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Proceedings Paper

The study of magnetic activity and exoplanet magnetospheres using EChO VNIR-channel spectropolarimetry
Author(s): M. Focardi; M. Pancrazzi; E. Pace; S. N. Shore
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Paper Abstract

The EChO satellite provides an opportunity to investigate the magnetic stellar activity and the nature of magnetic interactions of exoplanets with their host stars by using spectropolarimetry from space. These include auroral phenomena induced by the coupling on the exoplanet, induced flows between the planet and parent star, and a broad range of signatures of enhanced magneto-hydrodynamic interactions. A comprehensive view of the structure and evolution of exoplanetary atmospheres requires investigating the escape mechanisms of their constituent species, including the effect of a planetary magnetosphere. Given the distribution of masses and orbital parameters among the currently known gas giant exoplanets, the presence of a significant magnetic field could have some surprising consequences. In analogy with active dynamo-generated fields in close binary star systems, such as the RS CVn stars, a planetary field could link to that of the parent star, producing a strongly dissipative torque and magnetically and tidally locking the planet to its central star. Additionally, the study of stellar magnetism aids understanding of the coronal and chromospheric activity that affects the evolution of the planetary atmospheres.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8442, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 844230 (21 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925237
Show Author Affiliations
M. Focardi, Univ. degli studi di Firenze (Italy)
M. Pancrazzi, Univ. degli studi di Firenze (Italy)
E. Pace, Univ. degli studi di Firenze (Italy)
S. N. Shore, Univ. degli studi di Pisa (Italy)
National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8442:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave
Mark C. Clampin; Giovanni G. Fazio; Howard A. MacEwen; Jacobus M. Oschmann Jr., Editor(s)

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