Raven, John A

    2009-09-01

    On Earth, photosynthetic organisms are responsible for the production of virtually all the oxygen in the atmosphere. On land, vegetation reflects in the visible and leads to a "red edge," which developed about 450 million years ago on Earth and has been proposed as a biosignature for life on extrasolar planets. However, in many regions on Earth, particularly where surface conditions are extreme--in hot and cold deserts, for example--photosynthetic organisms can be driven into and under substrates where light is still sufficient for photosynthesis. These communities exhibit no detectable surface spectral signature to indicate life. The same is true of the assemblages of photosynthetic organisms at more than a few meters' depth in water bodies. These communities are widespread and dominate local photosynthetic productivity. We review known cryptic photosynthetic communities and their productivity. We have linked geomicrobiology with observational astronomy by calculating the disk-averaged spectra of cryptic habitats and identifying detectable features on an exoplanet dominated by such a biota. The hypothetical cryptic photosynthesis worlds discussed here are Earth analogues that show detectable atmospheric biosignatures like our own planet but do not exhibit a discernable biological surface feature in the disc-averaged spectrum.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Solving multiple scattering problems in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.; Lenoble, J.

    1974-01-01

    Definitions are provided of the basic concepts occurring in the solution of multiple scattering problems involving planetary atmospheres and attention is given to aspects of problem characterization. Approaches are considered for finding the answer to a particular problem without the performance of detailed calculations. The characteristics of albedos are investigated, taking into account semiinfinite atmospheres and finite atmospheres. Questions of surface illumination are discussed along with aspects related to energy deposition in the atmosphere, intensity, and polarization. Precise numerical methods are examined and analytical solutions are presented.

  14. 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

  15. Extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

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

    2000-11-07

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Solving multiple scattering problems in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, W. M.; Lenoble, J.

    1974-01-01

    Multiple scattering problems, radiative transfer problems in planetary atmospheres within extended visible portion of the spectrum, are examined. The direct and inverse problems and the extinction coefficient are defined, along with other scattering characteristics. Albedos in semi-infinite and finite atmospheres are considered, as well as surface illumination, energy deposition, and polarization. The Eddington approximation figures prominently in the calculations. Precise numerical methods and analytical solutions are included.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.).

  6. 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.

  7. HST-COS observations of the transiting extrasolar planetary system HD 209458b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, Kevin; Linsky, Jeffrey L.; Yang, Hao; Stocke, John T.; Froning, Cynthia S.

    2011-09-01

    We summarize results from deep spectroscopic observations of the HD 209458 planetary system, carried out with the Hubble Space Telescope—Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. Orbitally resolved observations are used to show that hot gas emission lines, arising only in the stellar atmosphere, are not variable, while lower ionizations species found in the upper atmosphere of the hot Jupiter HD 209458b absorb stellar photons during transit. For both C II and Si III, we find mean transit attenuation of ˜8%. The firm detection of silicon is in direct conflict with previous low-resolution studies, which we attribute to long-term variability in the system. We also use these observations to search for auroral emission from the planet, detecting a statistically significant emission feature at 1582 Å that is consistent with H2 photoexcited by stellar O I photons.

  8. 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.

  9. Studies of extended planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunten, Donald M.

    1988-08-01

    Spectroscopic observations of gases and plasmas in the Jupiter system, and related phenomena such as the recently-discovered sodium atmospheres of Mercury and the Moon were made. Cunningham's work on Jupiter spectroscopy is complete. The optical thickness of the ammonia cloud increases from about 3 in the morning to 6 at sunset. This effect seems to be due to the combination of internal heat flow and a convective region heated at the top, giving strong convection at night and none during the day. Near-simultaneous methane data are of poor quality, but are consistent with this picture. Schneider's work on the sodium environment of Io is also complete. The eclipse data extend to nearly 10 Io radii and nicely match the densities in the outer regions (to 100 Io radii) obtained from the intensity scattered in the D lines. Other data show very fast jets of sodium (up to 100 km/sec), frequently tilted out of the orbital plane. Researchers seem to be seeing neutralized ions, not from the torus itself but from atmospheric sodium ionized and then quickly neutralized. The data set on Mercurian sodium has been augmented, and supplemented by IR reflectance spectra.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Signatures of hot hydrogen in the atmosphere of the extrasolar planet HD209458b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sing, David; Ballester, G.

    2007-05-01

    Of the extrasolar planets detected so far, about 10% consist of giant planets which orbit very close to their parent stars. The atmospheres of these ``hot-Jupiters'' are largely heated by the immense stellar irradiation. In the case of the planet HD209458b, this energy deposition results in a hydrodynamic state in the upper atmosphere, allowing for sizable expansion and escape of neutral hydrogen gas. Here we report the first detection of absorption by hot (n=2) hydrogen in the optical and near-ultraviolet Balmer jump and continuum in any planet. The hot H I signature appears as a short-wavelength absorption 0.030+\\-0.006 below the value of 0.9855 calculated from the latest values for the radius of the planet. So far, the lower atmosphere and the full extended upper atmosphere of HD209458b have been observed. This work probes a layer where the escaping gas forms in HD209458b's upper atmosphere, providing a new way to study the atmospheric structure and complex escape processes of extrasolar hot-Jupiters.

  17. High-Oxygen Planetary Atmospheres and the Existence of Intelligent Life in the Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catling, D. C.; McKay, C. P.

    1999-09-01

    The existence of a high partial pressure of oxygen in planetary atmospheres elsewhere in the universe is a likely prerequisite for the existence of animal-like life and hence the existence of intelligent life. Whether a planet develops such an atmosphere is influenced by planetary parameters including the composition and size of the planet. The transition to a high oxygen atmosphere would depend on the ability of plate tectonics to provide for organic carbon burial that prohibits back-reaction with photosynthesized atmospheric oxygen. On Earth, plate tectonics accompanied by the oxygen production of photosynthetic bacteria in the Precambrian oceans led to the growth in the level of atmospheric oxygen detectable around 2.0 Gyr ago. Thus, there is a minimum size for an extrasolar planet that develops a high oxygen atmosphere based on the requirement to sustain plate tectonics. On the other hand, if the planet were too big, the loss of early hydrogen may be too slow on the timescale of solar evolution. The timing of the accumulation of atmospheric oxygen, which on Earth resulted in the biological evolution of eukaryotes (eventually including oxygen-utilizing metazoans such as ourselves), would thus appear to depend on geophysics. This may imply a relationship between planetary size and possible degree of biological complexity through time on terrestrial-type planets elsewhere in the Universe.

  18. 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.

  19. Finding Atmospheres of Extra-Solar Planets in High-Dispersion Near-Infrared Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Käufl, Hans Ulrich

    In the wavelength regime of 950-5500nm CRIRES, ESO's Cryogenic Infrared Echelle Spectrograph will offer a spectral resolution λ/Δλ ≈ 10^5 in combination with a spatial resolution of 0.2^''. This makes it well suited to search for spectral signatures of atmospheres of extra-solar planets. Sensitivity estimates for the detection of the non-thermal OH glow in oxygen-bearing atmospheres are given. With the VLT such a search is still sensitivity limited, but a dedicated spectrograph at the projected ESO 100m OWL telescope could detect Earth-like planets at a distance of ≈ 5 parsec.

  20. 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.

  1. Understanding other worlds: NASA's missions to find and characterize extrasolar planetary systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Unwin, Stephen C.

    2005-01-01

    About 150 extrasolar planets, mostly much more massive the Earth, are now known from ground-based observations. Earth-mass planets are very hard, if not impossible, to detect from the ground. The study of planets like our own Earth, orbiting in a 'habitable zone' around their parent stars, will require a new generation of space-based instruments.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-06

    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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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 on

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. New planetary systems from the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkins, J. S.; Jones, H. R. A.; Tuomi, M.; Díaz, M.; Cordero, J. P.; Aguayo, A.; Pantoja, B.; Arriagada, P.; Mahu, R.; Brahm, R.; Rojo, P.; Soto, M. G.; Ivanyuk, O.; Becerra Yoma, N.; Day-Jones, A. C.; Ruiz, M. T.; Pavlenko, Y. V.; Barnes, J. R.; Murgas, F.; Pinfield, D. J.; Jones, M. I.; López-Morales, M.; Shectman, S.; Butler, R. P.; Minniti, D.

    2017-04-01

    We report the discovery of eight new giant planets, and updated orbits for four known planets, orbiting dwarf and subgiant stars using the CORALIE, HARPS, and MIKE instruments as part of the Calan-Hertfordshire Extrasolar Planet Search. The planets have masses in the range 1.1-5.4 MJ's, orbital periods from 40 to 2900 d, and eccentricities from 0.0 to 0.6. They include a double-planet system orbiting the most massive star in our sample (HD147873), two eccentric giant planets (HD128356b and HD154672b), and a rare 14 Herculis analogue (HD224538b). We highlight some population correlations from the sample of radial velocity detected planets orbiting nearby stars, including the mass function exponential distribution, confirmation of the growing body of evidence that low-mass planets tend to be found orbiting more metal-poor stars than giant planets, and a possible period-metallicity correlation for planets with masses >0.1 MJ, based on a metallicity difference of 0.16 dex between the population of planets with orbital periods less than 100 d and those with orbital periods greater than 100 d.

  3. Aerodynamic Heating and Deceleration During Entry into Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1962-01-01

    Aerodynamic Heating and Deceleration During Entry into Planetary Atmospheres. Dr. Chapman's lecture examines the physics behind spacecraft entry into planetary atmospheres. He explains how scientists determine if a planet has an atmosphere and how scientists can compute deceleration when the atmospheric conditions are unknown. Symbols and equations used for calculations for aerodynamic heating and deceleration are provided. He also explains heat transfer in bodies approaching an atmosphere, deceleration, and the use of ablation in protecting spacecraft from high temperatures during atmospheric entry. [Entire movie available on DVD from CASI as Doc ID 20070030962. Contact help@sti.nasa.gov

  4. 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.

  5. The presence of methane in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

    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 1.9μm confirms the recent claim 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.

  6. The presence of methane in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-20

    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 mum confirms the recent claim 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Direct detection of extra-solar planetary systems from the ground and space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terrile, R. J.

    1986-01-01

    This paper discusses recent work in the development of instrumentation used for the direct detection of planetary systems from ground-based and space-based observatories. Direct methods such as CCD coronagraphic imaging of nearby stars must overcome the large contrast differences between parent star and the circumstellar material. However, these methods have the advantage over indirect methods in that more advanced space-based direct detection instrumentation can lead to a significantly greater science return.

  9. Shallow-Water Turbulence Simulations of Solar and Extrasolar Giant Planetary Atmsopheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, J. Y.; Menou, K.; Hansen, B.; Seager, S.

    2002-05-01

    The banded appearance and zonal winds of the giant planets in our Solar System have been demonstrated to be well-modeled by a shallow layer of divergent turbulent fluid on a rotating sphere [Cho & Polvani, Science (1996)]. In this study, we re-address the problem of jet/band morphology with a simple extension of the above model, which includes variable mass thickness to represent prescribed heating in an equivalent barotropic formulation. Similar models have been previously used to study the role of adiabatic and diabatic forcing on the dynamics of stratospheric polar vortex in a non-turbulent context [e.g., Juckes, JAS (1989); Salby, JAS (1991); Norton, JAS (1994); Polvani et al., JAS (1994)]. Here, we combine the two approaches and address the question of the appearance of the recently-detected close-in extrasolar giant planets (CEGPs) --- Jupiter-like objects which orbit ~0.05 AU from their primary stars. We present results from a series of high-resolution, fully turbulent simulations of the planet HD 209458 b, a transiting CEGP which is expected to be tidally locked, possessing permanent day/night hemispheres and a rotation period equaling its orbital period of 3.5 days. In our study, we find in most cases ~4 quasi-steady jets, and their corresponding weak banding, due to the slower (than Jupiter) rotation rate and a displaced circumpolar vortex on each of the rotation (north and south) poles. In general, when the day/night temperature difference is small (less than ~10% of the average layer temperature), a rotating quadrupolar ``thermal spot'' structure emerges in the flow. In contrast, at Jupiter-like rotation rate and orbital distance, the thermal structure becomes strongly zonally-symmetric, alternating in latitude, as seen in the 5 micron images of Jupiter. Our findings suggest the possibility of variabilities in the flux measurements of CEGP's that will be obtained in the future.

  10. 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.

    2016-12-01

    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.

  11. The Edison infrared space observatory and the study of extra-solar planetary material

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronson, H. A., Jr.; Hawarden, T. G.; Bally, J.; Rapp, D.; Stern, S. A.

    1994-01-01

    Edison is a proposed large-aperture, radiatively-cooled space observatory planned to operate at wavelengths between 2 and 130 micrometers or longer. Current estimates for the telescope allow an aperture of 1.7 m which will achieve a final equilibrium temperature of about 30 K, although use of cryocoolers may permit temperatures below 20 K. Edison will be a powerful tool to investigate our Solar System, as well as planetary material around distant stars. At near- and mid-infrared wavelengths, where planetary material emits most of its radiation, Edison will be the most sensitive photometric and spectroscopic observatory under current consideration by the space agencies. With its large aperture, Edison will be able both to resolve the structure in nearby circumstellar 'Vega disks' and to discriminate faint IR emission in the crowded environment of the galactic plane. With its long lifetime, Edison will allow extensive follow-up observations and increase the likelihood of catching transient events. We propose Edison as a precursor to elements of a future space-based IR interferometer.

  12. Astronomical, physical, and meteorological parameters for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allison, Michael; Travis, Larry D.

    1986-01-01

    A newly compiled table of astronomical, physical, and meteorological parameters for planetary atmospheres is presented. Formulae and explanatory notes for their application and a complete listing of sources are also given.

  13. First international conference on laboratory research for planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, K.; Allen, J.E. Jr.; Stief, L.J.; Quillen, D.T.

    1990-05-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Chemical Characterization of Extrasolar Super-Earths - Interiors, Atmospheres, and Formation Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madhusudhan, Nikku; Lee, K.; Uts, I.; Mousis, O.

    2013-01-01

    Recent observations are allowing unprecedented measurements of masses and radii of low-mass transiting extrasolar planets, particularly super-Earths which are defined as planets with masses between 1 and 10 Earth masses. The observed masses, radii, and temperatures of super-Earths provide constraints on their interior structures, geophysical conditions, as well as their atmospheric compositions. Some of the most recently detected super-Earths span a wide gamut of possible compositions, from super-Mercuries and lava planets to water worlds with thick volatile envelopes. In this work, we report joint constraints on the interior and atmospheric compositions of several super-Earths and discuss their possible formation scenarios using new and comprehensive hybrid models of their interiors, non-gray atmospheres, and formation conditions. Our model constraints are based on the masses and visible radii, as well as the latest infrared measurements of transmission and emission spectrophotometry where available, in addition to revised estimates of the stellar parameters. We will present a comparative analysis of several transiting super-Earths currently known and will discuss in detail two super-Earths (GJ 1214b and 55 Cancri e) which have atmospheric data available and which represent two distinct end members in the thermo-chemical phase space of super-Earth conditions. We will also discuss the implications of our results for the diversity of geochemical and geophysical conditions on super-Earths. We will conclude with comments on new observational, theoretical, and experimental efforts that are critical to detailed characterization of super-Earths.

  20. 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?

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. Toward a Deterministic Model of Planetary Formation. I. A Desert in the Mass and Semimajor Axis Distributions of Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-03-01

    In an attempt to develop a deterministic theory for planet formation, we examine the accretion of cores of giant planets from planetesimals, gas accretion onto the cores, and their orbital migration. We adopt a working model for nascent protostellar disks with a wide variety of surface density distributions in order to explore the range of diversity among extrasolar planetary systems. We evaluate the cores' mass growth rate Mc through runaway planetesimal accretion and oligarchic growth. The accretion rate of cores is estimated with a two-body approximation. In the inner regions of disks, the cores' eccentricity is effectively damped by their tidal interaction with the ambient disk gas and their early growth is stalled by ``isolation.'' In the outer regions, the cores' growth rate is much smaller. If some cores can acquire more mass than a critical value of several Earth masses during the persistence of the disk gas, they would be able to rapidly accrete gas and evolve into gas giant planets. The gas accretion process is initially regulated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction of the planets' gas envelope. Based on the assumption that the exponential decay of the disk gas mass occurs on the timescales ~106-107 yr and that the disk mass distribution is comparable to those inferred from the observations of circumstellar disks of T Tauri stars, we carry out simulations to predict the distributions of masses and semimajor axes of extrasolar planets. In disks as massive as the minimum-mass disk for the solar system, gas giants can form only slightly outside the ``ice boundary'' at a few AU. However, cores can rapidly grow above the critical mass inside the ice boundary in protostellar disks with 5 times more heavy elements than those of the minimum-mass disk. Thereafter, these massive cores accrete gas prior to its depletion and evolve into gas giants. The limited persistence of the disk gas and the decline in the stellar gravity prevent the formation of cores capable of

  4. Diversity and Origin of 2:1 Orbital Resonances in Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, M. H.; Peale, S. J.

    2003-12-01

    The 2:1 orbital resonances of the two planets about GJ 876 can be easily established by the differential migration of the planets due to planet-disk interactions. A wide variety of stable 2:1 resonance configurations can be reached by differential migration of planets with constant masses and initially coplanar and nearly circular orbits. These include configurations with librations of θ 1 = λ 1 - 2λ 2 + ϖ1 (where λ i and ϖi are the mean longitudes and the longitudes of periapse) about 0o and θ 2 = λ 1 - 2λ 2 + ϖ2 about 180o (as in the Io-Europa pair), configurations with librations of both θ 1 and θ 2 about 0o (as in the GJ 876 system), and configurations with asymmetric librations of θ 1 and θ 2 tens of degrees from either 0o or 180o. There are, however, stable resonance configurations with symmetric (θ 1 ≈ θ 2 ≈ 0o), anti-symmetric (θ 1 ≈ 180o and θ 2 ≈ 0o), and asymmetric librations that cannot be reached by differential migration of planets with constant masses and initially coplanar and nearly circular orbits. If real systems with these configurations are ever found, their origin would require (1) a change in the mass ratio m1/m_2 during migration, (2) multiple-planet scattering in crowded planetary systems (Adams & Laughlin 2003), or (3) a migration scenario involving inclination resonances (Thommes & Lissauer 2003). The θ 1 ≈ 180o and θ 2 ≈ 0o configuration can only be reached by the latter two mechanisms.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Atmospheric Circulation of Brown Dwarfs and Directly Imaged Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, X.; Showman, A. P.

    2015-12-01

    Growing observations of brown dwarfs (BDs) and directly imaged extrasolar giant planets (EGPs), such as brightness variability and surface maps have provided evidence for strong atmospheric circulation on these worlds. Previous studies that serve to understand the atmospheric circulation of BDs include modeling of convection from the interior and its interactions with stably stratified atmospheres. These models show that such interactions can drive an atmospheric circulation, forming zonal jets and/or vortices. However, these models are dry, not including condensation of various chemical species. Condensation of water has previously been shown to play an important role on driving the zonal jets on four giant planets in our solar system. As such, condensation cycles of various chemical species are believed to be an important source in driving the atmospheric circulation of BDs and directly imaged EGPs. Here we present results from three-dimensional simulations for the stably stratified atmospheres of BDs and EGPs based on a general circulation model that includes the effect of a condensate cycle. Large-scale latent heating and molecular weight effect due to condensation of a single species are treated explicitly. We examine the circulation patterns caused by large-scale latent heating which results from condensation of silicate vapor in hot dwarfs and water vapor in the cold dwarfs. By varying the abundance of condensable vapor and the radiative timescale, we conclude that under normal conditions of BDs (near 1x solar abundance and relatively short radiative timescale), latent heating alone by silicate vapors is unable to drive a global circulation, leaving a quiescent atmosphere, because of the suppression to moist instability by downward transport of dry air. Models with high abundance of condensates (~5x solar) and relatively long radiative timescale, which may be the case of directly imaged EGPs, tend to maintain an active hydrological cycle and develop zonal

  8. Atmospheric circulation of brown dwarfs and directly imaged extrasolar giant planets with active clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Xianyu; Showman, Adam

    2016-10-01

    Observational evidence have suggested active meteorology in the atmospheres of brown dwarfs (BDs) and directly imaged extrasolar giant planets (EGPs). In particular, a number of surveys for brown dwarfs showed that near-IR brightness variability is common for L and T dwarfs. Directly imaged EGPs share similar observations, and can be viewed as low-gravity versions of BDs. Clouds are believed to play the major role in shaping the thermal structure, dynamics and near-IR flux of these atmospheres. So far, only a few studies have been devoted to atmospheric circulation and the implications for observations of BDs and directly EGPs, and yet no global model includes a self-consistent active cloud formation. Here we present preliminary results from the first global circulation model applied to BDs and directly imaged EGPs that can properly treat absorption and scattering of radiation by cloud particles. Our results suggest that horizontal temperature differences on isobars can reach up to a few hundred Kelvins, with typical horizontal length scale of the temperature and cloud patterns much smaller than the radius of the object. The combination of temperature anomaly and cloud pattern can result in moderate disk-integrated near-IR flux variability. Wind speeds can reach several hundred meters per second in cloud forming layers. Unlike Jupiter and Saturn, we do not observe stable zonal jet/banded patterns in our simulations. Instead, our simulated atmospheres are typically turbulent and dominated by transient vortices. The circulation is sensitive to the parameterized cloud microphysics. Under some parameter combinations, global-scale atmospheric waves can be triggered and maintained. These waves induce global-scale temperature anomalies and cloud patterns, causing large (up to several percent) disk-integrated near-IR flux variability. Our results demonstrate that the commonly observed near-IR brightness variability for BDs and directly imaged EGPs can be explained by the

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. II. Thermal emission spectra of Earth-like planets influenced by low and high-level clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitzmann, D.; Patzer, A. B. C.; von Paris, P.; Godolt, M.; Rauer, H.

    2011-07-01

    Aims: We study the impact of multi-layered clouds (low-level water and high-level ice clouds) on the thermal emission spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting different types of stars. Clouds have an important influence on such planetary emission spectra due to their wavelength dependent absorption and scattering properties. We also investigate the influence of clouds on the ability to derive information about planetary surface temperatures from low-resolution spectra. Methods: We use a previously developed parametric cloud model based on observations in the Earth's atmosphere, coupled to a one-dimensional radiative-convective steady state climate model. This model is applied here to study the effect of clouds on the thermal emission spectra of Earth-like extrasolar planets in dependence of the type of central star. Results: The presence of clouds lead in general to a decrease of the planetary IR spectrum associated with the dampening of spectral absorption features such as the 9.6 μm absorption band of O3 for example. This dampening is not limited to absorption features originating below the cloud layers but was also found for features forming above the clouds. When only single cloud layers are considered, both cloud types exhibit basically the same effects on the spectrum but the underlying physical processes are clearly different. For model scenarios where multi-layered clouds have been considered with coverages which yield mean Earth surface temperatures, the low-level clouds have only a small influence on the thermal emission spectra. In these cases the major differences are caused by high-level ice clouds. The largest effect was found for a planet orbiting the F-type star, where no absorption features can be distinguished in the low-resolution emission spectrum for high cloud coverages. However, for most central stars, planetary atmospheric absorption bands are present even at high cloud coverages. Clouds also affect the derivation of surface temperatures from

  17. The Sodium Hydride Line Opacity for Brown Dwarf and Extra-solar Giant Planet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horvath, A.; Stancil, P. C.; Taylor, B. K.; Leininger, T.; Gadéa, F. X.

    2003-12-01

    Atomic sodium is an important opacity in the spectra of brown dwarfs and is the only atmospheric constituent to date that has been detected in an extrasolar giant planet (EGP). For temperatures between ˜1000 and 2000 K, NaH and NaCl are the next most abundant sodium species (Lodders, 1999, ApJ, 519, 793). Due to the lack of opacity data for these molecules, they have not been considered in brown dwarf and EGP synthetic spectra models. In this work, we consider NaH and present comprehensive theoretical molecular line lists for rovibrational transitions in the ground X state and for the electronic transition between the A and X states. The list contains the transition energies and oscillator strengths for all allowed rotational and vibrational transitions. The calculations use hybrid potential curves based on experimental data, the theoretical X state potential and dipole moment function of Taylor & Newman (2003, J. Chem. Phys., 118, 8770), and the theoretical A state potential and X-A transition moment function of Leininger et al. (2000, J. Phys. B, 33, 1805). Using the Numerov-Cooley method, we find that there are 860 and 1824 rovibrational levels in the X and A states, respectively, which give rise to a large number of rotational transitions. Pure rotational, rovibrational, and A<-X electronic LTE spectra are presented for temperatures typical of brown dwarfs and EGPs. The bandheads occur at 8.8 μ and 3990 Å for the fundamental vibrational and A<-X electronic transitions, respectively. This work was supported in part by the NSF REU Program at UGA and NASA grant NAG5-10551.

  18. Doppler Asymmetric Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy (DASH): An Innovative Concept for Measuring Winds in Planetary Atmospheres

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    Doppler Asymmetric Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy (DASH): An innovative concept for measuring winds in planetary atmospheres Christoph R...USA Keywords: Wind, atmospheric dynamics, Doppler imaging, Spatial Heterodyne Spectroscopy , Michelson Interferometer, planetary atmospheres...Heterodyne Spectroscopy (DASH): An innovative concept for measuring winds in planetary atmospheres 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. In situ observations of the atmospheres of terrestrial planetary bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, Ari-Matti

    2005-11-01

    Direct observations of planetary atmospheres are scarce and significantly more data are needed for the understanding of their behavior. The principal theme of this dissertation is the exploration of planetary atmospheres by means of in situ observations, focusing on investigations performed by payloads operating on the planetary surface. The contextual frame includes the whole palette of planetary exploration including definition of scientific objectives, observational strategies, scientific payload and data analysis, as well as development of technological solutions and simulation models for planetary missions. Thus approach also led to the initiation of the planetary missions MetNet and NetLander to Mars. This work contributes to both in situ atmospheric observations and atmospheric modeling, which are strongly intertwined. Modeling efforts require observations to give solid background and foundation for the simulations, and on the other hand, definition of observational strategies and instrumentation gets guidance from modeling efforts to optimize the use of mission resources, as is successfully demonstrated in this dissertation. The dissertation consists of Summary and nine original scientific publications. Publications 1 to 7 and Summary address the development of new atmospheric science payloads for exploration missions to Mars and Titan, a Saturnian moon. Actual and planned missions included are the Mars-96 Program and its Small Surface Stations and Penetrators during the years 1988-1996, PPI/HASI onboard the Cassini/Huygens spacecraft to Saturn and its moon Titan in 1989-2005, the MET-P payload onboard the Mars Polar Lander in 1997-1999, the BAROBIT instrument for the Beagle 2 lander in 2001-2003, the NetLander Mars Mission in 1997-2001 and the ongoing Mars MetNet Mission, started in 2000. Specifically, Publication 4 reviews the sensor qualification process that facilitated the use of new type of atmospheric sensors at Mars, while Publications 2 and 7, as

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. SOIR and NOMAD: Characterization of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, S.; Chamberlain, S.; Mahieux, A.; Thomas, I.; Wilquet, V.; Vandaele, A. C.

    2014-06-01

    The Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy is involved in the Venus Express mission (VeX), launched in 2006 and in the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission (TGO), due for launch in 2016. BISA is responsible for one instrument in each mission, SOIR onboard VeX and NOMAD onboard TGO respectively. The SOIR instrument onboard Venus Express allows observations of trace gases in the Venus atmosphere, at the terminator for both the morning and evening sides of the planet and for almost all latitudes. It has been designed to measure spectra in the IR region (2.2 - 4.3 µm) of the Venus atmosphere using the solar occultation technique1. This method derives unique information on the vertical composition and structure of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere2,3,4,5. It is unique in terms of spectral coverage and spectral resolution (0.15 cm-1), and is ideally designed to probe the Venus atmosphere for CO2 as well as trace gases, such as H2O, CO, HCl and HF. SOIR is capable of (1) providing vertical information on a broad series of species, such as CO2, CO, H2O, HCl, HF, SO26 and aerosols 7, covering the so far sparsely known region located above the clouds, (2) contributing to a better understanding of the dynamics and stability of the atmosphere by delivering total density and kinetic temperature profiles at the terminator, an up-to-now still unchartered region, and (3) detecting weak absorption bands of rare CO2 isotopologues8, due to the sensitivity of SOIR, the high concentration of CO2 on Venus and the long absorption paths sounded during solar occultations.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Optical properties of particles in planetary atmospheres - Laboratory studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, D.

    1974-01-01

    The laboratory techniques employed for the determination of optical constants are discussed briefly. The values obtained for the real n and imaginary k parts of the refractive indices of water, ice, and liquid ammonia are presented graphically. Work currently in progress on solid ammonia and on sulphuric acid is discussed. Other approaches to studies of the properties of aerosols in planetary atmospheres are presented briefly.

  11. 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.

  12. Haze Formation in Planetary Atmospheres: Lessons from the Lab

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, Sarah

    2014-06-01

    For more than 50 years, haze formation in planetary atmospheres has been simulated in the laboratory. Of particular interest are simulations of haze formation in the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. These simulation experiments have provided a wealth of knowledge about the possible composition and optical properties of haze particles, informed efforts to understand the transition between gas phase and particle chemistry, and provide “analogue” materials to aid in the selection and testing of the next generation of spacecraft based analytical techniques. In this talk I will review the current state of knowledge from Titan atmosphere simulation experiments, discuss difficulties that have arisen from knowledge gained from the Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system, and present particular areas where laboratory studies could provide much needed guidance for the observation and modeling communities studying atmospheres in our solar system and beyond.

  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. 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

  15. 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.

    1990-01-01

    A prototype is described that can serve as a scientific-modeling software tool to facilitate the development of useful scientific models. The prototype is developed for applications to planetary modeling, and specific examples are given that relate to the atmosphere of Titan. The scientific modeling tool employs a high-level domain-specific modeling language, several data-display facilities, and a library of experimental datasets and scientific equations. The planetary modeling prototype links uncomputed physical variables to computed variables with computational transformations based on a backchaining procedure. The system - implemented in LISP with an object-oriented knowledge-representation tool - is run on a workstation that provides interface with several models. The prototype is expected to form the basis for a sophisticated modeling tool that can permit active experimentation.

  16. Investigating Earth's Atmospheric Electricity: a Role Model for Planetary Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, K. L.; Harrison, R. G.; Rycroft, M. J.

    The historical development of terrestrial atmospheric electricity is described, from its beginnings with the first observations of the potential gradient to the global electric circuit model proposed by C.T.R. Wilson in the early 20th century. The properties of the terrestrial global circuit are summarised. Concepts originally needed to develop the idea of a global circuit are identified as "central tenets", for example, the importance of radio science in establishing the conducting upper layer. The central tenets are distinguished from additional findings that merely corroborate, or are explained by, the global circuit model. Using this analysis it is possible to specify which observations are preferable for detecting global circuits in extraterrestrial atmospheres. Schumann resonances, the extremely low frequency signals generated by excitation of the surface-ionosphere cavity by electrical discharges, are identified as the most useful single measurement of electrical activity in a planetary atmosphere.

  17. Investigating Earth's Atmospheric Electricity: a Role Model for Planetary Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aplin, K. L.; Harrison, R. G.; Rycroft, M. J.

    2008-06-01

    The historical development of terrestrial atmospheric electricity is described, from its beginnings with the first observations of the potential gradient to the global electric circuit model proposed by C.T.R. Wilson in the early 20th century. The properties of the terrestrial global circuit are summarised. Concepts originally needed to develop the idea of a global circuit are identified as “central tenets”, for example, the importance of radio science in establishing the conducting upper layer. The central tenets are distinguished from additional findings that merely corroborate, or are explained by, the global circuit model. Using this analysis it is possible to specify which observations are preferable for detecting global circuits in extraterrestrial atmospheres. Schumann resonances, the extremely low frequency signals generated by excitation of the surface-ionosphere cavity by electrical discharges, are identified as the most useful single measurement of electrical activity in a planetary atmosphere.

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Biological regulation of atmospheric chemistry en route to planetary oxygenation.

    PubMed

    Izon, Gareth; Zerkle, Aubrey L; Williford, Kenneth H; Farquhar, James; Poulton, Simon W; Claire, Mark W

    2017-03-28

    Emerging evidence suggests that atmospheric oxygen may have varied before rising irreversibly ∼2.4 billion years ago, during the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). Significantly, however, pre-GOE atmospheric aberrations toward more reducing conditions-featuring a methane-derived organic-haze-have recently been suggested, yet their occurrence, causes, and significance remain underexplored. To examine the role of haze formation in Earth's history, we targeted an episode of inferred haze development. Our redox-controlled (Fe-speciation) carbon- and sulfur-isotope record reveals sustained systematic stratigraphic covariance, precluding nonatmospheric explanations. Photochemical models corroborate this inference, showing Δ(36)S/Δ(33)S ratios are sensitive to the presence of haze. Exploiting existing age constraints, we estimate that organic haze developed rapidly, stabilizing within ∼0.3 ± 0.1 million years (Myr), and persisted for upward of ∼1.4 ± 0.4 Myr. Given these temporal constraints, and the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the Archean, the sustained methane fluxes necessary for haze formation can only be reconciled with a biological source. Correlative δ(13)COrg and total organic carbon measurements support the interpretation that atmospheric haze was a transient response of the biosphere to increased nutrient availability, with methane fluxes controlled by the relative availability of organic carbon and sulfate. Elevated atmospheric methane concentrations during haze episodes would have expedited planetary hydrogen loss, with a single episode of haze development providing up to 2.6-18 × 10(18) moles of O2 equivalents to the Earth system. Our findings suggest the Neoarchean likely represented a unique state of the Earth system where haze development played a pivotal role in planetary oxidation, hastening the contingent biological innovations that followed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1993-01-01

    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 testbed for this research, we propose to develop a software prototype in the domain of planetary atmospheric modeling.

  13. 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.

  14. The Explicit Planetary Isentropic-Coordinate (EPIC) Atmospheric Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowling, T. E.; Fischer, A. S.; Gierasch, P. J.; Harrington, J.; LeBeau, R. P.; Santori, C. M.

    1998-04-01

    We describe a new general circulation model (GCM) designed for planetary atmospheric studies called the EPIC model. This is a finite-difference model based on the isentropic-coordinate scheme of Hsu and Arakawa (1990.Mon. Wea. Rev.118, 1933-1959). We report on previously undocumented modifications, additions, and key practical issues that experience running the model has revealed to be important. The model integrates the hydrostatic primitive equations, which are valid for large-scale atmospheric dynamics and include gravity waves (buoyancy waves), planetary waves (Rossby waves), and horizontally propagating sound waves (Lamb waves), but not vertically propagating sound waves because of the hydrostatic approximation. The vertical coordinate is entropy in the form of potential temperature, which coincides with material surfaces for adiabatic motion. This means that there is no vertical velocity except where there is heating, which improves accuracy and helps the model maintain conservation properties over long integrations. An isentropic vertical coordinate is natural for the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, which are believed to have essentially adiabatic interiors that match up with the bottom of the model and is also excellent for middle-atmosphere studies on any planet. Radiative processes are parameterized by Newtonian cooling, and the latent heat of ortho-para hydrogen conversion is included when appropriate, with a suitably defined mean potential temperature. The model is written with general map factors that make it easy to configure in oblate spherical, cylindrical, or Cartesian coordinates. The code includes optional Message Passing Interface (MPI) library calls and hence runs on any Unix-based parallel computer or network cluster. An optional graphical user interface to commercial visualization software facilitates control of the model and analysis of output. Memory is allocated dynamically such that the user does not recompile to

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. An automated method for tracking clouds in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luz, D.; Berry, D. L.; Roos-Serote, M.

    2008-05-01

    We present an automated method for cloud tracking which can be applied to planetary images. The method is based on a digital correlator which compares two or more consecutive images and identifies patterns by maximizing correlations between image blocks. This approach bypasses the problem of feature detection. Four variations of the algorithm are tested on real cloud images of Jupiter's white ovals from the Galileo mission, previously analyzed in Vasavada et al. [Vasavada, A.R., Ingersoll, A.P., Banfield, D., Bell, M., Gierasch, P.J., Belton, M.J.S., Orton, G.S., Klaasen, K.P., Dejong, E., Breneman, H.H., Jones, T.J., Kaufman, J.M., Magee, K.P., Senske, D.A. 1998. Galileo imaging of Jupiter's atmosphere: the great red spot, equatorial region, and white ovals. Icarus, 135, 265, doi:10.1006/icar.1998.5984]. Direct correlation, using the sum of squared differences between image radiances as a distance estimator (baseline case), yields displacement vectors very similar to this previous analysis. Combining this distance estimator with the method of order ranks results in a technique which is more robust in the presence of outliers and noise and of better quality. Finally, we introduce a distance metric which, combined with order ranks, provides results of similar quality to the baseline case and is faster. The new approach can be applied to data from a number of space-based imaging instruments with a non-negligible gain in computing time.

  6. FINDINGS ON PLANETARY SURFACES AND ATMOSPHERES FROM A STUDY OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTIONS OF THE I.A.U. PLANETARY DATA CENTER AT MEUDON.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES, *PHOTOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS), (*EXTRATERRESTRIAL TOPOGRAPHY, PLANETS ), MERCURY ( PLANET ), VENUS( PLANET ), MARS( PLANET ), ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORIES, SATURN( PLANET ), URANUS( PLANET ), JUPITER( PLANET )

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Laser Limb Sounding Approach for Planetary Atmospheres Using CubeSats or SmallSats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riris, H.; Abshire, J. B.; Mumma, M.; Villanueva, G.; Hanisco, T.

    2016-10-01

    We describe an efficient and sensitive way to map trace gas abundances in planetary atmospheres using small satellites flying in formation and tunable single frequency diode lasers and a sensitive optical detector.

  12. 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.

  13. Extrasolar Cosmochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Siyi; Jura, Michael

    2015-07-01

    Most of the discovered exoplanets are "exotic" with regard to the Solar system, with characteristics that are very different from our own planets. Still, we can use the experience gained in the study of the solar system planets for trying to understand the physical nature of exoplanets. The properties of their atmospheres are, as in the case of the Solar system, constrained by a few parameters: their mass and radius, the stellar radiation flux (and thus the star's properties and its distance to the planet), the planet's ellipticity, its inclination, its rotation, the presence or absence of a magnetosphere... Under some simple hypotheses (thermochemical equilibrium and absence of migration), it is possible to make simple predictions about the nature of the exoplanet's atmospheric composition, on the basis of the planet's mass and its equilibrium temperature. The study of solar system planets also tells us which other mechanisms may lead to a departure from thermochemical equilibrium, in particular photochemistry and transport-induced quenching. The study of planetary spectra is a good starting point to try to understand the spectra of exoplanets that now become available through transit spectroscopy observations. From the spectral type of the hosting star and its distance to the exoplanet, one can estimate the spectral ranges where reflected/scattered stellar radiation and thermal emission dominate. In the thermal regime, the observation of a given molecule in different bands of different intensities may provide constraints on the vertical thermal profile and the vertical distribution of the molecule.

  14. Red clouds in reducing atmospheres. [polymer production by UV irradiation in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1973-01-01

    A dark reddish-brown high-molecular weight polymer is produced by long wavelength ultraviolet irradiation of abundant gases in reducing planetary atmospheres. The polymer is examined by paper chromatography, mass spectrometry, and infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectroscopy. High carbon-number straight-chain alkanes with NH2 and, probably, OH and C = O groups are identified, along with amino acids. There are chemical similarities between this polymer and organic compounds recovered from carbonaceous chondrites and precambrian sediments. The visible and near-ultraviolet transmission spectrum of the polymer shows its absorption optical depth to be redder than lambda(-2) and perhaps similar in coloration to the clouds of Jupiter, Saturn, and Titan. The nitrile content is small, and the polymer should be semitransparent in the 5 micrometer atmospheric window. Such polymers may be a common constituent of clouds in the outer solar system and on the early earth.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 

  17. REVIEWS OF TOPICAL PROBLEMS: Generation of large-scale eddies and zonal winds in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Onishchenko, O. G.; Pokhotelov, O. A.; Astafieva, N. M.

    2008-06-01

    The review deals with a theoretical description of the generation of zonal winds and vortices in a turbulent barotropic atmosphere. These large-scale structures largely determine the dynamics and transport processes in planetary atmospheres. The role of nonlinear effects on the formation of mesoscale vortical structures (cyclones and anticyclones) is examined. A new mechanism for zonal wind generation in planetary atmospheres is discussed. It is based on the parametric generation of convective cells by finite-amplitude Rossby waves. Weakly turbulent spectra of Rossby waves are considered. The theoretical results are compared to the results of satellite microwave monitoring of the Earth's atmosphere.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Infrared Spectroscopy of Extra-solar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedemann, G.

    Giant extra-solar planets with short orbital periods may be detected directly via the infrared line spectra emitted by their heated atmospheres. Ground-based measurements of the planetary lines at ~10-4 of the stellar flux are possible if one exploits the large-amplitude Doppler modulation caused by the orbital velocity, whereby the period and phase are known for stars with established reflex motions. A measured radial velocity amplitude of the planet yields directly the star/planet mass ratio and the inclination angle of the orbital plane. A search for methane in the IR 3.3 μm spectrum of τ Boo has been carried out at the NASA IRTF. The Southern Saturn-type planet of HD 75289 has been observed over a six week period by the VLT (2.3 μm CO) and future CO and CH4 observations are scheduled.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Adapting the GISS Climate GCM to Model Extra-Solar Climate Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacis, A. A.

    2013-12-01

    Hundreds of extra-solar planets have been discovered by NASA's Kepler mission, some potentially habitable, most exhibiting extremes in climate beyond current modeling experience. Zero-order assessment of the stellar type and the planet's distance from the star serves to identify the ballpark of whether silicon dioxide is likely to be in gaseous or liquid phase in the planet's atmosphere, or a part of the solid planetary ground surface. A lot of first-order modeling would involve assessing the chemical limitations to establish the likely chemical composition of the planetary atmosphere. For a more detailed analysis of the prevailing climate on an extra-solar planet a 3-D global climate model would be required. We begin the Extra-Solar Climate Model development by starting the with GISS Climate GCM by having key model parameters be expressed in physics based terms rather than Earth specific parameters. Examples of such key parameters are: the Planet's mass and radius, mass and composition of the atmosphere, Star-Planet distance, rotation rate and orbital parameters, stellar spectral distribution, land topography, and land-ocean distribution. These are parameters that are more or less straight forward to redefine for extra-solar conditions that are not greatly different for what may be considered as the ';habitable' zone. We present extreme climate simulations ranging from snowball Earth conditions to near-runaway greenhouse conditions. The objective of this modeling study is the development of a more physically based climate model that will be adaptable for assessing habitable climate regimes on newly discovered extra-solar planets, and will also facilitate the study terrestrial climate system analysis in paleoclimate applications.

  6. Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Shkolnik, Evgenya; Hallinan, Gregg; Planetary Habitability Study Team

    2016-06-01

    The W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) sponsored the Planetary Magnetic Fields: Planetary Interiors and Habitability Study to review the state of knowledge of extrasolar planetary magnetic fields and the prospects for their detection. There were multiple motivations for this Study. 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. In turn, these internal dynamo currents arise from differential rotation, convection, compositional dynamics, or a combination of these in objects' interiors. If coupled to an energy source, such as the incident kinetic or magnetic energy from the solar wind or an orbiting satellite, a planet's magnetic field can produce intense electron cyclotron masers in its magnetic polar regions. The most well known example of this process in the solar system 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--all of which will be difficult to determine by other means--as well as improved understanding of the basic planetary dynamo process. This report presents the findings from the Study, including potential mission concepts that emerged and future work in both modeling and observations. There was also an identification of that radio wavelength observations would likely be key to making significant progress in this field. The entire Study program would not have been possible without the generous support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. We thank Michele Judd, Tom Prince, and the staff of the W. M. Keck Institute for

  7. Extrasolar planets: constraints for planet formation models.

    PubMed

    Santos, Nuno C; Benz, Willy; Mayor, Michel

    2005-10-14

    Since 1995, more than 150 extrasolar planets have been discovered, most of them in orbits quite different from those of the giant planets in our own solar system. The number of discovered extrasolar planets demonstrates that planetary systems are common but also that they may possess a large variety of properties. As the number of detections grows, statistical studies of the properties of exoplanets and their host stars can be conducted to unravel some of the key physical and chemical processes leading to the formation of planetary systems.

  8. 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).

  9. On the averaging of ratios of specific heats in a multicomponent planetary atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dubisch, R.

    1974-01-01

    The use of adiabatic relations in the calculation of planetary atmospheres requires knowledge of the ratio of specific heats of a mixture of gases under various pressure and temperature conditions. It is shown that errors introduced by simple averaging of the ratio of specific heats in a multicomponent atmosphere can be roughly 0.4%. Therefore, the gamma-averaging error can become important when integrating through the atmosphere to a large depth.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Discovery of Rotational Modulations in the Planetary-mass Companion 2M1207b: Intermediate Rotation Period and Heterogeneous Clouds in a Low Gravity Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yifan; Apai, Dániel; Schneider, Glenn H.; Marley, Mark S.; Showman, Adam P.

    2016-02-01

    Rotational modulations of brown dwarfs have recently provided powerful constraints on the properties of ultra-cool atmospheres, including longitudinal and vertical cloud structures and cloud evolution. Furthermore, periodic light curves directly probe the rotational periods of ultra-cool objects. We present here, for the first time, time-resolved high-precision photometric measurements of a planetary-mass companion, 2M1207b. We observed the binary system with Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 in two bands and with two spacecraft roll angles. Using point-spread function-based photometry, we reach a nearly photon-noise limited accuracy for both the primary and the secondary. While the primary is consistent with a flat light curve, the secondary shows modulations that are clearly detected in the combined light curve as well as in different subsets of the data. The amplitudes are 1.36% in the F125W and 0.78% in the F160W filters, respectively. By fitting sine waves to the light curves, we find a consistent period of {10.7}-0.6+1.2 hr and similar phases in both bands. The J- and H-band amplitude ratio of 2M1207b is very similar to a field brown dwarf that has identical spectral type but different J-H color. Importantly, our study also measures, for the first time, the rotation period for a directly imaged extra-solar planetary-mass companion.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The origins and early histories of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.

    1979-01-01

    Ancient dry river beds detected on Mars by the Viking spacecraft suggest that the early Martian atmosphere may have been much more massive than at present. Degassing of a late-accreting, volatile-rich veneer may account for the primitive atmosphere of both Mars and earth. The primitive earth atmosphere could have produced a greenhouse effect sufficient to maintain temperatures above 273 K without NH3 and with low solar luminosity. The Venutian veneer, according to preliminary Pioneer results, was probably richer in noble gases relative to carbon and nitrogen than were the Martian and earth veneers. The highly evolved atmosphere of Titan, the large satellite of Saturn, is also discussed.

  17. Cosmic ray impact on extrasolar earth-like planets in close-in habitable zones.

    PubMed

    Griessmeier, J-M; Stadelmann, A; Motschmann, U; Belisheva, N K; Lammer, H; Biernat, H K

    2005-10-01

    Because of their different origins, cosmic rays can be subdivided into galactic cosmic rays and solar/stellar cosmic rays. The flux of cosmic rays to planetary surfaces is mainly determined by two planetary parameters: the atmospheric density and the strength of the internal magnetic moment. If a planet exhibits an extended magnetosphere, its surface will be protected from high-energy cosmic ray particles. We show that close-in extrasolar planets in the habitable zone of M stars are synchronously rotating with their host star because of the tidal interaction. For gravitationally locked planets the rotation period is equal to the orbital period, which is much longer than the rotation period expected for planets not subject to tidal locking. This results in a relatively small magnetic moment. We found that an Earth-like extrasolar planet, tidally locked in an orbit of 0.2 AU around an M star of 0.5 solar masses, has a rotation rate of 2% of that of the Earth. This results in a magnetic moment of less than 15% of the Earth's current magnetic moment. Therefore, close-in extrasolar planets seem not to be protected by extended Earth-like magnetospheres, and cosmic rays can reach almost the whole surface area of the upper atmosphere. Primary cosmic ray particles that interact with the atmosphere generate secondary energetic particles, a so-called cosmic ray shower. Some of the secondary particles can reach the surface of terrestrial planets when the surface pressure of the atmosphere is on the order of 1 bar or less. We propose that, depending on atmospheric pressure, biological systems on the surface of Earth-like extrasolar planets at close-in orbital distances can be strongly influenced by secondary cosmic rays.

  18. 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.

  19. Aspects of Planetary Wave Transports in the Middle Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, G.

    1984-01-01

    The heat and momentum flux due to standing planetary waves in the stratosphere were calculated on the basis of satellite data. The convergence of these fluxes was investigated and shows an apparent heating and acceleration of the mean zonal state. The Eliassen-Palm flux divergence calculation shows that the mean zonal state is effectively decelerated. Furthermore, the interaction between ultra long waves and k = 4 - 15 in the troposphere was investigated for a winter period and is discussed in connection with the geopotential wave one amplitude, which increases before a stratospheric warming event occurs.

  20. 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.

  1. The ultraviolet absorption spectrum of CO - Applications to planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, H. P.; Hua, Xin-Min; Caldwell, J.; Chen, F. Z.; Judge, D. L.; Wu, C. Y. R.

    1993-01-01

    Laboratory gas-phase photoabsorption cross sections of the CO Cameron 0-0 band and the underlying pseudocontinuum have been measured at a temperature of 147 K and pressures of about 200 mbar, conditions similar to ambient in various planetary and satellite stratospheres in the solar system. A theoretical modeling program has also been used to calculate the band's spectrum. Agreement between the theoretical and the experimental spectra is very good. Models suggest that the observations of the CO Cameron band using the Hubble Space Telescope will be straightforward for Mars, but marginal for Titan.

  2. 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.

  3. Laboratory measurements of microwave and millimeter-wave properties of planetary atmospheric constituents

    SciTech Connect

    Steffes, P.G.

    1989-01-01

    Accurate data on microwave and millimeter-wave properties of potential planetary atmospheric constituents is critical for the proper interpretation of radio occultation measurements, and of radio astronomical observations of both continuum and spectral line emissions. Such data is also needed to correct for atmospheric effects on radar studies of surface reflectivity. Since the refractive and absorptive properties of atmospheric constituents often vary drastically from theoretically-predicted profiles, especially under the extreme conditions characteristic of the planetary atmosphere, laboratory measurements under simulated planetary conditions are required. This paper reviews the instrumentation and techniques used for laboratory measurement of the refractivity and absorptivity of atmospheric constituents at wavelengths longward of 1 mm, under simulated planetary conditions (temperature, pressure, and broadening gases). Techniques for measuring both gases and condensates are considered. Also reviewed are the relative accuracies of the various techniques. Laboratory measurements are reviewed which have already been made, and additional measurements which are needed for interpretation of data from Venus and the outer planets, are highlighted.

  4. 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.

  5. THERMO-RESISTIVE INSTABILITY OF HOT PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES

    SciTech Connect

    Menou, Kristen

    2012-07-20

    The atmospheres of hot Jupiters and other strongly forced exoplanets are susceptible to a thermal instability in the presence of ohmic dissipation, weak magnetic drag, and strong winds. The instability occurs in radiatively dominated atmospheric regions when the ohmic dissipation rate increases with temperature faster than the radiative (cooling) rate. The instability domain covers a specific range of atmospheric pressures and temperatures, typically P {approx} 3-300 mbar and T {approx} 1500-2500 K for hot Jupiters, which makes it a candidate mechanism to explain the dayside thermal 'inversions' inferred for a number of such exoplanets. The instability is suppressed by high levels of non-thermal photoionization, in possible agreement with a recently established observational trend. We highlight several shortcomings of the instability treatment presented here. Understanding the emergence and outcome of the instability, which should result in locally hotter atmospheres with stronger levels of drag, will require global nonlinear atmospheric models with adequate MHD prescriptions.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Comparative Planetary Nitrogen Atmospheres: Titan, Triton and Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobel, Darrell F.; Zhu, Xun

    2016-06-01

    Titan has a massive atmosphere in comparison to Triton and Pluto which are widely regarded as the largest endmembers of Kuiper-Belt objects and as 'twins' with thin buffered N2 atmospheres controlled by interactions with surface ices, primarily N2 and CH4 frost. But one can compare them with Titan's upper atmosphere by noting that 14 microbars on Titan is at an altitude of approximately 400 km. At this level Titan has haze layers as Pluto does and less so on Triton. The talk will emphasize the fundamental role that CH4 plays in controlling the thermal structure of these atmospheres and is one of the principal reasons for the differences in the thermal structure of Pluto's and Triton's atmospheres. Titan and Pluto have in common photochemical production of nitriles at detectable abundances, whereas Triton does not. The cold upper atmosphere of Pluto remains a mystery as the reported abundances of HCN are insufficient to cool the atmosphere in contrast to Titan's thermosphere.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Study of Some Planetary Atmospheres Features by Probe Entry and Descent Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gil, P. J. S.; Rosa, P. M. B.

    2005-01-01

    Characterization of planetary atmospheres is analyzed by its effects in the entry and descent trajectories of probes. Emphasis is on the most important variables that characterize atmospheres e.g. density profile with altitude. Probe trajectories are numerically determined with ENTRAP, a developing multi-purpose computational tool for entry and descent trajectory simulations capable of taking into account many features and perturbations. Real data from Mars Pathfinder mission is used. The goal is to be able to determine more accurately the atmosphere structure by observing real trajectories and what changes are to expect in probe descent trajectories if atmospheres have different properties than the ones assumed initially.

  13. 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.

  14. Impact Erosion of Planetary Atmospheres: Some Surprising Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, William I.; Symbalisty, Eugene M. D.; Ahrens, Thomas J.; Jones, Eric M.

    1999-04-01

    We have investigated by analytical and computational means the effect of Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) size impacts (5×1030erg, 9-km-radius bolide of 1019g) on terrestrial atmospheres. We have extended analytically the approximate solution due to A. S. Kompaneets (1960,Sov. Phys. Dokl. Engl. Transl.5, 46-48) for the blast wave obtained for atmospheric nuclear explosions (idealized to isothermal atmospheres) to ideal adiabatic atmospheres and to data-based models of the Earth's atmosphere. For the first time, we have been able to obtainanalyticallythe particle trajectories in an isothermal atmosphere. The outcome of this nonlinear analysis is that a massive impact (without the subsequent ejection of substantial mass) would only influence a column of ≈30-km radius in the Earth's atmosphere and that the shocked gas would be propelled up and against the column “wall,” but would not escape from the planet. We examined the validity of “hemispheric blowoff,” the hypothesis that all material in a hemisphere lying above a plane tangent to the point of impact radially accelerated outward and, if sufficiently energetic, would also be ejected. We adapted and used a state-of-the-art code (CAVEAT), a hybrid Los Alamos-Sandia Lagrangian-Eulerian finite difference scheme for multimaterial flow problems with large distortion and internal slip. In our CAVEAT calculations, the vapor cloud produced by the impact produces a shock that is orders of magnitude stronger than any previous use of such codes. We developed new methods to test the accuracy and convergence of CAVEAT for K/T size impact events, and it proved to be a robust tool. We explored a K/T size impact where the 9-km-radius bolide was vaporized and injected into the atmosphere and found no radial outflow in agreement with the analytic model but, instead, a 50-km-radius vertical column formed with only a small fraction of material reaching escape velocity-no more than about 7% of the vaporized bolide plus atmospheric

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Kuiper-Belt-Object

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, S.; Zuckerman, B.; Dufour, P.; Young, E. D.; Klein, B.; Jura, M.

    2017-02-01

    The Kuiper Belt of our solar system is a source of short-period comets that may have delivered water and other volatiles to Earth and the other terrestrial planets. However, the distribution of water and other volatiles in extrasolar planetary systems is largely unknown. We report the discovery of an accretion of a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog onto the atmosphere of the white dwarf WD 1425+540. The heavy elements C, N, O, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, and Ni are detected, with nitrogen observed for the first time in extrasolar planetary debris. The nitrogen mass fraction is ∼2%, comparable to that in comet Halley and higher than in any other known solar system object. The lower limit to the accreted mass is ∼1022 g, which is about one hundred thousand times the typical mass of a short-period comet. In addition, WD 1425+540 has a wide binary companion, which could facilitate perturbing a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog into the white dwarf’s tidal radius. This finding shows that analogs to objects in our Kuiper Belt exist around other stars and could be responsible for the delivery of volatiles to terrestrial planets beyond the solar system. Part of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among Caltech, the University of California and NASA. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. On the temperature distribution in a planetary atmosphere.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. D. G.; Young, A. T.

    1972-01-01

    Criteria for the appearance of a double maximum in the absorption spectra are derived. A very oversimplified model atmosphere which consists of two isothermal layers of gas is considered. The model involves the presence of two absorption cells in series, in front of a light source that has a higher temperature than either of the cells. The possibility that the double maximum is due to a quantum-mechanical interaction is studied. It is concluded that the effect reported by Kaplan (1962) was due to noise, and that it is impossible to detect temperatures as high as 700 K in the atmosphere of Venus by means of ground-based observations of the 7820 A carbon dioxide band.

  2. The possibility of catastrophic magma ocean degassing and implications for the formation of early planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suckale, J.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.

    2011-10-01

    The heat provided by accretion and differentiation is sufficient to melt the silicate mantle of a terrestrial planet or planetary embryo wholly or partially creating magma oceans that may span a wide range of depths. The solidification processes in these magma oceans create an important link between the properties of the solid mantle and the atmosphere: Depending on the ratio of volatiles retained in the mantle to the volatiles degassed to build the atmosphere, magma oceans with similar starting compositions may lead to planets with dry or wet mantles and substantial or minimal atmospheres. The build-up of an early atmosphere also sensitively affects the heat loss to space and thereby the solidification rate of the magma ocean The goal of this study is to constrain which factors determine magma ocean degassing and thereby the growth of an early planetary atmosphere and volatile retention in the mantle. Our model is based on a detailed analysis of bubble nucleation, growth and breakup during magma ocean solidification. We find that degassing does not necessarily occur continuously as commonly assumed. Instead, we suggest three end-member types of degassing histories ranging from continuous to catastrophic and negligible degassing and discuss how these depend on planetary and magma ocean properties.

  3. 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.

  4. Probing the extreme planetary atmosphere of WASP-12b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swain, Mark; Deroo, Pieter; Tinetti, Giovanna; Hollis, Morgan; Tessenyi, Marcell; Line, Michael; Kawahara, Hajime; Fujii, Yuka; Showman, Adam P.; Yurchenko, Sergey N.

    2013-07-01

    We report near-infrared measurements of the terminator region transmission spectrum and dayside emission spectrum of the exoplanet WASP-12b obtained using the HST WFC3 instrument. The disk-average dayside brightness temperature averages about 2900 K, peaking to 3200 K around 1.46 μm. We modeled a range of atmospheric cases for both the emission and transmission spectrum and confirm the recent finding by Crossfield et al. (Crossfield, I., Barman, T., Hansen, B., Tanaka, I., Kodama, T. [2012b]. arXiv: 1210.4836C) that there is no evidence for C/O > 1 in the atmosphere of WASP-12b. Assuming a physically plausible atmosphere, we find evidence that the presence of a number of molecules is consistent with the data, but the justification for inclusion of these opacity sources based on the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) is marginal. We also find the near-infrared primary eclipse light curve is consistent with small amounts of prolate distortion. As part of the calibration effort for these data, we conducted a detailed study of instrument systematics using 65 orbits of WFC3-IR grims observations. The instrument systematics are dominated by detector-related affects, which vary significantly depending on the detector readout mode. The 256 × 256 subarray observations of WASP-12 produced spectral measurements within 15% of the photon-noise limit using a simple calibration approach. Residual systematics are estimated to be ⩽70 ppm.

  5. Planetary Probe Entry Atmosphere Estimation Using Synthetic Air Data System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karlgaard, Chris; Schoenenberger, Mark

    2017-01-01

    This paper develops an atmospheric state estimator based on inertial acceleration and angular rate measurements combined with an assumed vehicle aerodynamic model. The approach utilizes the full navigation state of the vehicle (position, velocity, and attitude) to recast the vehicle aerodynamic model to be a function solely of the atmospheric state (density, pressure, and winds). Force and moment measurements are based on vehicle sensed accelerations and angular rates. These measurements are combined with an aerodynamic model and a Kalman-Schmidt filter to estimate the atmospheric conditions. The new method is applied to data from the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which landed the Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars in August 2012. The results of the new estimation algorithm are compared with results from a Flush Air Data Sensing algorithm based on onboard pressure measurements on the vehicle forebody. The comparison indicates that the new proposed estimation method provides estimates consistent with the air data measurements, without the use of pressure measurements. Implications for future missions such as the Mars 2020 entry capsule are described.

  6. 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 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 laboratory measurements of such properties under environmental conditions which are significantly different than those of the planetary atmosphere being studied, often lead to significant misinterpretation of available opacity data. Steffes and Eshleman showed that under environmental conditions corresponding to the middle atmosphere of Venus, the microwave absorption due to atmospheric SO2 was 50 percent greater than that calculated from Van Vleck-Weiskopff theory. Similarly, the opacity from gaseous H2SO4 was found to be a factor of 7 greater than theoretically predicted for conditions of the Venus middle atmosphere. The recognition of the need to make such measurements over a range of temperatures and pressures which correspond to the periapsis altitudes of 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Planetary Entry Probes and Mass Spectroscopy: Tools and Science Results from In Situ Studies of Planetary Atmospheres and Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niemann, Hasso B.

    2007-01-01

    Probing the atmospheres and surfaces of the planets and their moons with fast moving entry probes has been a very useful and essential technique to obtain in situ or quasi in situ scientific data (ground truth) which could not otherwise be obtained from fly by or orbiter only missions and where balloon, aircraft or lander missions are too complex and costly. Planetary entry probe missions have been conducted successfully on Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Titan after having been first demonstrated in the Earth's atmosphere. Future missions will hopefully also include more entry probe missions back to Venus and to the outer planets. 1 he success of and science returns from past missions, the need for more and better data, and a continuously advancing technology generate confidence that future missions will be even more successful with respect to science return and technical performance. I'he pioneering and tireless work of Al Seiff and his collaborators at the NASA Ames Research Center had provided convincing evidence of the value of entry probe science and how to practically implement flight missions. Even in the most recent missions involving entry probes i.e. Galileo and Cassini/Huygens A1 contributed uniquely to the science results on atmospheric structure, turbulence and temperature on Jupiter and Titan.

  11. 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.

  12. Impact-induced degassing from antigorite and carbonates: Implications to formation of planetary atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekine, Toshimori; Tachi, Ryunosuke; Shibuya, Koichi; Mihara, Ryouta; Kobayashi, Takamichi

    2015-06-01

    Primitive planetary atmosphere has been thought to consist mostly of H2O and CO2 of which components were present in the building blocks of planets. The degassing dymanics of these components during impacts processes is the key to understand the origin of planetary atmosphere. According to the Hugoniot measurements, antigorite and carbonates are stable as high as 40 GPa and 100 GPa, respectively. However, meteorites are porous and can be heated to high temperatures. If the residual temperatures for porous samples are high enough for them to degas, degassing can occur at or near ambient pressure. We have investigated the degassing of serpentine (antigorite) and carbonates (CaCO3 and MgCO3) by shock recovery experiments. Impact experiments on porous powders were carried out with a propellant gun and peak pressures were estimated as the equilibrium pressure as the container. Samples were investigated by XRD, TG/DTA, SEM, and TEM. The degassing from antigorite was small below 20 GPa, but became violent at 20-60 GPa, and completed at 60 GPa. The degassing from carbonates started in a narrow pressure range (35-38 GPa) and there was no evidence for the formation of MgO and CaO. The different results between antigorite and carbonates may suggest a constrain on the origin of planetary atmosphere. Atmospheric H2O can be present frequently but CO2 will be limited only in areas subjected to strong impacts.

  13. On Stellar Activity Enhancement Due to Interactions with Extrasolar Giant Planets.

    PubMed

    Cuntz; Saar; Musielak

    2000-04-20

    We present a first attempt to identify and quantify possible interactions between recently discovered extrasolar giant planets (and brown dwarfs) and their host stars, resulting in activity enhancement in the stellar outer atmospheres. Many extrasolar planets have masses comparable to or larger than Jupiter and are within a distance of 0.5 AU, suggesting the possibility of their significant influence on stellar winds, coronae, and even chromospheres. Beyond the well-known rotational synchronization, the interactions include tidal effects (in which enhanced flows and turbulence in the tidal bulge lead to increased magnetoacoustic heating and dynamo action) and direct magnetic interaction between the stellar and planetary magnetic fields. We discuss relevant parameters for selected systems and give preliminary estimates of the relative interaction strengths.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Dynamic characteristics of atmospheric planetary waves during stratospheric warmings in winter 2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chernigovskaya, Marina; Medvedev, Andrey; Tolstikov, Maxim; Medvedeva, Irina; Ratovsky, Konstantin

    2010-05-01

    The wave mechanism of energy transfer is quite significant in transferring energy in the Earth's atmosphere. Atmospheric internal waves of different spatial and temporal scales (including 1-30-day planetary waves) transfer a great deal of kinetic energy from the troposphere and stratosphere to higher atmospheric layers. As deduced from experimental data, systems of strong zonal stratospheric winds prevent penetration of planetary waves from the troposphere to the upper atmosphere (mesosphere and thermosphere), but the part of their energy reaches the upper atmosphere. Planetary waves are in many respects associated with such interesting phenomena in the Earth's stratosphere as sudden winter stratospheric warmings (SSW), observed almost every winter and characterized by geographical nonuniformity. High concentration of stratospheric warming centers is typical of the Asian region of Russia. We examined dynamic characteristics of atmospheric planetary waves observed in the Asian region of Russia in the longitudinal sector of ~80-125°E during stratospheric warmings in winter 2008. Satellite data on vertical temperature distribution obtained by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) aboard the spacecraft EOS Aura and Irkutsk digisonde DPS-4 data were used. It has been established that pronounced wave-like temperature disturbances with characteristic periods of 10-14 days were observed in the Asian region of Russia in the sector of ~80-125°E and 40-64°N over a height range of 20-90 km during development of the SSW in January-February 2008. Revealed here is a high correlation between temperature disturbances and the minimum frequency of reflection in the Irkutsk digisonde DPS-4 ionograms. This paper offers a method for investigating characteristics of propagation of long-term temperature disturbances by a cross-correlation analysis. This method consists in determining delays between disturbances observed at different points and in deriving a system of linear equations for

  17. 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.

  18. Rugged, no-moving-parts windspeed and static pressure probe designs for measurements in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedard, A. J., Jr.; Nishiyama, R. T.

    1993-01-01

    Instruments developed for making meteorological observations under adverse conditions on Earth can be applied to systems designed for other planetary atmospheres. Specifically, a wind sensor developed for making measurements within tornados is capable of detecting induced pressure differences proportional to wind speed. Adding strain gauges to the sensor would provide wind direction. The device can be constructed in a rugged form for measuring high wind speeds in the presence of blowing dust that would clog bearings and plug passages of conventional wind speed sensors. Sensing static pressure in the lower boundary layer required development of an omnidirectional, tilt-insensitive static pressure probe. The probe provides pressure inputs to a sensor with minimum error and is inherently weather-protected. The wind sensor and static pressure probes have been used in a variety of field programs and can be adapted for use in different planetary atmospheres.

  19. 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.

  20. Optical and Hygroscopic Studies of Aerosols In Simulated Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasenkopf, Christa A.

    2011-08-01

    Basic characteristics of the early Earth climate, the only known environment in the Universe in which life has been known to emerge and thrive, remain a mystery. In particular, little is understood about the Earth's atmosphere 2.8 billion years ago. From climate models and laboratory studies, it is postulated that an organic haze, much like that found on Saturn's largest moon Titan, covered the early Earth. This haze, generated from photolysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), may have had profound climatic consequences. Climate models of the early Earth that include this haze have had to rely upon optical properties of a Titan laboratory analog. Titan haze, though thought to be similar, is formed from a different combination of precursor gases and by different energy sources than early Earth haze. This thesis examines the direct and indirect radiative effects of aerosol on early Earth climate by studying the optical and hygroscopic properties of a laboratory analog. A Titan analog is studied for comparison and to better understand spacecraft-retrieved haze chemical and optical properties from Titan. The properties of the laboratory analogs, generated in a flowing reactor cell with a continuum ultraviolet (UV) light source, were primarily measured using cavity ringdown aerosol extinction spectroscopy and UV-visible (UV-Vis) transmission spectroscopy. We find that the optical properties of our early Earth analog are significantly different than those of the Titan analog from Khare et al. (1984). In both the UV and visible, when modeled as fractals, particles with the optical properties of the early Earth analog have approximately 30% larger extinction efficiencies than particles with Khare et al. (1984) values. This result implies our early Earth haze analog would provide a more efficient UV shield and have a stronger antigreenhouse effect than the Khare et al. (1984) Titan analog. Our Titan analog has significantly smaller imaginary refractive index values

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Modeling XUV/EUV/FUV solar spectral irradiance at very high resolution and the upper atmosphere with applications to extrasolar-planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontenla, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    This talk will present the latest news on the modeling of the UV solar spectral irradiance (SSI) at very high resolution and will show how this modeling compares and complements observations that are now being carried at moderate spectral resolution and over more limited spectral ranges. Also, the talk will show how the new knowledge makes possible to advance the modeling of the Earth's upper atmosphere including the ionosphere and thermosphere with a much more realistic solar input than it has been done in the past. The new improved input prompts for improving the modeling of planetary atmospheres solar/stellar radiation driven processes in a way that is both realistic and practical for GCM models that can take advantage of the new high-resolution spectral irradiance input. Finally, will briefly mention the exploratory calculations we are now carrying out on other stars to assess their planets (or exoplanets) atmospheres.

  5. Spectra of van der Waals complexes (dimers) with applications to planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, Kenneth; Kim, Sang J.

    1988-01-01

    Spectral features observed in the atmosphere of Titan by the Voyager IR experiment have been attributed to weakly bound complexes of N2 and H2, dominant and minor constituents, respectively. The abundance of H2-N2 dimers there was computed. Current calculations include quantitative spectral line positions and intensities for N2-Ar and CO2-CO2 relating to Titan and Earth, and to Mars and Venus, respectively. This work suggests applications to spectra of planetary atmospheres obtained in spacecraft missions.

  6. Variability of solar/stellar activity and magnetic field and its influence on planetary atmosphere evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lammer, Helmut; Güdel, Manuel; Kulikov, Yuri; Ribas, Ignasi; Zaqarashvili, Teimuraz V.; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Kislyakova, Kristina G.; Gröller, Hannes; Odert, Petra; Leitzinger, Martin; Fichtinger, Bibiana; Krauss, Sandro; Hausleitner, Walter; Holmström, Mats; Sanz-Forcada, Jorge; Lichtenegger, Herbert I. M.; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Shematovich, Valery I.; Bisikalo, Dmitry; Rauer, Heike; Fridlund, Malcolm

    2012-02-01

    It is shown that the evolution of planetary atmospheres can only be understood if one recognizes the fact that the radiation and particle environment of the Sun or a planet's host star were not always on the same level as at present. New insights and the latest observations and research regarding the evolution of the solar radiation, plasma environment and solar/stellar magnetic field derived from the observations of solar proxies with different ages will be given. We show that the extreme radiation and plasma environments of the young Sun/stars have important implications for the evolution of planetary atmospheres and may be responsible for the fact that planets with low gravity like early Mars most likely never build up a dense atmosphere during the first few 100 Myr after their origin. Finally we present an innovative new idea on how hydrogen clouds and energetic neutral atom (ENA) observations around transiting Earth-like exoplanets by space observatories such as the WSO-UV, can be used for validating the addressed atmospheric evolution studies. Such observations would enhance our understanding on the impact on the activity of the young Sun on the early atmospheres of Venus, Earth, Mars and other Solar System bodies as well as exoplanets.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The aurora as a source of planetary-scale waves in the middle atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiu, Y. T.; Straus, J. M.

    1975-01-01

    Photographs of global-scale auroral forms taken by scanning radiometers onboard U.S. Air Force 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 measured by the 1967-50B satellite in the 150- to 220-km region during the geomagnetic storm of May 27, 1967. The horizontal scale size revealed by these observations is 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. The possible existence of a 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.

  11. Planetary atmospheres with mass spectrometers carried on high-speed probes or satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nier, A. O.

    1977-01-01

    Earth satellite-borne mass spectrometers are considered, taking into account the identification of atomic oxygen in the thermosphere with an 'open' source mass spectrometer flown on a sounding rocket, the conventional closed-source instrument, the mass spectrometers on the Atmosphere Explorer satellites, and mass spectrometer electron multiplier output. A description is presented of mass spectrometers and planetary entry probes. Attention is given to an attempt to obtain an atmospheric composition profile with a terrestrial entry probe, the descending trajectory in the early orbits of the Atmosphere Explorer C satellite, and the molecular nitrogen densities for the descending legs of the orbits. It is pointed out that chemical reactions on the surfaces of the mass spectrometer make the measurement of reactive atmospheric species such as atomic oxygen very difficult.

  12. 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.

  13. Meteoric Material - One of the Least Explored Components of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moses, J. I.; Grebowsky, J. M.; Pesnell, W. D.; Weisman, A. L.

    2001-12-01

    Interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) continuously impact all the planets and their satellites in the solar system. In all planetary atmospheres IDPs leave their imprint as aerosols or smoke particles that are left behind when the IDPs do not ablate completely or when the ablated vapors recondense. In addition, in all atmospheres they produce ionization layers comprised of metallic ions, predominantly Mg+ and Fe+. On Earth the metal ions are frequently measured to be the dominant positively charged species in low-latitude ionospheric layers. Theoretical models provide evidence that such layers exist at Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Saturn's moon Titan. Even the sparse atmosphere of Triton may be lit up by meteors. Spacecraft radio occultation measurements reveal low altitude, narrow ionosphere layers at each of the giant planets. These narrow features appear to be consistent with the presence of metallic ions that have been compressed by electrodynamic processes as on Earth. Observations at Mars and Venus do not show clear evidence of such layers. The IDPs also deposit nonmetal neutral species in the ablation process. For the inner planets these species blend unnoticed into the atmosphere, but for the outer planets they can lead to persistent amounts of water vapor and carbon dioxide. Although many measurements are available for the Earth, measurements of the IDP distributions and their atmospheric signatures at other planets are in their initial stages at the present time. Modeling efforts are still qualitative as the chemical reaction rates for many of the ablated gases are not established. Most of our knowledge of long lasting IDP atmospheric effects is derived from what we know about Earth, for which our understanding is still far from complete. This component of all atmospheres must be treated as a key factor in all planetary atmospheric aeronomy systems.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Microlensing for extrasolar planets : improving the photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajek, David J.

    2013-08-01

    Gravitational Microlensing, as a technique for detecting Extrasolar Planets, is recognised for its potential in discovering small-mass planets similar to Earth, at a distance of a few Astronomical Units from their host stars. However, analysing the data from microlensing events (which statistically rarely reveal planets) is complex and requires continued and intensive use of various networks of telescopes working together in order to observe the phenomenon. As such the techniques are constantly being developed and refined; this project outlines some steps of the careful analysis required to model an event and ensure the best quality data is used in the fitting. A quantitative investigation into increasing the quality of the original photometric data available from any microlensing event demonstrates that 'lucky imaging' can lead to a marked improvement in the signal to noise ratio of images over standard imaging techniques, which could result in more accurate models and thus the calculation of more accurate planetary parameters. In addition, a simulation illustrating the effects of atmospheric turbulence on exposures was created, and expanded upon to give an approximation of the lucky imaging technique. This further demonstrated the advantages of lucky images which are shown to potentially approach the quality of those expected from diffraction limited photometry. The simulation may be further developed for potential future use as a 'theoretical lucky imager' in our research group, capable of producing and analysing synthetic exposures through customisable conditions.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The influence of line shape and band structure on temperatures in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arking, A.; Grossman, K.

    1972-01-01

    Numerical experiments are performed to examine the effects of line shape and band structure on the radiative equilibrium temperature profile in planetary atmospheres. In order to accurately determine these effects, a method for calculating radiative terms is developed which avoids the usual approximations. It differs from the more commonly used methods in that it allows arbitrary dependence of the absorption coefficient on wave number, without requiring tedious line by line integration and without the constraints of band models. The present formulation is restricted to homogeneous atmospheres but the concept can be extended to the more general case. The numerical experiments reveal that the line shape and band structure of the absorbing gases have a large effect on temperatures in the higher layers of the atmosphere (corresponding to the stratosphere and mesosphere). The more nongrey the spectrum (that is, the higher the peaks and the deeper the troughs in the spectrum), the lower the temperature.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Kinetics of suprathermal hydrogen atom reactions with saturated hydrides in planetary and satellite atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, Richard J.; Kaiser, Ralf I.

    2003-05-01

    The kinetics of saturated hydrides methane (CH 4), silane (SiH 4), germane (GeH 4), ammonia (NH 3), phosphine (PH 3), arsane (AsH 3), water (H 2O), and hydrogen sulfide (H 2S) in the low-temperature atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Titan, and Triton reacting with suprathermal hydrogen atoms were investigated computationally to extract suprathermal rate constants k( E) via an inverse Laplace transformation from experimentally available thermal rate constants k( T). Our data reveal that all suprathermal rate constants range up to 10 -10 cm3 s-1, whereas the thermal counterparts are as low as 8×10 -73 cm3 s-1. These data demonstrate explicitly a significantly enhanced reactivity of photolytically generated suprathermal hydrogen atoms in the low-temperature planetary and satellite atmospheres and suggest that this hitherto unaccounted reaction class should be included by the planetary modeling community into future photochemical networks of atmospheres of outer solar system planets and their moons.

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

    PubMed

    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?

  7. Application of the Stogryn-Hirschfelder treatment of weak dimers to planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slanina, Zdenek; Fox, Kenneth; Kim, Sang J.

    1992-01-01

    The thermodynamics of carbon dioxide dimerization is treated as an example of the evaluation of weak dimer populations in planetary atmospheres (e.g., Mars and Venus). Two approaches considered are the Stogryn-Hirschfelder (1960) treatment using the Lennard-Jones interaction and calculations based on recent quantum chemical data. Several improvements of these treatments are developed. It is indicated that carbon dioxide dimers may be less or more abundant at the surfaces of Mars or Venus, respectively, than is suggested by previous calculations.

  8. 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.

  9. Small mass spectrometer with extended measurement capabilities at high pressures. [for planetary atmosphere analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Von Zahn, U.; Mauersberger, K.

    1978-01-01

    For the in situ investigation of planetary atmospheres a small Mattauch-Herzog mass spectrometer has been developed. Its high-pressure performance has been improved by incorporating differential pumping between the ion source and the analyzing fields, shortening the path-length as well as increasing the extraction field in the ion source. In addition doubly ionized and dissociated ions are used for mass analysis. These measures make possible operation up to 0.01 millibars. Results of laboratory tests related to linearity, dynamic range, and mass resolution are presented, in particular for CO2.

  10. 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?.

  11. Radio scintillations during occultations by turbulent planetary atmospheres. [remote sensing via flyby spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woo, R.; Ishimaru, A.; Yang, F.-C.

    1980-01-01

    The radio occultation experiment which uses the radio link between the earth and spacecraft passing behind planets has proven to be an important method for remote sensing turbulence in planetary atmospheres. The effects of defocusing and anisotropic irregularities on the turbulence-induced fluctuations of the radio occultation signal are examined. Rytov's method along with geometrical optics is employed to study the frequency spectra and coherences of the log amplitude and phase fluctuations of spherical waves operating at one as well as two frequencies. Comparison with the Mariner 5 2.3-GHz measurements shows good agreement with the theoretical results.

  12. Laboratory studies on N(2D) reactions of relevance to the chemistry of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balucani, N.; Casavecchia, P.

    Molecular nitrogen is a very stable molecule, practically inert from a chemical point of view. For a nitrogen chemistry to occur in the planetary atmospheres which contain N2 , it is necessary to transform it into an active form, such as atoms or ions. As far as the production of atomic nitrogen in the upper atmospheres of planets (like Mars) or moons (like Titan) is concerned, several processes - as N2 dissociation induced by electron impact, EUV photolysis (λ <80 nm) and dissociative photoionization, or galactic cosmic ray absorption and N+ dissociative recombination all 2 lead to atomic nitrogen, notably in the ground, 4 S3/2 , and first electronically excited, 2 D3/2,5/2 , states with comparable yields. The radiative lifetimes of the metastable states 2 D3/2 and 2 D5/2 are quite long (12.3 and 48 hours, respectively), because the transition from a doublet to a quartet state is strongly forbidden. In addition, the physical quenching of N(2 D) is often a slow process and in some important cases the main fate of N(2 D) is chemical reaction with other constituents of the planetary atmospheres. The production of N atoms in the 2 D state is an important fact, because N(4 S) atoms exhibit very low reactivity with closed-shell molecules and the probability of collision with an open-shell radical is small. Unfortunately laboratory experiments on the gas-phase reactions of N(2 D) have been lacking until recently, because of serious experimental difficulties in studying these reactive systems. Accurate kinetic data on the reactions of N(2 D) with the some molecules of relevance to the chemistry of planetary atmospheres have finally become available in the late 90's, but a better knowledge of the reactive behavior requires a dynamical investigation of N(2 D) reactions. The capability of generating intense continuous beams of N(2 D) achieved in our laboratory some years ago has opened up the possibility of studying the reactive scattering of this species under single

  13. 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

  14. Laboratory studies at high resolution of the infrared absorption spectra of a number of gases found in planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, R. H.

    1983-01-01

    The infrared absorption spectra of a number of gases found in planetary atmospheres were studied at high resolution. Absorption line measurements which can be of value for the interpretation of planetary spectra in terms of molecular abundances and conditions in the planetary atmospheres were provided. The high resolution spectra have yielded measurements of individual vibration rotation line parameters including positions, strengths, pressure broadened widths and, where assignments were unknown, the temperature sensitivity of the strengths. Such information allows the determinations of the absorption of a given molecular gas under planetary conditions of temperature and pressure and at the same time it provides the data necessary if the spectra are to be understood in terms of basic molecular theory. Thus this work has included spectral analysis in the form of line assignments as well as fitting of the data to Hamiltonian models. Such fitting is very useful in that it helps to confirm and extend the assignments.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Ash Dispersal in Planetary Atmospheres: Continuum vs. Non-continuum Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagents, S. A.; Baloga, S. M.; Glaze, L. S.

    2013-12-01

    The dispersal of ash from a volcanic vent on any given planet is dictated by particle properties (density, shape, and size distribution), the intensity of the eruptive source, and the characteristics of the planetary environment (atmospheric structure, wind field, and gravity) into which the ash is erupted. Relating observations of potential pyroclastic deposits to source locations and eruption conditions requires a detailed quantitative understanding of the settling rates of individual particles under changing ambient conditions. For atmospheres that are well described by continuum mechanics, the conventional Newtonian description of particle motion allows particle settling velocities to be related to particle characteristics via a drag coefficient. However, under rarefied atmospheric conditions (i.e., on Mars and at high altitude on Earth), non-continuum effects become important for ash-sized particles, and an equation of motion based on statistical mechanics is required for calculating particle motion. We have developed a rigorous new treatment of particle settling under variable atmospheric conditions and applied it to Earth and Mars. When non-continuum effects are important (as dictated by the mean free path of atmospheric gas relative to the particle size), fall velocities are greater than those calculated by continuum mechanics. When continuum conditions (i.e., higher atmospheric densities) are reached during descent, our model switches to a conventional formulation that determines the appropriate drag coefficient as the particle transits varying atmospheric properties. The variation of settling velocity with altitude allows computation of particle trajectories, fall durations and downwind dispersal. Our theoretical and numerical analyses show that several key, competing factors strongly influence the downwind trajectories of ash particles and the extents of the resulting deposits. These factors include: the shape of the particles (non-spherical particles

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Observed properties of extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Howard, Andrew W

    2013-05-03

    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.

  4. 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].

  5. The molecular physics of photolytic fractionation of sulfur and oxygen isotopes in planetary atmospheres (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, M. S.; Schmidt, J. A.; Hattori, S.; Danielache, S.; Meusinger, C.; Schinke, R.; Ueno, Y.; Nanbu, S.; Kjaergaard, H. G.; Yoshida, N.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric photochemistry is able to produce large mass independent anomalies in atmospheric trace gases that can be found in geological and cryospheric records. This talk will present theoretical and experimental investigations of the molecular mechanisms producing photolytic fractionation of isotopes with special attention to sulfur and oxygen. The zero point vibrational energy (ZPE) shift and reflection principle theories are starting points for estimating isotopic fractionation, but these models ignore effects arising from isotope-dependent changes in couplings between surfaces, excited state dynamics, line densities and hot band populations. The isotope-dependent absorption spectra of the isotopologues of HCl, N2O, OCS, CO2 and SO2 have been examined in a series of papers and these results are compared with experiment and ZPE/reflection principle models. Isotopic fractionation in planetary atmospheres has many interesting applications. The UV absorption of CO2 is the basis of photochemistry in the CO2-rich atmospheres of the ancient Earth, and of Mars and Venus. For the first time we present accurate temperature and isotope dependent CO2 absorption cross sections with important implications for photolysis rates of SO2 and H2O, and the production of a mass independent anomaly in the Ox reservoir. Experimental and theoretical results for OCS have implications for the modern stratospheric sulfur budget. The absorption bands of SO2 are complex with rich structure producing isotopic fractionation in photolysis and photoexcitation.

  6. 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.

  7. Direct modeling of transiting planet light curves from model stellar atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mcneil, Joseph; Neilson, H.; Ignace, R.

    2014-01-01

    Recent and new observations of extrasolar planets via the transit method are provided unparalleled measurements that enhance our understanding of both the planets and their host stars. However, analysis techniques assume simple parameters to describe the stellar intensity profile. In this work, we compare new planetary transit light curves computed directly from model stellar atmosphere intensity profiles with light curves computed using limb-darkening coefficients. This comparison highlights the need for better models of stellar intensities and atmospheres to better understand the extrasolar planets themselves, especially in the upcoming eras of TESS and PLATO.

  8. 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.

  9. Extrasolar planets detections and statistics through gravitational microlensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassan, A.

    2014-10-01

    Gravitational microlensing was proposed thirty years ago as a promising method to probe the existence and properties of compact objects in the Galaxy and its surroundings. The particularity and strength of the technique is based on the fact that the detection does not rely on the detection of the photon emission of the object itself, but on the way its mass affects the path of light of a background, almost aligned source. Detections thus include not only bright, but also dark objects. Today, the many successes of gravitational microlensing have largely exceeded the original promises. Microlensing contributed important results and breakthroughs in several astrophysical fields as it was used as a powerful tool to probe the Galactic structure (proper motions, extinction maps), to search for dark and compact massive objects in the halo and disk of the Milky Way, to probe the atmospheres of bulge red giant stars, to search for low-mass stars and brown dwarfs and to hunt for extrasolar planets. As an extrasolar planet detection method, microlensing nowadays stands in the top five of the successful observational techniques. Compared to other (complementary) detection methods, microlensing provides unique information on the population of exoplanets, because it allows the detection of very low-mass planets (down to the mass of the Earth) at large orbital distances from their star (0.5 to 10 AU). It is also the only technique that allows the discovery of planets at distances from Earth greater than a few kiloparsecs, up to the bulge of the Galaxy. Microlensing discoveries include the first ever detection of a cool super-Earth around an M-dwarf star, the detection of several cool Neptunes, Jupiters and super-Jupiters, as well as multi-planetary systems and brown dwarfs. So far, the least massive planet detected by microlensing has only three times the mass of the Earth and orbits a very low mass star at the edge of the brown dwarf regime. Several free-floating planetary

  10. DETECTING AND CONSTRAINING N{sub 2} ABUNDANCES IN PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES USING COLLISIONAL PAIRS

    SciTech Connect

    Schwieterman, Edward W.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Misra, Amit; Robinson, Tyler D.; 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 (N{sub 2}) 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, N{sub 2} is extremely difficult to remotely detect. However, N{sub 2} produces an N{sub 2}–N{sub 2} collisional pair, (N{sub 2}){sub 2}, which is spectrally active. Here we report the detection of (N{sub 2}){sub 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 (N{sub 2}){sub 2} absorption produces a ∼35% decrease in flux at 4.15 μm. Quantifying N{sub 2} could provide a means of determining bulk atmospheric composition for terrestrial exoplanets and could rule out abiotic O{sub 2} generation, which is possible in rarefied atmospheres. To explore the potential effects of (N{sub 2}){sub 2} in exoplanet spectra, we used radiative transfer models to generate synthetic emission and transit transmission spectra of self-consistent N{sub 2}–CO{sub 2}–H{sub 2}O atmospheres, and analytic N{sub 2}–H{sub 2} and N{sub 2}–H{sub 2}–CO{sub 2} atmospheres. We show that (N{sub 2}){sub 2} absorption in the wings of the 4.3 μm CO{sub 2} band is strongly dependent on N{sub 2} partial pressures above 0.5 bar and can significantly widen this band in thick N{sub 2} atmospheres. The (N{sub 2}){sub 2} transit transmission signal is up to 10 ppm for an Earth-size planet with an N{sub 2}-dominated atmosphere orbiting within the habitable zone of an M5V star and could be substantially larger for planets with significant H{sub 2} mixing ratios.

  11. 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.

  12. Impact of variations of gravitational acceleration on the general circulation of the planetary atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilic, Cevahir; Raible, Christoph C.; Stocker, Thomas F.; Kirk, Edilbert

    2017-01-01

    Fundamental to the redistribution of energy in a planetary atmosphere is the general circulation and its meridional structure. We use a general circulation model of the atmosphere in an aquaplanet configuration with prescribed sea surface temperature and investigate the influence of the gravitational acceleration g on the structure of the circulation. For g =g0 = 9.81 ms-2 , three meridional cells exist in each hemisphere. Up to about g /g0 = 1.4 all cells increase in strength. Further increasing this ratio results in a weakening of the thermally indirect cell, such that a two- and finally a one-cell structure of the meridional circulation develops in each hemisphere. This transition is explained by the primary driver of the thermally direct Hadley cell: the diabatic heating at the equator which is proportional to g. The analysis of the energetics of the atmospheric circulation based on the Lorenz energy cycle supports this finding. For Earth-like gravitational accelerations transient eddies are primarily responsible for the meridional heat flux. For large gravitational accelerations, the direct zonal mean conversion of energy dominates the meridional heat flux.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2015-06-23

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Noble gas isotopic composition as a key reference parameter in a planetary atmospheric evolution model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozima, M.

    2010-12-01

    The isotopic composition of noble gases is a key reference parameter in discussing the evolution of planetary atmospheres. Currently, two widely occurring noble gas components are identified in the early solar system, one is the Solar Wind noble gas (SW-noble gas, hereafter) and another is the Q-noble gas in unaltered meteorites: both noble gases are characterized by their ubiquitous occurrence and high isotopic homogeneity. Since the SW-noble gas is directly ejected from the Sun, it has been assumed to be a good proxy of the average noble gas isotopic composition in the Sun, namely the solar noble gas. The systematic enrichment of the heavier isotopes in the Q-noble gas relative to the SW-noble gas is then commonly attributed to its isotopic fractionation from the SW-noble gas. However, the isotopic compositions of the SW-noble gas either implanted on lunar soils or trapped by artificial targets show considerable isotopic variation depending on the velocity of the Solar Wind. Therefore, it is important to examine how closely the SW-noble gas represents the indigenous solar noble gas component or the mean isotopic composition of noble gases of the Sun. Here we show that the isotopic composition of the SW-noble gas is substantially fractionated relative to the solar value, and therefore should not be used as a reference parameter. We further suggest that the post D-burning Q-noble gas (see below) is the better proxy of the solar noble gas, and this should be used as a reference of the Solar noble gas isotopic composition in discussing the planetary atmospheric evolution. The most distinct difference between the Q- and the SW-noble gas is apparent in a 3He/4He isotopic ratio: 4.64e-4 in Q-He [1], but 1.23e-4 in SW-He[2]. The difference is attributed to the conversion of deuteron (D) to 3He in the Sun, namely the D-burning [3], due to high temperature during the pre-main sequence stage of the Sun. With the use of recent data on D/H ratios from helio-seismology [4] and

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Extrasolar planets around intermediate mass stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatzes, A. P.

    2008-08-01

    One of the earliest hints for extrasolar planets came with the discovery almost 15 years ago of low amplitude, long period radial velocity (RV) variations in several K giant stars, β Gem, α Tau (Aldebaran) and α Boo. Since then it has been confirmed that for β Gem (stellar mass =1.7 Modot) these RV variations are due to a planetary companion. Aldebaran is another K giant star showing long-lived (>26 years) and coherent RV variations. These are most likely due to a planetary companion having a mass of 9 MJup using an estimated mass of 2.5 Modot for the star. Giant stars like α Tau and β Gem offer us the possibility of studying the process of planet formation around stars more massive than the sun. The main sequence stars with masses >1.2 Modot are ill-suited for RV surveys as there are few spectral lines for measuring the RV and these are often broadened by high rates of stellar rotation. Currently over 20 intermediate mass giant stars are known to host extrasolar planets. This sample is sufficiently large that we can begin to look at the overall properties of planets around intermediate mass stars. These suggest that more massive stars may have more massive planets that the orbital eccentricities for their extrasolar planets show the wide range of eccentricities seen for main sequence, solar mass stars, and that unlike for main sequence stars there seems to be no preference for metal rich intermediate mass stars to host extrasolar planets.

  3. Inverse multiple scattering problems. III - Inadequacy of certain limb darkening and phase curves for retrieving atmospheric information and limitations of approximate scattering models. [for planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fymat, A. L.; Lenoble, J.

    1979-01-01

    The paper considers three complementary inverse multiple scattering problems relating to a uniquely defined atmospheric scattering model. Consideration is given to the appropriateness, for data inversion purposes, of intensities observed in diffuse reflection under a variety of experimental conditions; the uniqueness of the inverse solution is investigated. It is found that light curves representing monotonic variations, such as limb darkening curves and phase curves for a planetary (e.g., Venus) disk center are unsuitable for inferring atmospheric and scattering parameters.

  4. 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.

  5. Role of desorption processes in the formation of K in tenuous planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madey, T. E.; Yakshinskiy, B. V.

    2001-11-01

    We will discuss recent laboratory data indicating that DIET processes (desorption induced by electronic transitions) may affect planetary atmospheres. We focus on the origins of neutral potassium vapor in the atmospheres of the planet Mercury, the Moon, and the icy satellites of Jupiter. We are conducting ultrahigh-vacuum studies of adsorption and desorption of atomic potassium on model mineral systems (SiO2 thin films), as well as on models of icy satellite surfaces (condensed water ice films). We found evidence previously that non-thermal processes - mainly photon-stimulated desorption (PSD) by UV photons - may play a dominant role in desorption of Na atoms from the lunar surface[1], and the present results indicate that K can be desorbed by PSD. The desorption mechanism involves a photon-excited charge-exchange process, in which adsorbed ionic K is converted to neutral K, which desorbs. Recent data on desorption from a lunar sample will be discussed. [1] B. V. Yakshinskiy and T. E. Madey, Nature 400(1999) 642; Surface Science 451 (2000) 160. This work has been supported in part by NASA

  6. XUV-driven mass loss from extrasolar giant planets orbiting active stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chadney, J. M.; Galand, M.; Unruh, Y. C.; Koskinen, T. T.; Sanz-Forcada, J.

    2015-04-01

    Upper atmospheres of Hot Jupiters are subject to extreme radiation conditions that can result in rapid atmospheric escape. The composition and structure of the upper atmospheres of these planets are affected by the high-energy spectrum of the host star. This emission depends on stellar type and age, which are thus important factors in understanding the behaviour of exoplanetary atmospheres. In this study, we focus on Extrasolar Giant Planets (EPGs) orbiting K and M dwarf stars. XUV spectra for three different stars - ɛ Eridani, AD Leonis and AU Microscopii - are constructed using a coronal model. Neutral density and temperature profiles in the upper atmosphere of hypothetical EGPs orbiting these stars are then obtained from a fluid model, incorporating atmospheric chemistry and taking atmospheric escape into account. We find that a simple scaling based solely on the host star's X-ray emission gives large errors in mass loss rates from planetary atmospheres and so we have derived a new method to scale the EUV regions of the solar spectrum based upon stellar X-ray emission. This new method produces an outcome in terms of the planet's neutral upper atmosphere very similar to that obtained using a detailed coronal model of the host star. Our results indicate that in planets subjected to radiation from active stars, the transition from Jeans escape to a regime of hydrodynamic escape at the top of the atmosphere occurs at larger orbital distances than for planets around low activity stars (such as the Sun).

  7. Extrasolar Planets: A Review of Current Observations and Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, Richard P.

    Since the discovery of a planet orbiting the star 51 Peg, there has been a tremendous increase in both theoretical and observational work aimed at examining the occurrence and nature of extrasolar planetary systems. In addition to the radial velocity searches that have led to the discovery of close to 50 extrasolar planets to date, we are now beginning to witness the first results from alternative searching methods such as microlensing and transit observations. Recent observations of a planet transiting the star HD 209458 have yielded detailed information on the nature of extrasolar planets. Proposed future ground and space based observing programmes promise to provide us with a detailed view of planetary systems in the Galaxy, including terrestrial as well as giant planets, on a time scale of a decade.At the current juncture, the major challenge facing planet formation theorists is to provide an explanation of the current data on extrasolar planets. At present there is no unified picture that provides a tidy explanation for the diversity of systems observed, but progress in our understanding of planet formation is continuing to develop.In this article we will review the current state of the observations of extrasolar planets, as well as the current theoretical models of their formation and structure. Future directions for both observational and theoretical work will also be indicated.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. In-situ exploration of planetary upper atmospheres with balloons ejected from sounding rockets and space probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danielides, Michael; Griebel, Hannes; Bayler, Klaus; Herholz, J.

    Balloon missions have been used extensively on Earth to study a large variety of atmospheric characteristics and phenomena. Of primary interest are in situ temperature, pressure and density profiles and wind velocities. The first planetary balloons were flown in the mid 1980s with the Vega 1 and 2 missions to Venus. Since then, balloons have been further developed and planed for, e.g., Mars and Titan. Testing those technologies first on Earth made sense because Earths upper (neutral) atmosphere provides many similarities to Mars atmosphere. The aim of this presentation is to provide a brief overview of the current state in scientific ballooning, and in particular report on the expertise obtained through the MIRIAM (Main Inflated Re-entry Into the Atmosphere Mission Test) Mars balloon near space deployment experiments. The test ballute MIRIAM was flown on board a REXUS 4 sounding rocket from ESRANGE in northern Sweden on October 22nd, 2008. The balloon was deployed at about 140 km altitude. On board were optical instruments, magnetometers, temperature sensors and barometers for atmospheric studies. The data gathered during decent was used to validate inflation, deployment concepts and planetary balloon technologies. Based on those results a new ballute probe MIRIAM-2 is under construction. Its aim is the recording atmospheric parameters which will be then compared to Earth upper atmospheric models. Finally, we address and discuss future prospects for balloon in situ exploration of Mars atmosphere.

  12. 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.

  13. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astornomy and Planetary Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reach, William T.; SOFIA Sciece Mission Operations

    2016-10-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy enables observations at far-infrared wavelengths, including the range 30-300 microns that is nearly completely obscured from the ground. By flying in the stratosphere above 95% of atmospheric water vapor, access is opened to photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric observations of Solar System targets spanning small bodies through major planets. Extrasolar planetary systems can be observed through their debris disks or transits, and forming planetary systems through protoplanetary disks, protostellar envelopes, and molecular cloud cores. SOFIA operates out of Southern California most of the year. For the summer of 2016, we deployed to New Zealand with 3 scientific instruments. The HAWC+ far-infrared photopolarimeter was recently flown and is in commissioning, and two projects are in Phase A study to downselect to one new facility instrument. The Cycle 5 observing proposal results are anticipated to be be released by the time of this DPS meeting, and successful planetary proposals will be advertised.

  14. 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

  15. Homes for extraterrestrial life: extrasolar planets.

    PubMed

    Latham, D W

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers are now discovering giant planets orbiting other stars like the sun by the dozens. But none of these appears to be a small rocky planet like the earth, and thus these planets are unlikely to be capable of supporting life as we know it. The recent discovery of a system of three planets is especially significant because it supports the speculation that planetary systems, as opposed to single orbiting planets, may be common. Our ability to detect extrasolar planets will continue to improve, and space missions now in development should be able to detect earth-like planets.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Search for hydrogen peroxide in the Martian atmosphere by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer onboard Mars Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aoki, Shohei; Giuranna, Marco; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Nakagawa, Hiromu; Sindoni, Giuseppe; Geminale, Anna; Formisano, Vittorio

    2015-01-01

    We searched for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the Martian atmosphere using data measured by the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) onboard Mars Express during five martian years (MY27-31). It is well known that H2O2 plays a key role in the oxidizing capacity of the Martian atmosphere. However, only a few studies based on ground-based observations can be found in the literature. Here, we performed the first analysis of H2O2 using long-term measurements by a spacecraft-borne instrument. We used the ν4 band of H2O2 in the spectral range between 359 cm-1 and 382 cm-1 where strong features of H2O2 are present around 362 cm-1 and 379 cm-1. Since the features were expected to be very weak even at the strong band, sensitive data calibrations were performed and a large number of spectra were selected and averaged. We made three averaged spectra for different seasons over relatively low latitudes (50°S-50°N). We found features of H2O2 at 379 cm-1, whereas no clear features were detected at 362 cm-1 due to large amounts of uncertainty in the data. The derived mixing ratios of H2O2 were close to the detection limits: 16 ± 19 ppb at Ls = 0-120°, 35 ± 32 ppb at Ls = 120-240°, and 41 ± 28 ppb at Ls = 240-360°. The retrieved value showed the detection of H2O2 only for the third seasonal period, and the values in the other periods provided the upper limits. These long-term averaged abundances derived by the PFS generally agreed with the ones reported by ground-based observations. From our derived mixing ratio of H2O2, the lifetime of CH4 in the Martian atmosphere is estimated to be several decades in the shortest case. Our results and sporadic detections of CH4 suggest the presence of strong CH4 sinks not subject to atmospheric oxidation.

  2. Title: Characterizing a Frozen Extrasolar World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skemer, Andrew J.; Morley, Caroline V.; Allers, Katelyn N.; Geballe, Thomas R.; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Faherty, Jacqueline K.; Bjoraker, Gordon L.

    2016-01-01

    The recently discovered brown dwarf WISE 0855 presents our first opportunity to study an object outside the Solar System that is nearly as cold as our own gas giant planets. However the traditional methodology for characterizing brown dwarfs-near infrared spectroscopy-is not currently feasible as WISE 0855 is too cold and faint. To characterize this frozen extrasolar world we obtained a 4.5-5.2 micrometers spectrum, the same bandpass long used to study Jupiter's deep thermal emission. Our spectrum reveals the presence of atmospheric water vapor and clouds, with an absorption profile that is strikingly similar to Jupiter. The spectrum is high enough quality to allow the investigation of dynamical and chemical processes that have long been studied in Jupiter's atmosphere, but this time on an extrasolar world.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A laboratory investigation of the production and properties of molecular and radical species pertinent to planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fahr, Askar; Herron, John; Laufer, Allan H.

    1990-01-01

    Vinylidene (H2C=C) is shown to be the largest photodecomposition channel in the direct photolysis of both C2H2 and C2H4. The chemistry of H2C=C as it relates to planetary atmospheres is discussed. The vinyl radical (C2H3), important in the acetylene chemistry cycle, has been directly observed spectroscopically and the kinetics of several key reactions of this species measured.

  9. 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.

  10. Possibilities for the Detection of Microbial Life on Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knacke, Roger F.

    2003-11-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Planetary wave coupling between the troposphere and the middle atmosphere as a possible sun-weather mechanism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geller, M. A.; Alpert, J. C.

    1980-01-01

    The possibility of planetary wave coupling between the troposphere and solar-induced alterations in the upper atmosphere providing a viable mechanism for giving rise to sun-weather relationships is investigated. Some of the observational evidence for solar-activity-induced effects on levels of the upper atmosphere ranging from the thermosphere down to the lower stratosphere are reviewed. It is concluded that there is evidence for such effects extending down to the middle stratosphere and below. Evidence is also reviewed that these effects are due to changes in solar ultraviolet emission during disturbed solar conditions. A theoretical planetary wave model is then used to see at what levels in the upper atmosphere moderate changes in the mean zonal wind state would result in tropospheric changes. It is concluded that changes in the mean zonal flow of about 20% at levels in the vicinity of 35 km or below would give rise to changes in the tropospheric planetary wave pattern that are less than but on the same order as the observed interannual variability in the tropospheric wave pattern at middle and high latitudes.

  13. Studies of Tidal and Planetary Wave Variability in the Middle Atmosphere using UARS and Correlative MF Radar Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritts, David C.

    1996-01-01

    The goals of this research effort have been to use MF radar and UARS/HRDI wind measurements for correlative studies of large-scale atmospheric dynamics, focusing specifically on the tidal and various planetary wave structures occurring in the middle atmosphere. We believed that the two data sets together would provide the potential for much more comprehensive studies than either by itself, since they jointly would allow the removal of ambiguities in wave structure that are difficult to resolve with either data set alone. The joint data were to be used for studies of wave structure, variability, and the coupling of these motions to mean and higher-frequency motions.

  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. 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.

  16. Atmospheric planetary boundary layer feedback in climate system and triggering of climate change at high latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esau, I.; Zilitinkevich, S.

    2009-04-01

    Recent publications have revealed that modern, state-of-the-art climate-change models (CCMs) are not sensitive enough to reproduce some fine features of the observed changes in the surface air temperature (SAT) especially at high latitudes. We propose that this problem results from inaccurate representation of the very shallow long-lived stable (LS) and conventionally neutral (CN) atmospheric planetary boundary layers (PBLs) typical of high latitudes, especially of Polar regions. LS and CN PBLs, not yet included in the context of climate modelling, are almost an order of magnitude shallower than mid-latitudinal nocturnal stable (NS) and truly neutral (TN) PBLs, which are the only concern of the traditional theory of stable PBLs. In is only natural that factually observed shallow PBLs respond to thermal impacts (e.g. to the changes in the surface heat balance) much stronger than much deeper PBLs reproduced by the current PBL schemes. In this paper we investigate analytically the PBL feedback in climate system for all known kinds of PBL: stable (distinguishing between NS and LS), neutral (distinguishing between TN and CN) and also convective). Besides very high sensitivity of LS PBLs, quite consistent with the observed variability in SAT, our analyses reveal that in some specific conditions global warming could cause "strange cases" of local cooling. We also obtained analytically that the daily minimum temperatures are more sensitive to the global warming than the daily maximum temperatures, which, at least partially, explains such observed phenomena as asymmetry in the diurnal temperature trends and almost global reduction of the diurnal temperature range.

  17. HITRAN2016 : new and improved data and tools towards studies of planetary atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordon, Iouli; Rothman, Laurence S.; Wilzewski, Jonas S.; Kochanov, Roman V.; Hill, Christian; Tan, Yan; Wcislo, Piotr

    2016-10-01

    The HITRAN2016 molecular spectroscopic database is scheduled to be released this year. It will replace the current edition, HITRAN2012 [1], which has been in use, along with some intermediate updates, since 2012.We have added, revised, and improved many transitions and bands of molecular species and their isotopologues. Also, the amount of parameters has also been significantly increased, now incorporating, for instance, broadening by He, H2 and CO2 which are dominant in different planetary atmospheres [2]; non-Voigt line profiles [3]; and other phenomena. This poster will provide a summary of the updates, emphasizing details of some of the most important or drastic improvements or additions.To allow flexible incorporation of the new parameters and improve the efficiency of the database usage, the whole database has been reorganized into a relational database structure and presented to the user by means of a very powerful, easy-to-use internet program called HITRANonline [4] accessible at . This interface allows the user many queries in standard and user-defined formats. In addition, a powerful application called HAPI (HITRAN Application Programing Interface) [5] was developed. HAPI is a set of Python libraries that allows much more functionality for the user. Demonstration of the power of the new tools will also be offered.This work is supported by the NASA PATM (NNX13AI59G), PDART (NNX16AG51G) and AURA (NNX14AI55G) programs.References[1] L.S. Rothman et al, JQSRT 130, 4 (2013)[2] J. S. Wilzewski et al., JQSRT 168, 193 (2016)[3] P. Wcislo et al., JQSRT 177, 75 (2016)[4] C. Hill et al, JQSRT 177, 4 (2016)[5] R.V. Kochanov et al, JQSRT 177, 15 (2016)

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. The Martian atmosphere above great volcanoes: Early planetary Fourier spectrometer observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, D.; Fiorenza, C.; Zasova, L. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Maturilli, A.; Formisano, V.; Giuranna, M.

    2005-08-01

    This work reports the first observations of the Martian atmosphere returned by the planetary Fourier spectrometer (PFS) on board of Mars express (MEX) satellite in the vicinity of the greatest volcanic domes of the planet. Two of the early MEX orbits have already covered the region of Olympus Mons and Ascraeus Mons. These measurements are very similar in terms of local time (14LT) and season ( L=337 and 342, respectively). The long wavelength channel (LWC) of the instrument works in the thermal IR (300-1500 cm -1); its data allow the simultaneous retrieval of surface temperature, integrated content of water ice and dust suspended in the atmosphere and air thermal field up to an altitude of about 50 km. Results of the code described in the companion paper by Grassi et al. for the two orbits are presented and compared with the state expected by the European Martian climate dataset v3.1. The parent global circulation model LMD-Oxford-AAS is able to take into account a wide number of physical phenomena, but the results included in EMCD are affected by a relatively coarse spatial resolution, that does not properly describe the great volcanic domes. The comparison demonstrated that observed data follow quite strictly the trends foreseen by the model in low altitude regions, while the behavior shows remarkable differences above the relief, where orography likely plays an important role. Namely, extended mid-altitude minima in air temperature fields above the summit of volcanic domes are observed. The integrated content of dust shows a minima above Olympus, as expected for a dust particle concentration that decays with height. Measurements are consistent with an exponential decay characterized by a scale height of ˜10 km. Consistently, the surface temperature presents a maxima over the dome, as expected for conditions of clearer sky. Water ice clouds are clearly detected around Ascreus Mons, with a strong asymmetry in latitude. Further comparison with the results of the

  2. Exploration of planetary atmospheres - Current knowledge, future opportunities and the possible role of Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, G. E.

    1985-05-01

    Solar system planetology has evolved into an extended branch of the earth sciences and away from the domain of astronomy. Extraterrestrial planetary meteorological studies have thus far been focused on Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the moon Titan. Known meteorological details of each of the well-viewed planets are reviewed, and comparisons are drawn with equivalent phenomena on earth. Several new planetary probes have been proposed, including a joint NASA/ESA Cassini mission to place satellites around Saturn and Titan. The Space Telescope will, however, be the most effective instrument available for broad planetary studies over the next decade.

  3. A Search for Thermal Emission from Non-transiting Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crossfield, Ian; Hansen, B.; Barman, T.

    2009-01-01

    We describe our ongoing search for the Doppler-shifted thermal emission spectra of two hot extrasolar planets. Using NIRSPEC at the Keck Observatory we obtained 100 high-resolution spectra of the tau Boo and 55 Cnc systems. Our methods are unique in several respects. First, we use well-characterized telluric lines (>8; per order) to calibrate the wavelength scale in every frame. In addition to standard techniques such as Principal Component Analysis, we use a set of telluric transmission models to remove the temporal variability of terrestrial atmospheric features. Finally, we intend to directly disentangle the faint planetary and bright stellar spectra using direct tomographic techniques, eliminating a dependence on models of these heretofore uncharacterized planets.

  4. Detecting Extrasolar Planets Directly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guenther, E. W.; Neuhäuser, R.; Huélamo, N.; Ott, T.; Brandner, W.; Alves, J.; Comerón, F.; Eckart, A.; Hatzes, A.

    Up to now, all extrasolar planets have been found by means of indirect methods. Direct detection of planets orbiting even the nearest stars seems at first glance to be impossible with present day equipment, because of the enormous difference in brightness between the star and the planet, and the small angular separation between them. However, young planets which are still in the contraction phase of evolution are comparatively bright in the infrared, and since many of the extrasolar planets detected have excentric orbits, where they are most of the time at a relatively large distance from the stars, the prospect of detecting young planets directly is much better. In fact, it is principle be possible to detect an extrasolar giant planet, if the planet is younger than 100 millon years, and if the distance is less than 100 pc. Three years ago we thus have embarked on a survey to observe more than one-hundred young, nearby stars in the near infrared. In this talk, we will review the status of the survey. In order to find out whether these stars have additionally a planet at a small distance from the star, we also carried out sensitive radial velocity observation of a subsample using an iodine-cell and the Echelle spectrograph of the Alfred-Jensch Telescope in Tautenburg.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Characterization of extrasolar terrestrial planets from diurnal photometric variability.

    PubMed

    Ford, E B; Seager, S; Turner, E L

    2001-08-30

    The detection of massive planets orbiting nearby stars has become almost routine, but current techniques are as yet unable to detect terrestrial planets with masses comparable to the Earth's. Future space-based observatories to detect Earth-like planets are being planned. Terrestrial planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars-where planetary surface conditions are compatible with the presence of liquid water-are of enormous interest because they might have global environments similar to Earth's and even harbour life. The light scattered by such a planet will vary in intensity and colour as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's surface and atmospheric properties. Here we report a model that predicts features that should be discernible in the light curve obtained by low-precision photometry. For extrasolar planets similar to Earth, we expect daily flux variations of up to hundreds of per cent, depending sensitively on ice and cloud cover as well as seasonal variations. This suggests that the meteorological variability, composition of the surface (for example, ocean versus land fraction) and rotation period of an Earth-like planet could be derived from photometric observations. Even signatures of Earth-like plant life could be constrained or possibly, with further study, even uniquely determined.

  8. 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.

  9. Atmospheric Retrieval for Direct Imaging Spectroscopy of Gas Giants in Reflected Light. II. Orbital Phase and Planetary Radius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nayak, Michael; Lupu, Roxana; Marley, Mark S.; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Robinson, Tyler; Lewis, Nikole

    2017-03-01

    Future space-based telescopes, such as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), will observe the reflected light spectra of directly imaged extrasolar planets. Interpretation of such data presents a number of novel challenges, including accounting for unknown planet radius and uncertain stellar illumination phase angle. Here, we report on our continued development of Markov Chain Monte Carlo retrieval methods for addressing these issues in the interpretation of such data. Specifically, we explore how the unknown planet radius and potentially poorly known observer-planet-star phase angle impacts retrievals of parameters of interest such as atmospheric methane abundance, cloud properties, and surface gravity. As expected, the uncertainty in retrieved values is a strong function of the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the observed spectra, particularly for low metallicity atmospheres, which lack deep absorption signatures. Meaningful results may only be possible above certain S/N thresholds; for cases across a metallicity range of 1–50 times solar, we find that only an S/N of 20 systematically reproduces a value close to the correct methane abundance at all phase angles. However, even in cases where the phase angle is poorly known we find that the planet radius can be constrained to within a factor of two. We find that uncertainty in planet radius decreases at phase angles past quadrature, as the highly forward-scattering nature of the atmosphere at these geometries limits the possible volume of phase space that relevant parameters can occupy. Finally, we present an estimation of possible improvement that can result from combining retrievals against observations at multiple phase angles.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Topics in Extrasolar Planet Characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howe, Alex Ryan

    I present four papers exploring different topics in the area of characterizing the atmospheric and bulk properties of extrasolar planets. In these papers, I present two new codes, in various forms, for modeling these objects. A code to generate theoretical models of transit spectra of exoplanets is featured in the first paper and is refined and expanded into the APOLLO code for spectral modeling and parameter retrieval in the fourth paper. Another code to model the internal structure and evolution of planets is featured in the second and third papers. The first paper presents transit spectra models of GJ 1214b and other super-Earth and mini-Neptune type planets--planets with a "solid", terrestrial composition and relatively small planets with a thick hydrogen-helium atmosphere, respectively--and fit them to observational data to estimate the atmospheric compositions and cloud properties of these planets. The second paper presents structural models of super-Earth and mini-Neptune type planets and estimates their bulk compositions from mass and radius estimates. The third paper refines these models with evolutionary calculations of thermal contraction and ultraviolet-driven mass loss. Here, we estimate the boundaries of the parameter space in which planets lose their initial hydrogen-helium atmospheres completely, and we also present formation and evolution scenarios for the planets in the Kepler-11 system. The fourth paper uses more refined transit spectra models, this time for hot jupiter type planets, to explore the methods to design optimal observing programs for the James Webb Space Telescope to quantitatively measure the atmospheric compositions and other properties of these planets.

  15. Molecules in the atmosphere and circumstellar shell of proto-planetary nebula IRAS22272+5435

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zacs, L.; Laure, A.; Sperauskas, J.

    2011-05-01

    IRAS22272+5435 is a typical proto-planetary nebula (PPN) associated in the optical with a carbon-rich star HD235858 which shows a significant s-process enhancement. The star is surrounded by the detached circumstellar envelope (CSE), a result of an earlier mass loss. The best-fit model for the dust shell of IRAS22272+5435 consists of the central star surrounded by two separate sets of dust shells representing a PPN shell and a post-AGB wind shell located in the inner cavity of the PPN shell. A presence of hot dust grains in the inner cavity of the PPN shell and occasional mass ejections driven possibly by pulsations with the period of around 131 days was suspected for this object. The spectrum of IRAS22272+5435 originates at various depths throughout different layers in the atmosphere of HD235858 significantly affected by pulsations and in the CSE. A large number of narrow molecular lines originated in the CSE are present in the optical spectrum of IRAS22272+5435, blueshifted relative to the photospheric lines. The CSE lines of C_2 (1,0), (2,0), (3,0), (4,0) Phillips system and CN (1,0), (2,0), (3,0), (4,0) Red System were identified. Time series of high resolution spectra shows significant changes in the intensity of C_2 and CN photospheric features. The molecular photospheric features are stronger than should be for standard photosphere of G5 supergiant applicable for HD235858, therefore, the temperature of environment where formed the most of molecules is much lower than the effective temperature of 5500 K. The maximal expansion velocity and the maximal C_2 abundance was observed for HD235858 on October 2006 when the photosphere of HD235858 passed the maximal expansion velocity according to the CORAVEL measurements. The lines of CN Red system in general varies in step with C_2, however, the Doppler shift relative to the systemic velocity is lower. Thus, the photospheric molecular features are formed apparently in the cool outflow at different high scale. The

  16. 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

  17. Developments with the planetWRF and planetMPAS Planetary Atmospheric Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Mark I.; Lee, Christopher; Lian, Yuan; Mischna, Michael A.; Newman, Claire E.; Toigo, Anthony

    2016-10-01

    planetWRF is based upon the NCAR Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and has been applied to Mars, Titan and Pluto. planetWRF offers global-scale, two-way interactive nested mesoscale, and microscale LES simulation of planetary atmospheres using a rectangular grid.Recently, a fully-coupled dust and water cycle aerosol scheme has been introduced based on Morrison and Gettelman [Lee et al., this conference]. The scheme treats both dust and water ice as two-moment distributions. Significantly, the scheme treats all processes (nucleation, growth, advection, sedimentation, radiation) using the two-moment distributions, with no lossy conversion between spectral and radius-bin representation.The LES modeing capability has been augmented with the ability to import HiRISE DTMs to allow simulation of small-scale flow over topography including the first order effects of local slope and shadowing. Simulations of Victoria crater (visited by Opportunity) show dramatic variations of surface temperature on scales of a few meters during the morning and distinct changes in the patterns of wind stress as the crater interior is coupled and decoupled from boundary layer convection at different times. The LES has also been augmented to run with dynamically and radiatively interactive dust.planetMPAS is based upon the NCAR Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS), an unstructured mesh model that allows for far more uniform resolution of the whole globe, uses a fully compressible nonhydrostatic dynamical core, and an advanced terrain-following coordinate system. The MPAS model been designed to use WRF physics routines. As such, planetMPAS and planetWRF are alternate dynamical cores within the same modeling system. planetMPAS has major advantages over WRF for certain kinds of global simulations: high-precision tracer problems, e.g. Argon transport on Mars; uniform resolution of polar regions, e.g. water ice cap interactions with the martian global water cycle; and convection

  18. 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.…

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Imaging Extrasolar Giant Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowler, Brendan P.

    2016-10-01

    High-contrast adaptive optics (AO) imaging is a powerful technique to probe the architectures of planetary systems from the outside-in and survey the atmospheres of self-luminous giant planets. Direct imaging has rapidly matured over the past decade and especially the last few years with the advent of high-order AO systems, dedicated planet-finding instruments with specialized coronagraphs, and innovative observing and post-processing strategies to suppress speckle noise. This review summarizes recent progress in high-contrast imaging with particular emphasis on observational results, discoveries near and below the deuterium-burning limit, and a practical overview of large-scale surveys and dedicated instruments. I conclude with a statistical meta-analysis of deep imaging surveys in the literature. Based on observations of 384 unique and single young (≈5-300 Myr) stars spanning stellar masses between 0.1 and 3.0 M ⊙, the overall occurrence rate of 5-13 M Jup companions at orbital distances of 30-300 au is {0.6}-0.5+0.7 % assuming hot-start evolutionary models. The most massive giant planets regularly accessible to direct imaging are about as rare as hot Jupiters are around Sun-like stars. Dividing this sample into individual stellar mass bins does not reveal any statistically significant trend in planet frequency with host mass: giant planets are found around {2.8}-2.3+3.7 % of BA stars, <4.1% of FGK stars, and <3.9% of M dwarfs. Looking forward, extreme AO systems and the next generation of ground- and space-based telescopes with smaller inner working angles and deeper detection limits will increase the pace of discovery to ultimately map the demographics, composition, evolution, and origin of planets spanning a broad range of masses and ages.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Upsilon Andromedae: A Rosetta Stone in Planetary Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, E. I.

    We review the orbital dynamics exhibited by the first extrasolar planetary system discovered around a sun-like star, Upsilon Andromedae. This system is unique in combining all of the surprising architectural features displayed individually by extrasolar planetary systems found today: (1) a hot Jupiter, (2) two planets on highly eccentric orbits, and (3) a stellar companion. We discuss the system's stability properties and its possible origin. Planet-disk interactions seem critical to the emerging story.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. High-Contrast Imaging using Adaptive Optics for Extrasolar Planet Detection

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Julia Wilhelmsen

    2006-01-01

    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 10-6 and 10-7 at angles of 4-24 λ/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 10-8 contrast measurements with a prolate shaped pupil and

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Electrodynamics in Giant Planet Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    The atmospheres of close-in extrasolar giant planets such as HD209458b are strongly ionized by the UV flux of their host stars. We show that photoionization on such planets creates a dayside ionosphere that extends from the thermosphere to the 100 mbar level. The resulting peak electron density near the 1 mbar level is higher than that encountered in any planetary ionosphere of the solar system, and the model conductivity is in fact comparable to the atmospheres of Sun-like stars. As a result, the momentum and energy balance in the upper atmosphere of HD209458b and similar planets can be strongly affected by ion drag and resistive heating arising from wind-driven electrodynamics. Despite much weaker ionization, electrodynamics is nevertheless also important on the giant planets of the solar system. We use a generic framework to constrain the conductivity regimes on close-in extrasolar planets, and compare the results with conductivites based on the same approach for Jupiter and Saturn. By using a generalized Ohm's law and assumed magnetic fields, we then demonstrate the basic effects of wind-driven ion drag in giant planet atmospheres. Our results show that ion drag is often significant in the upper atmosphere where it can also substantially alter the energy budget through resistive heating.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Photochemical aerosol formation in planetary atmospheres: A comparison between Pluto and Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavvas, Panayotis; Strobel, Darrell F.; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Gurwell, Mark A.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Summers, Michael; Gladstone, Randy

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons mission observations have revealed us that Pluto's atmosphere is rich in photochemical hazes that extend to high altitudes above its surface [1], apparently similar to those observed in Titan's atmosphere [2].We use detailed models combining photochemistry and microphysics in order to simulate the aerosol formation and growth in Pluto's atmosphere, as performed for Titan's atmosphere [3]. Here we discuss the possible mechanisms leading to the formation of haze particles in Pluto's atmosphere, and we evaluate the contribution of different growth processes (e.g. coagulation vs. condensation) to the resulting particle properties.Moreover we investigate the role of these particles in the radiative balance of Pluto's atmosphere and we compare the resulting particle properties, with those retrieved for Titan's upper atmosphere based on Cassini observations [4]. We discuss the similarities and difference between Pluto's and Titan's aerosols.[1] Gladstone et al., 2016, Science, 351, 6271[2] West et al., 2015, Titan's Haze, in Titan, Interior, Surface, Atmosphere and Space environment, Cambridge University Press[3] Lavvas et al., 2013, PNAS, pnas.1217059110[4] Lavvas et al., 2015, DPS47, id.205.08

  19. Earth-like habitats in planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, J.; Bitsch, B.; Kührt, E.; Morbidelli, A.; Tornow, C.; Wünnemann, K.; Fernandes, V. A.; Grenfell, J. L.; Rauer, H.; Wagner, R.; Werner, S. C.

    2014-08-01

    Understanding the concept of habitability is clearly related to an evolutionary knowledge of the particular planet-in-question. However, additional indications so-called "systemic aspects" of the planetary system as a whole governs a particular planet's claim on habitability. In this paper we focus on such systemic aspects and discuss their relevance to the formation of an "Earth-like" habitable planet. This contribution summarizes our results obtained by lunar sample work and numerical models within the framework of the Research Alliance "Planetary Evolution and Life". We consider various scenarios which simulate the dynamical evolution of the Solar System and discuss the consequences for the likelihood of forming an Earth-like world orbiting another star. Our model approach is constrained by observations of the modern Solar System and the knowledge of its history. Results suggest that on the one hand the long-term presence of terrestrial planets is jeopardized due to gravitational interactions if giant planets are present. On the other hand the habitability of inner rocky planets may be supported in those planetary systems hosting giant planets. Gravitational interactions within a complex multiple-body structure including giant planets may supply terrestrial planets with materials which formed in the colder region of the proto-planetary disk. During these processes, water, the prime requisite for habitability, is delivered to the inner system. This may occur either during the main accretion phase of terrestrial planets or via impacts during a post-accretion bombardment. Results for both processes are summarized and discussed with reference to the lunar crater record. Starting from a scenario involving migration of the giant planets this contribution discusses the delivery of water to Earth, the modification of atmospheres by impacts in a planetary system context and the likelihood of the existence of extrasolar Earth-like habitable worlds.

  20. SPACE AND PLANETARY ENVIRONMENTS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES, PLUTO (PLANET), SATURN(PLANET), SOLAR RADIATION, SOLAR WIND, SPECTROGRAPHY, STARS, SUN, TERRAIN, GEOMAGNETISM, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION, URANUS(PLANET), VAN ALLEN RADIATION BELT, VENUS(PLANET).

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Modeling pN2 through Geological Time: Implications for Planetary Climates and Atmospheric Biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stüeken, E. E.; Kipp, M. A.; Koehler, M. C.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Johnson, B.; Buick, R.

    2016-12-01

    Nitrogen is a major nutrient for all life on Earth and could plausibly play a similar role in extraterrestrial biospheres. The major reservoir of nitrogen at Earth's surface is atmospheric N2, but recent studies have proposed that the size of this reservoir may have fluctuated significantly over the course of Earth's history with particularly low levels in the Neoarchean - presumably as a result of biological activity. We used a biogeochemical box model to test which conditions are necessary to cause large swings in atmospheric N2 pressure. Parameters for our model are constrained by observations of modern Earth and reconstructions of biomass burial and oxidative weathering in deep time. A 1-D climate model was used to model potential effects on atmospheric climate. In a second set of tests, we perturbed our box model to investigate which parameters have the greatest impact on the evolution of atmospheric pN2 and consider possible implications for nitrogen cycling on other planets. Our results suggest that (a) a high rate of biomass burial would have been needed in the Archean to draw down atmospheric pN2 to less than half modern levels, (b) the resulting effect on temperature could probably have been compensated by increasing solar luminosity and a mild increase in pCO2, and (c) atmospheric oxygenation could have initiated a stepwise pN2 rebound through oxidative weathering. In general, life appears to be necessary for significant atmospheric pN2 swings on Earth-like planets. Our results further support the idea that an exoplanetary atmosphere rich in both N2 and O2 is a signature of an oxygen-producing biosphere.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Spectral properties of condensed phases of disulfur monoxide, polysulfur oxide, and irradiated sulfur. [In planetary atmospheres

    SciTech Connect

    Hapke, B.; Graham, F. )

    1989-05-01

    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. 24 refs.

  12. 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.

  13. Photopolarimetry of planetary atmospheres: what observational data are essential for a unique retrieval of aerosol microphysics?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dlugach, Janna M.; Mishchenko, Michael I.

    2008-02-01

    We analyse the results of computations of the intensity and degree of linear polarization of diffusely reflected sunlight for the centre of a planetary disc in the phase-angle range 0° < α < 90°. The computations are performed using numerically exact T-matrix and vector radiative-transfer codes for several alternative models of the Jovian cloud layer derived previously from ground-based spectropolarimetric observations at phase angles α < 11°. Our results show that although these models reproduce the existing observational data equally well, they start to show significant polarization differences at phase angles α >= 12°. Thus, using Jupiter as a `proving ground', we conclude that only polarimetric data obtained over a wide range of phase angles (i.e. from spacecraft) may provide definitive constraints on aerosol shape and, as a consequence, ameliorate the ill-posed nature of the inverse remote-sensing problem.

  14. 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.

  15. Constraining planetary atmospheric density: application of heuristic search algorithms to aerodynamic modeling of impact ejecta trajectories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Z. Y. C.; Shirzaei, M.

    2015-12-01

    Impact craters on the terrestrial planets are typically surrounded by a continuous ejecta blanket that the initial emplacement is via ballistic sedimentation. Following an impact event, a significant volume of material is ejected and falling debris surrounds the crater. Aerodynamics rule governs the flight path and determines the spatial distribution of these ejecta. Thus, for the planets with atmosphere, the preserved ejecta deposit directly recorded the interaction of ejecta and atmosphere at the time of impact. In this study, we develop a new framework to establish links between distribution of the ejecta, age of the impact and the properties of local atmosphere. Given the radial distance of the continuous ejecta extent from crater, an inverse aerodynamic modeling approach is employed to estimate the local atmospheric drags and density as well as the lift forces at the time of impact. Based on earlier studies, we incorporate reasonable value ranges for ejection angle, initial velocity, aerodynamic drag, and lift in the model. In order to solve the trajectory differential equations, obtain the best estimate of atmospheric density, and the associated uncertainties, genetic algorithm is applied. The method is validated using synthetic data sets as well as detailed maps of impact ejecta associated with five fresh martian and two lunar impact craters, with diameter of 20-50 m, 10-20 m, respectively. The estimated air density for martian carters range 0.014-0.028 kg/m3, consistent with the recent surface atmospheric density measurement of 0.015-0.020 kg/m3. This constancy indicates the robustness of the presented methodology. In the following, the inversion results for the lunar craters yield air density of 0.003-0.008 kg/m3, which suggest the inversion results are accurate to the second decimal place. This framework will be applied to older martian craters with preserved ejecta blankets, which expect to constrain the long-term evolution of martian atmosphere.

  16. Are there physical links between Saturn's magnetospheric planetary period oscillations, neutral atmosphere circulation, and thunderstorm activity? (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Provan, G.; Cowley, S. W.

    2013-12-01

    Suggestions that the planetary period oscillations (PPOs) observed in Saturn's magnetosphere may be driven or influenced by neutral atmospheric perturbations, motivates an exploratory comparison of PPO rotation periods with available tropospheric and stratospheric determinations. Non-polar atmospheric rotation periods occupy the range ~10.2-10.7 h associated with the latitudinal jet structure, are similar north and south, and independent of season, while PPO periods lie in a narrower partly overlapping range ~10.6-10.8 h, are persistently shorter north than south, and undergo a seasonal cycle. In this cycle, widely-separated north-south PPO periods during southern summer converge across equinox to values lying within the atmospheric west jet band, remaining well-separated from east jet periods. Closest convergence occurred one year post-equinox, contemporaneously with the switch in seasonal thunderstorm activity from southern to northern hemispheres. Since most large-scale atmospheric phenomena are related to the west jets, rotating with closely similar periods, they also rotate with periods close to the PPOs under post-equinoctial conditions, but not otherwise. Specifically, post-equinox northern PPOs rotate with a period close to the southern thunderstorms, as well as the north polar spot and hexagon features, while the post equinox southern PPOs rotate with a period close to the pre-equinox northern ';string of pearls' and the first co-located post-equinox northern thunderstorm, the Great White Spot event. However, even under these conditions no consistent correspondences in period are found at a detailed level, which taken together with the lack of correspondence at other times, does not suggest a direct physical link exists between these phenomena.

  17. Saturn's magnetospheric planetary period oscillations, neutral atmosphere circulation, and thunderstorm activity: Implications, or otherwise, for physical links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowley, S. W. H.; Provan, G.

    2013-11-01

    that the planetary period oscillations (PPOs) observed in Saturn's magnetosphere may be driven or influenced by neutral atmospheric perturbations motivate an exploratory comparison of PPO rotation periods with available tropospheric and stratospheric determinations. Nonpolar atmospheric rotation periods occupy the range ~10.2-10.7 h associated with the latitudinal jet structure, are similar north and south, and are independent of season, while PPO periods lie in a narrower partly overlapping range ~10.6-10.8 h, are persistently shorter north than south, and undergo a seasonal cycle. In this cycle, widely separated north-south PPO periods during southern summer converge across equinox to values lying within the atmospheric west jet band, remaining well-separated from east jet periods. Closest convergence occurred 1 year post equinox, contemporaneously with the switch in seasonal thunderstorm activity from Southern to Northern Hemispheres. Since most large-scale atmospheric phenomena are related to the west jets, rotating with closely similar periods, they also rotate with periods close to the PPOs under post equinoctial conditions but not otherwise. Specifically, post equinox northern PPOs rotate with a period close to the southern thunderstorms, as well as the north polar spot and hexagon features, while the post equinox southern PPOs rotate with a period close to the pre-equinox northern "string of pearls" and the first colocated post equinox northern thunderstorm, the Great White Spot event. However, even under these conditions, no consistent correspondences in period are found at a detailed level, which taken together with the lack of correspondence at other times does not suggest a direct physical link exists between these phenomena.

  18. 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.

  19. Research field 1: Planetary atmospheres. Project 1.1: UV spectroscopy of the outer planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fricke, K. H.

    1990-12-01

    The long term stability of the Lyman alpha emission of atomic hydrogen in the upper atmospheres of Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus are investigated using the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite. Radiation transport calculations (taking into account Raman scattering) on Neptune and Uranus spectra show that the 'rest noise' in the spectral albedo is mainly due to Fraunhofer emission lines. The preliminary analysis of Neptune spectra shows no modulation of the albedo with the rotation of Neptune, within the accuracy of the measurements. The spots and band in the atmosphere of Neptune discovered by the Voyager camera probably do not extend into the pressure range probed by IUE.

  20. 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.

  1. To Cool is to Accrete: Analytic Scalings for Nebular Accretion of Planetary Atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Eve J.; Chiang, Eugene

    2015-09-01

    Planets acquire atmospheres from their parent circumstellar disks. We derive a general analytic expression for how the atmospheric mass grows with time t as a function of the underlying core mass {M}{core} and nebular conditions, including the gas metallicity Z. Planets accrete as much gas as can cool: an atmosphere's doubling time is given by its Kelvin-Helmholtz time. Dusty atmospheres behave differently from atmospheres made dust-free by grain growth and sedimentation. The gas-to-core mass ratio (GCR) of a dusty atmosphere scales as GCR \\propto {t}0.4{M}{core}1.7{Z}-0.4{μ }{rcb}3.4, where {μ }{rcb}\\propto 1/(1-Z) (for Z not too close to 1) is the mean molecular weight at the innermost radiative-convective boundary. This scaling applies across all orbital distances and nebular conditions for dusty atmospheres; their radiative-convective boundaries, which regulate cooling, are not set by the external environment, but rather by the internal microphysics of dust sublimation, H2 dissociation, and the formation of H-. By contrast, dust-free atmospheres have their radiative boundaries at temperatures {T}{rcb} close to nebular temperatures {T}{out}, and grow faster at larger orbital distances where cooler temperatures, and by extension lower opacities, prevail. At 0.1 AU in a gas-poor nebula, GCR \\propto {t}0.4{T}{rcb}-1.9{M}{core}1.6{Z}-0.4{μ }{rcb}3.3, while beyond 1 AU in a gas-rich nebula, GCR \\propto {t}0.4{T}{rcb}-1.5{M}{core}1{Z}-0.4{μ }{rcb}2.2. We confirm our analytic scalings against detailed numerical models for objects ranging in mass from Mars (0.1{M}\\oplus ) to the most extreme super-Earths (10-20{M}\\oplus ), and explain why heating from planetesimal accretion cannot prevent the latter from undergoing runaway gas accretion.

  2. A Photometric Search for Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, S. B.; Everett, M.; Davis, D. R.; Weidenschilling, S. J.; McGruder, C. H., III; Gelderman, R.

    2000-10-01

    We describe a new program for the photometric detection of extrasolar planets using the 1.3 m telescope on Kitt Peak, which will be operated by a consortium of universities headed by Western Kentucky Univ. and including South Carolina State Univ., Planetary Science Institute, Boston Univ., and UC-Berkeley (SSL). This approach will complement the existing, highly successful, spectroscopic searches. The theory of photometric transit detection has been discussed by a number of authors (e.g. Borucki & Summers 1984; Howell & Merline 1995; Howell et al. 1996) and shown to be well within the capabilities of both photomultiplier and CCD observations. The first photometric transit detection was recently accomplished for the spectroscopically discovered planet orbiting HD209458 (Henry et al. 2000). The detection of extrasolar planet transits requires high photometric precision rather than accuracy. The necessary photometric precision to detect Jupiter-, Neptune-, and Earth-sized planets in orbit around F-M dwarfs is 1%, 0.1% and 0.00001%, respectively. The required precision to observe transits by Jupiter-sized extrasolar planets is easily obtained with modern CCD detectors and the differential ensemble photometric techniques pioneered by Howell et al. (1988). The use of such a technique for ultra-high precision photometry has been described in numerous papers (Charbonneau et al. 2000, Howell 2000, plus many others). Everett and Howell recently used the Kitt Peak NOAO 0.9 m telescope with the wide-field MOSAIC camera to search for extrasolar planet transits. During this run, they achieved a photometric precision of 0.024% for this dataset. With the 1.3 m telescope, we expect to reach a photometric precision of ~ 0.01% (10-4 mag). Our consortium has recently begun to refurbish and automate the 1.3 m telescope, which will be known as the Remote-Controlled Telescope (RCT). The primary instrument will be a CCD camera with a SITe 2048 x 2048 CCD having pixel well depths of 363

  3. Jupiter-like planets as dynamical barriers to inward-migrating super-Earths: a new understanding of the origin of Uranus and Neptune and predictions for extrasolar planetary systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; Izidoro Da Costa, Andre'; Raymond, Sean

    2014-11-01

    Planets of 1-4 times Earth's size on orbits shorter than 100 days exist around 30-50% of all Sun-like stars. These ``hot super-Earths'' (or ``mini-Neptunes''), or their building blocks, might have formed on wider orbits and migrated inward due to interactions with the gaseous protoplanetary disk. The Solar System is statistically unusual in its lack of hot super-Earths. Here, we use a suite of dynamical simulations to show that gas-giant planets act as barriers to the inward migration of super-Earths initially placed on more distant orbits. Jupiter's early formation may have prevented Uranus and Neptune (and perhaps Saturn's core) from becoming hot super-Earths. It may actually have been crucial to the very formation of Uranus and Neptune. In fact, the large spin obliquities of these two planets argue that they experienced a stage of giant impacts from multi-Earth mass planetary embryos. We show that the dynamical barrier offered by Jupiter favors the mutual accretion of multiple migrating planetary embryos, favoring the formation of a few massive objects like Uranus and Neptune. Our model predicts that the populations of hot super-Earth systems and Jupiter-like planets should be anti-correlated: gas giants (especially if they form early) should be rare in systems with many hot super-Earths. Testing this prediction will constitute a crucial assessment of the validity of the migration hypothesis for the origin of close-in super-Earths.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Numerical Predictions for Convective and Radiative Heating of a Spacecraft Entering a Planetary Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druguet, M.-C.; Boubert, P.

    During atmospheric entry, a spacecraft encounters more and more dense gas layers, leading to its aerodynamic deceleration. For super- and hypersonic velocity entries, a strong bow shock wave develops in front of the spacecraft, through which dynamic energy gets transformed into thermal energy.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Observations of mid-latitude planetary waves in the lower atmosphere over America and China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rui; Ping, Jinsong

    The characteristics of mid-latitude planetary waves (PWs) in the troposphere and lower strato-sphere (TLS) are studied by both statistical and case studies with the data from radiosonde observations at three middle latitude stations (Miramar Nas, 32.9N, 117.2W; Santa Teresa, 31.9N, 106.7W; Fort Worth, 32.8N, 97.3W) in America and Wuhan (30.5N, 114.4E) in China. It is found that mid-latitude PWs exist in two regions. One is in the troposphere, and the other is in the stratosphere. In the troposphere, the amplitudes of the mid-latitude PWs reach maximum round the center of the subtropical jet stream. The subtropical jet stream may be one of the PW excitation sources. However, in the stratosphere, only the lower frequency PWs remain in winter, with the zonal component strongest. Moreover, the PW activities are rather intermittent, and their lifetimes are not longer than two months. In the case study of the 2000/2001 winter, it is found that the quasi 16-day wave in Wuhan around the subtropical jet stream is probable the same quasi 16-day wave at the three American stations, which steadily propagates around the latitude.

  10. Radio Search For Extrasolar Planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarka, P.

    Theoretical justification and ongoing observational efforts in view of detecting radio emissions from extrasolar planets will be presented. On the "prediction" side, a heuris- tic scaling law has been established relating the radio output of any magnetized flow- obstacle system to the incident magnetic energy flux on the obstacle. Its confirmation by the observation of radio emission from extrasolar planets would help to understand the energy budget of such a system. On the "detection" side, specific procedures have been developed for interference mitigation and weak burst detection.

  11. The occultation of Mariner 10 by Mercury. [planetary radius and atmospheric radio measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fjeldbo, G.; Kliore, A.; Sweetnam, D.; Esposito, P.; Seidel, B.; Howard, T.

    1976-01-01

    Analysis of Mariner 10 dual-frequency radio-occultation recordings has yielded new information on the radius and atmosphere of Mercury. The ingress measurements, which were conducted near 1.1 deg north latitude and 67.4 deg east longitude on the night side of the planet, gave a value for the radius of 2439.5 + or - 1 km. Egress near 67.6 deg north latitude and 258.4 deg east longitude on the sunlit side yielded a radius of 2439.0 + or - 1 km. The atmospheric measurements showed the electron density to be less than 1000 per cu cm on both sides of the planet. From the latter result one may infer an upper limit to the dayside surface gas density of 1 million molecules per cu cm.

  12. Rarefied gas dynamic effects on mass spectrometric studies of upper planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    French, J. B.; Reid, N. M.; Nier, A. O.; Hayden, J. L.

    1975-01-01

    Results are presented of measurements obtained with an open-source mass spectrometer both in earth orbit and in a laboratory molecular beam facility. The mass spectrometer/ion source combination was developed in the laboratory to be operable in either of two modes by altering ion extraction potential on ground command, i.e., as a stagnation cavity or to respond only to the incoming molecules of the unperturbed atmosphere. Results indicate that the use of this open-source configuration and dual-mode capability, allied with both standard static calibration and dynamic calibration using high-speed molecular beam techniques in the laboratory, allows collection of useful data on aeronomy of the upper atmosphere of planets and comet tails.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. New planetary atmosphere simulations: application to the organic aerosols of Titan.

    PubMed

    Coll, P; Cosia, D; Gazeau, M C; Raulin, F

    1997-01-01

    The atmosphere of Titan partly consists of hazes and aerosol particles. Experimental simulation is one of the powerful approaches to study the processes which yield these particles, and their chemical composition. It provides laboratory analogues, sometimes called tholins. Development and optimization of experimental tools were undertaken in order to perform chemical and physical analyses of analogues under conditions free from contamination. A "Titan aerosol generator" was developed in the frame of the Cassini-Huygens mission, in order to produce Titan's aerosol analogues within conditions closer to those of the titanian atmosphere: cold plasma simulation system, low pressure and low temperature. The direct current (DC) glow discharge is produced by applying a DC voltage between two conductive electrodes inserted into the gas mixture-model of the studied atmosphere- at low pressure. A high-impedance power supply is used to provide the electrical field. All the system is installed in a glove box, which protect samples from any contamination. Finally the research program expected with this new material is presented.

  19. The circulation pattern and day-night heat transport in the atmosphere of a synchronously rotating aquaplanet: Dependence on planetary rotation rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noda, S.; Ishiwatari, M.; Nakajima, K.; Takahashi, Y. O.; Takehiro, S.; Onishi, M.; Hashimoto, G. L.; Kuramoto, K.; Hayashi, Y.-Y.

    2017-01-01

    In order to investigate a possible variety of atmospheric states realized on a synchronously rotating aquaplanet, an experiment studying the impact of planetary rotation rate is performed using an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) with simplified hydrological and radiative processes. The entire planetary surface is covered with a swamp ocean. The value of planetary rotation rate is varied from zero to the Earth's, while other parameters such as planetary radius, mean molecular weight and total mass of atmospheric dry components, and solar constant are set to the present Earth's values. The integration results show that the atmosphere reaches statistically equilibrium states for all runs; none of the calculated cases exemplifies the runaway greenhouse state. The circulation patterns obtained are classified into four types: Type-I characterized by the dominance of a day-night thermally direct circulation, Type-II characterized by a zonal wave number one resonant Rossby wave over a meridionally broad westerly jet on the equator, Type-III characterized by a long time scale north-south asymmetric variation, and Type-IV characterized by a pair of mid-latitude westerly jets. With the increase of planetary rotation rate, the circulation evolves from Type-I to Type-II and then to Type-III gradually and smoothly, whereas the change from Type-III to Type-IV is abrupt and discontinuous. Over a finite range of planetary rotation rate, both Types-III and -IV emerge as statistically steady states, constituting multiple equilibria. In spite of the substantial changes in circulation, the net energy transport from the day side to the night side remains almost insensitive to planetary rotation rate, although the partition into dry static energy and latent heat energy transports changes. The reason for this notable insensitivity is that the outgoing longwave radiation over the broad area of the day side is constrained by the radiation limit of a moist atmosphere, so that the

  20. Warm Ice Giant GJ 3470b: Revised Planetary and Stellar Parameters from Optical to Near-infrared Transit Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biddle, Lauren I.; Pearson, K.; Crossfield, I.; Barman, T. S.; Fulton, B. J.; Ciceri, S.; Eastman, J.; Howard, A.; Mann, A.; Henry, G. W.; Williamson, M. W.; Sinukoff, E.; Dragomir, D.; Vican, L.; Greenberg, A.; Turner, J.; Thompson, R.; Mancini, L.; Taylor, B. W.; Levine, S.; Webber, M. W.

    2014-01-01

    We present a homogeneous analysis of new and previously published broadband photometric observations of the Uranus-sized extrasolar planet GJ 3470b. This planet belongs to the growing sample of sub-Jovian planets orbiting M dwarfs; it is important to explore the diversity of these planets’ characteristics to understand the nature and evolution of this class of planets. The consistency of our analysis explains some of the discrepancies between previously published results and provides updated constraints on the planetary parameters. Our data also supports the recent evidence for a flat transmission spectrum due to a hazy or cloudy atmosphere as recently suggested for this system.

  1. Planet Hunters, Undergraduate Research, and Detection of Extrasolar Planet Kepler-818 b

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, David; Crannell, Graham; Duncan, James; Hays, Aryn; Hendrix, Landon

    2017-01-01

    Detection of extrasolar planets provides an excellent research opportunity for undergraduate students. In Spring 2012, we searched for transiting extrasolar planets using Kepler spacecraft data in our Research Experience in Physics course at Austin College. Offered during the regular academic year, these Research Experience courses engage students in the scientific process, including proposal writing, paper submission, peer review, and oral presentations. Since 2004, over 190 undergraduate students have conducted authentic scientific research through Research Experience courses at Austin College.Zooniverse’s citizen science Planet Hunters web site offered an efficient method for rapid analysis of Kepler data. Light curves from over 5000 stars were analyzed, of which 2.3% showed planetary candidates already tagged by the Kepler team. Another 1.5% of the light curves suggested eclipsing binary stars, and 1.6% of the light curves had simulated planets for training purposes.One of the stars with possible planetary transits had not yet been listed as a planetary candidate. We reported possible transits for Kepler ID 4282872, which later was promoted to planetary candidate KOI-1325 in 2012 and confirmed to host extrasolar planet Kepler-818 b in 2016 (Morton et al. 2016). Kepler-818 b is a “hot Neptune” with period 10.04 days, flux decrease during transit ~0.4%, planetary radius 4.69 Earth radii, and semi-major axis 0.089 au.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Ortho- and para-hydrogen in dense clouds, protoplanets, and planetary atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Decampli, W. M.; Cameron, A. G. W.; Bodenheimer, P.; Black, D. C.

    1978-01-01

    If ortho- and para-hydrogen achieve a thermal ratio on dynamical time scales in a molecular hydrogen cloud, then the specific heat is high enough in the temperature range 35-70 K to possibly induce hydrodynamic collapse. The ortho-para ratio in many interstellar cloud fragments is expected to meet this condition. The same may have been true for the primitive solar nebula. Detailed hydrodynamic and hydrostatic calculations are presented that show the effects of the assumed ortho-para ratio on the evolution of Jupiter during its protoplanetary phase. Some possible consequences of a thermalized ortho-para ratio in the atmospheres of the giant planets are also discussed.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. A map of the day-night contrast of the extrasolar planet HD 189733b.

    PubMed

    Knutson, Heather A; Charbonneau, David; Allen, Lori E; Fortney, Jonathan J; Agol, Eric; Cowan, Nicolas B; Showman, Adam P; Cooper, Curtis S; Megeath, S Thomas

    2007-05-10

    'Hot Jupiter' extrasolar planets are expected to be tidally locked because they are close (<0.05 astronomical units, where 1 au is the average Sun-Earth distance) to their parent stars, resulting in permanent daysides and nightsides. By observing systems where the planet and star periodically eclipse each other, several groups have been able to estimate the temperatures of the daysides of these planets. A key question is whether the atmosphere is able to transport the energy incident upon the dayside to the nightside, which will determine the temperature at different points on the planet's surface. Here we report observations of HD 189733, the closest of these eclipsing planetary systems, over half an orbital period, from which we can construct a 'map' of the distribution of temperatures. We detected the increase in brightness as the dayside of the planet rotated into view. We estimate a minimum brightness temperature of 973 +/- 33 K and a maximum brightness temperature of 1,212 +/- 11 K at a wavelength of 8 mum, indicating that energy from the irradiated dayside is efficiently redistributed throughout the atmosphere, in contrast to a recent claim for another hot Jupiter. Our data indicate that the peak hemisphere-integrated brightness occurs 16 +/- 6 degrees before opposition, corresponding to a hotspot shifted east of the substellar point. The secondary eclipse (when the planet moves behind the star) occurs 120 +/- 24 s later than predicted, which may indicate a slightly eccentric orbit.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.