WorldWideScience

Sample records for terrestrial planet atmospheres

  1. Atmospheres of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kivelson, M.G.; Schubert, G.

    1986-01-01

    Properties of the planets are identified - such as size, spin rate, and distance from the sun - that are important in understanding the characteristics of their atmospheres. Venus, earth and Mars have surface-temperature differences only partly explained by the decrease of solar radiation flux with distance from the sun. More significant effects arise from the variations in the degree to which the atmospheres act as absorbers of planetary thermal reradiation. Atmospheric circulation on a global scale also varies markedly among the three planets. 5 references

  2. The early evolution of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    CERN Document Server

    Raulin, François; Muller, Christian; Nixon, Conor; Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings : Volume 35

    2013-01-01

    “The Early Evolution of the Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets” presents the main processes participating in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. A group of experts in the different fields provide an update of our current knowledge on this topic. Several papers in this book discuss the key role of nitrogen in the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial planets. The earliest setting and evolution of planetary atmospheres of terrestrial planets is directly associated with accretion, chemical differentiation, outgassing, stochastic impacts, and extremely high energy fluxes from their host stars. This book provides an overview of the present knowledge of the initial atmospheric composition of the terrestrial planets. Additionally it includes some papers about the current exoplanet discoveries and provides additional clues to our understanding of Earth’s transition from a hot accretionary phase into a habitable world. All papers included were reviewed by experts in their respective fields. We are ...

  3. ABIOTIC OXYGEN-DOMINATED ATMOSPHERES ON TERRESTRIAL HABITABLE ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, Robin; Pierrehumbert, Raymond

    2014-01-01

    Detection of life on other planets requires identification of biosignatures, i.e., observable planetary properties that robustly indicate the presence of a biosphere. One of the most widely accepted biosignatures for an Earth-like planet is an atmosphere where oxygen is a major constituent. Here we show that lifeless habitable zone terrestrial planets around any star type may develop oxygen-dominated atmospheres as a result of water photolysis, because the cold trap mechanism that protects H 2 O on Earth is ineffective when the atmospheric inventory of non-condensing gases (e.g., N 2 , Ar) is low. Hence the spectral features of O 2 and O 3 alone cannot be regarded as robust signs of extraterrestrial life

  4. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO2-rich atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T.

    2013-01-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO 2 can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO 2 atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO 2 -rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m –2 (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H 2 O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N 2 /CO 2 early on. Because of the variability of H 2 O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO 2 /H 2 O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  5. Histories of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benes, K.

    1981-01-01

    The uneven historical development of terrestrial planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars - is probably due to the differences in their size, weight and rotational dynamics in association with the internal planet structure, their distance from the Sun, etc. A systematic study of extraterrestrial planets showed that the time span of internal activity was not the same for all bodies. It is assumed that the initial history of all terrestrial planets was marked with catastrophic events connected with the overall dynamic development of the solar system. In view of the fact that the cores of small terrestrial bodies cooled quicker, their geological development almost stagnated after two or three thousand million years. This is what probably happened to the Mercury and the Moon as well as the Mars. Therefore, traces of previous catastrophic events were preserved on the surface of the planets. On the other hand, the Earth is the most metamorphosed terrestrial planet and compared to the other planets appears to be atypical. Its biosphere is significantly developed as well as the other shell components, its hydrosphere and atmosphere, and its crust is considerably differentiated. (J.P.)

  6. Large impact events and atmospheric evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grinspoon, D.H.

    1989-01-01

    The first task undertaken is the characterization of the impact rates in the inner solar system during the present time, and during the first billion years of Solar System history when the flux was changing rapidly. Once defined, these fluxes are used to model the long term cumulative effect of multiple impacts on planetary atmospheres. The implications of cometary impacts on evolution of the water and deuterium abundances on Venus are examined. The short lifetime of water on Venus suggests that the water abundance is in quasi-steady-state balance between loss by escape and replenishment by infall. In addition, the observed deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio on Venus is consistent with a steady state and does not necessarily imply a past water excess. Results are presented of a model incorporating a stochastic cometary source and nonthermal escape of hydrogen that produces the observed water abundance and D/H ratio. The stochastic variability of each of these quantities is shown to be large. Water on Venus is likely to be in a near steady state mediated by large comet impacts. The early history of water on the planet has been obscured by a history of random impacts. A study of the effects of impact-generated dust clouds on the primitive Earth leads to the conclusion that such clouds were significant perturbers of the early climate. The Earth was shrouded by an optically-thick dust cloud for ∼150-250 m.y.. During this time the surface temperature was equal to the planetary equilibrium temperature unless significant heating by impacts or surface heat flow existed beneath the dust cloud. The epoch of continuous dust shrouding was followed by a period of stochastically intermittent dust clouds occurring at greater intervals as the early intense bombardment subsided towards the present day flux

  7. Strategies for Constraining the Atmospheres of Temperate Terrestrial Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael R.; Valenti, Jeff; Stevenson, Kevin

    2018-04-01

    The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is expected to discover dozens of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting M-dwarfs with atmospheres that could be followed up with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Currently, the TRAPPIST-1 system serves as a benchmark for determining the feasibility and resources required to yield atmospheric constraints. We assess these questions and leverage an information content analysis to determine observing strategies for yielding high-precision spectroscopy in transmission and emission. Our goal is to guide observing strategies of temperate terrestrial planets in preparation for the early JWST cycles. First, we explore JWST’s current capabilities and expected spectral precision for targets near the saturation limits of specific modes. In doing so, we highlight the enhanced capabilities of high-efficiency readout patterns that are being considered for implementation in Cycle 2. We propose a partial saturation strategy to increase the achievable precision of JWST's NIRSpec Prism. We show that JWST has the potential to detect the dominant absorbing gas in the atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets by the 10th transit using transmission spectroscopy techniques in the near-infrared (NIR). We also show that stacking ⪆10 transmission spectroscopy observations is unlikely to yield significant improvements in determining atmospheric composition. For emission spectroscopy, we show that the MIRI Low Resolution Spectroscopy (LRS) is unlikely to provide robust constraints on the atmospheric composition of temperate terrestrial planets. Higher-precision emission spectroscopy at wavelengths longward of those accessible to MIRI LRS, as proposed in the Origins Space Telescope concept, could help improve the constraints on molecular abundances of temperate terrestrial planets orbiting M-dwarfs.

  8. Water loss from terrestrial planets with CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Pierrehumbert, R. T., E-mail: rwordsworth@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 60637 IL (United States)

    2013-12-01

    Water photolysis and hydrogen loss from the upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets is of fundamental importance to climate evolution but remains poorly understood in general. Here we present a range of calculations we performed to study the dependence of water loss rates from terrestrial planets on a range of atmospheric and external parameters. We show that CO{sub 2} can only cause significant water loss by increasing surface temperatures over a narrow range of conditions, with cooling of the middle and upper atmosphere acting as a bottleneck on escape in other circumstances. Around G-stars, efficient loss only occurs on planets with intermediate CO{sub 2} atmospheric partial pressures (0.1-1 bar) that receive a net flux close to the critical runaway greenhouse limit. Because G-star total luminosity increases with time but X-ray and ultraviolet/ultravoilet luminosity decreases, this places strong limits on water loss for planets like Earth. In contrast, for a CO{sub 2}-rich early Venus, diffusion limits on water loss are only important if clouds caused strong cooling, implying that scenarios where the planet never had surface liquid water are indeed plausible. Around M-stars, water loss is primarily a function of orbital distance, with planets that absorb less flux than ∼270 W m{sup –2} (global mean) unlikely to lose more than one Earth ocean of H{sub 2}O over their lifetimes unless they lose all their atmospheric N{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} early on. Because of the variability of H{sub 2}O delivery during accretion, our results suggest that many 'Earth-like' exoplanets in the habitable zone may have ocean-covered surfaces, stable CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O-rich atmospheres, and high mean surface temperatures.

  9. Primordial atmosphere incorporation in planetary embryos and the origin of Neon in terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaupart, Etienne; Charnoz, Sebatien; Moreira, Manuel

    2017-09-01

    The presence of Neon in terrestrial planet mantles may be attributed to the implantation of solar wind in planetary precursors or to the dissolution of primordial solar gases captured from the accretionary disk into an early magma ocean. This is suggested by the Neon isotopic ratio similar to those of the Sun observed in the Earth mantle. Here, we evaluate the second hypothesis. We use general considerations of planetary accretion and atmospheric science. Using current models of terrestrial planet formation, we study the evolution of standard planetary embryos with masses in a range of 0.1-0.2 MEarth, where MEarth is the Earth's mass, in an annular region at distances between 0.5 and 1.5 Astronomical Units from the star. We determine the characteristics of atmospheres that can be captured by such embryos for a wide range of parameters and calculate the maximum amount of Neon that can be dissolved in the planet. Our calculations may be directly transposed to any other planet. However, we only know of the amount of Neon in the Earth's solid mantle. Thus we use Earth to discuss our results. We find that the amount of dissolved Neon is too small to account for the present-day Neon contents of the Earth's mantle, if the nebular gas disk completely disappears before the largest planetary embryos grow to be ∼0.2 MEarth. This leaves solar irradiation as the most likely source of Neon in terrestrial planets for the most standard case of planetary formation models.

  10. Late Impacts and the Origins of the Atmospheres on the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhopadhyay, S.; Stewart, S. T.; Lock, S. J.; Parai, R.; Tucker, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Models for the origin of terrestrial atmospheres typically require an intricate sequence of events, including hydrodynamic escape, outgassing of mantle volatiles and late delivery. Here we discuss the origin of the atmospheres on the terrestrial planets in light of new ideas about the formation of the Moon, giant impact induced atmospheric loss and recent noble gas measurements. Our new measurements indicate that noble gases in the Earth's atmosphere cannot be derived from any combination of fractionation of a nebular-derived atmosphere followed by outgassing of deep or shallow mantle volatiles. While Ne in the mantle retains a nebular component, the present-day atmosphere has no memory of nebular gases. Rather, atmospheric noble gases have a close affinity to chondrites. On the other hand, Venus's atmosphere has 20 and 70 times higher abundance of 20Ne and 36Ar, respectively, and a 20Ne/22Ne ratio closer to the solar value than Earth's atmosphere. While the present atmosphere of Mars is significantly fractionated in the lighter noble gases due to long term atmospheric escape, the Kr isotopic ratios in Martian atmosphere are identical to solar. Thus, while Earth's atmosphere has no memory of accretion of nebular gases, atmospheres on both Venus and Mars preserve at least a component of nebular gases. To explain the above observations, we propose that a common set of processes operated on the terrestrial planets, and that their subsequent evolutionary divergence is simply explained by planetary size and the stochastic nature of giant impacts. We present geochemical observations and simulations of giant impacts to show that most of Earth's mantle was degassed and the outgassed volatiles were largely lost during the final sequence of giant impacts onto Earth. Earth's noble gases were therefore dominantly derived from late-accreting planetesimals. In contrast, Venus did not suffer substantial atmospheric loss by a late giant impact and retains a higher abundance of

  11. Climatic Evolution and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets: Perspectives from Coupled Atmosphere-Mantle Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu Sarkar, D.; Moore, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    A multitude of factors including the distance from the host star and the stage of planetary evolution affect planetary climate and habitability. The complex interactions between the atmosphere and dynamics of the deep interior of the planets along with stellar fluxes present a formidable challenge. This work employs simplified approaches to address these complex issues in a systematic way. To be specific, we are investigating the coupled evolution of atmosphere and mantle dynamics. The overarching goal here is to simulate the evolutionary history of the terrestrial planets, for example Venus, Earth and Mars. This research also aims at deciphering the history of Venus-like runaway greenhouse and thus explore the possibility of cataclysmic shifts in climate of Earth-like planets. We focus on volatile cycling within the solid planets to understand the role of carbon/water in climatic and tectonic outcomes of such planets. In doing so, we are considering the feedbacks in the coupled mantle-atmosphere system. The primary feedback between the atmosphere and mantle is the surface temperature established by the greenhouse effect, which regulates the temperature gradient that drives the mantle convection and controls the rate at which volatiles are exchanged through weathering. We start our models with different initial assumptions to determine the final climate outcomes within a reasonable parameter space. Currently, there are very few planetary examples, to sample the climate outcomes, however this will soon change as exoplanets are discovered and examined. Therefore, we will be able to work with a significant number of potential candidates to answer questions like this one: For every Earth is there one Venus? ten? a thousand?

  12. Atmospheric constraints for the CO2 partial pressure on terrestrial planets near the outer edge of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    von Paris, P.; Grenfell, J. L.; Hedelt, P.; Rauer, H.; Selsis, F.; Stracke, B.

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, several potentially habitable, probably terrestrial exoplanets and exoplanet candidates have been discovered. The amount of CO2 in their atmosphere is of great importance for surface conditions and habitability. In the absence of detailed information on the geochemistry of the planet, this amount could be considered as a free parameter. Up to now, CO2 partial pressures for terrestrial planets have been obtained assuming an available volatile reservoir and outgassing scenarios...

  13. The persistent and pernicious myth of the early CO2-N2 atmospheres of terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, G. H.

    2009-12-01

    The accepted model for early atmospheres of terrestrial planets has settled on a CO2-N2 composition. Unfortunately, while it is largely based on a brilliant geological analysis by Rubey, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever for such a composition as the first “permanent” atmosphere for Earth or any other planet. In fact, geological discoveries of the past 50+ years reveal several problems with a CO2-N2 atmosphere, some of which Rubey recognized in his own analysis. He clearly addressed the problem of timing of degassing, concluding that early massive degassing of CO2 would produce readily observed and profound effects, which are not evident. Modeling and constraints on the timing of planetary accretion and core formation indicate massive early degassing. If early degassing emitted CO2-N2, the effects are concealed. Plate tectonic recycling is not a solution, as conditions would have persisted beyond the time of the earliest rocks, which do not show the effects. Attempts to return degassed CO2 to the mantle are not only ad hoc, but inconsistent with early thermal structure of the Earth. Second, production of prebiotic organic compounds from a CO2-N2 atmosphere has been a nagging problem. At best this has been addressed by invoking hydrogen production from the mantle to provide reducing capacity. While hydrogen may be emitted in volcanic eruptions, it is exceedingly difficult to imagine this process generating enough organics to yield high concentrations in a global ocean. The recent fashion of invoking organic synthesis at deep-sea vents suffers from the same problem: how to achieve sufficient concentrations of organics in a global ocean by abiotic synthesis when hydrothermal activity stirs the solution and carries the prebiotic products off to great dilution? Suggesting life began at deep-sea vents, and continues to carry on chemosynthesis there, begs the question. Unless you get high enough concentrations of prebiotics by abiotic processes, you simply

  14. Terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Righter, K; O'Brien, D P

    2011-11-29

    Advances in our understanding of terrestrial planet formation have come from a multidisciplinary approach. Studies of the ages and compositions of primitive meteorites with compositions similar to the Sun have helped to constrain the nature of the building blocks of planets. This information helps to guide numerical models for the three stages of planet formation from dust to planetesimals (~10(6) y), followed by planetesimals to embryos (lunar to Mars-sized objects; few 10(6) y), and finally embryos to planets (10(7)-10(8) y). Defining the role of turbulence in the early nebula is a key to understanding the growth of solids larger than meter size. The initiation of runaway growth of embryos from planetesimals ultimately leads to the growth of large terrestrial planets via large impacts. Dynamical models can produce inner Solar System configurations that closely resemble our Solar System, especially when the orbital effects of large planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and damping mechanisms, such as gas drag, are included. Experimental studies of terrestrial planet interiors provide additional constraints on the conditions of differentiation and, therefore, origin. A more complete understanding of terrestrial planet formation might be possible via a combination of chemical and physical modeling, as well as obtaining samples and new geophysical data from other planets (Venus, Mars, or Mercury) and asteroids.

  15. Time-Dependent Simulations of the Formation and Evolution of Disk-Accreted Atmospheres Around Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoekl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst

    2014-05-01

    In the early, embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, the planetary core accumulates gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. This atmosphere is very significant for the further thermal evolution of the planet by forming an insulation around the rocky core. The disk-captured envelope is also the staring point for the atmospheric evolution where the atmosphere is modified by outgassing from the planetary core and atmospheric mass loss once the planet is exposed to the radiation field of the host star. The final amount of persistent atmosphere around the evolved planet very much characterizes the planet and is a key criterion for habitability. The established way to study disk accumulated atmospheres are hydrostatic models, even though in many cases the assumption of stationarity is unlikely to be fulfilled. We present, for the first time, time-dependent radiation hydrodynamics simulations of the accumulation process and the interaction between the disk-nebula gas and the planetary core. The calculations were performed with the TAPIR-Code (short for The adaptive, implicit RHD-Code) in spherical symmetry solving the equations of hydrodynamics, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. The models range from the surface of the solid core up to the Hill radius where the planetary envelope merges into the surrounding protoplanetary disk. Our results show that the time-scale of gas capturing and atmospheric growth strongly depends on the mass of the solid core. The amount of atmosphere accumulated during the lifetime of the protoplanetary disk (typically a few Myr) varies accordingly with the mass of the planet. Thus, a core with Mars-mass will end up with about 10 bar of atmosphere while for an Earth-mass core, the surface pressure reaches several 1000 bar. Even larger planets with several Earth masses quickly capture massive envelopes which in turn become gravitationally unstable leading to runaway accretion and the eventual

  16. Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackwell, Stephen J.; Simon-Miller, Amy A.; Harder, Jerald W.; Bullock, Mark A.

    Public awareness of climate change on Earth is currently very high, promoting significant interest in atmospheric processes. We are fortunate to live in an era where it is possible to study the climates of many planets, including our own, using spacecraft and groundbased observations as well as advanced computational power that allows detailed modeling. Planetary atmospheric dynamics and structure are all governed by the same basic physics. Thus differences in the input variables (such as composition, internal structure, and solar radiation) among the known planets provide a broad suite of natural laboratory settings for gaining new understanding of these physical processes and their outcomes. Diverse planetary settings provide insightful comparisons to atmospheric processes and feedbacks on Earth, allowing a greater understanding of the driving forces and external influences on our own planetary climate. They also inform us in our search for habitable environments on planets orbiting distant stars, a topic that was a focus of Exoplanets, the preceding book in the University of Arizona Press Space Sciences Series. Quite naturally, and perhaps inevitably, our fascination with climate is largely driven toward investigating the interplay between the early development of life and the presence of a suitable planetary climate. Our understanding of how habitable planets come to be begins with the worlds closest to home. Venus, Earth, and Mars differ only modestly in their mass and distance from the Sun, yet their current climates could scarcely be more divergent. Our purpose for this book is to set forth the foundations for this emerging science and to bring to the forefront our current understanding of atmospheric formation and climate evolution. Although there is significant comparison to be made to atmospheric processes on nonterrestrial planets in our solar system — the gas and ice giants — here we focus on the terrestrial planets, leaving even broader comparisons

  17. Evolutionary tracks of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsui, Takafumi; Abe, Yutaka

    1987-01-01

    On the basis of the model proposed by Matsui and Abe, the authors show that two major factors - distance from the Sun and the efficiency of retention of accretional energy - control the early evolution of the terrestrial planets. A diagram of accretional energy versus the optical depth of a proto-atmosphere provides a means to follow the evolutionary track of surface temperature of the terrestrial planets and an explanation for why the third planet in our solar system is an 'aqua'-planet. 15 refs; 3 figs

  18. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part I: atmospheric expansion and thermal escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkaev, Nikolai V; Lammer, Helmut; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N; Kislyakova, Kristina G; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried

    2013-11-01

    The recently discovered low-density "super-Earths" Kepler-11b, Kepler-11f, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, and planets such as GJ 1214b represent the most likely known planets that are surrounded by dense H/He envelopes or contain deep H₂O oceans also surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes. Although these super-Earths are orbiting relatively close to their host stars, they have not lost their captured nebula-based hydrogen-rich or degassed volatile-rich steam protoatmospheres. Thus, it is interesting to estimate the maximum possible amount of atmospheric hydrogen loss from a terrestrial planet orbiting within the habitable zone of late main sequence host stars. For studying the thermosphere structure and escape, we apply a 1-D hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model that solves the equations of mass, momentum, and energy conservation for a planet with the mass and size of Earth and for a super-Earth with a size of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth). We calculate volume heating rates by the stellar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and expansion of the upper atmosphere, its temperature, density, and velocity structure and related thermal escape rates during the planet's lifetime. Moreover, we investigate under which conditions both planets enter the blow-off escape regime and may therefore experience loss rates that are close to the energy-limited escape. Finally, we discuss the results in the context of atmospheric evolution and implications for habitability of terrestrial planets in general.

  19. Constitution of terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waenke, H.

    1981-01-01

    Reliable estimates of the bulk composition are restricted to the Earth, the Moon and the eucrite parent asteroid. The last, the parent body of the eucrite-diogenite family of meteorites, seems to have an almost chondritic composition except for a considerable depletion of all moderately volatile (Na, K, Rb, F, etc.) and highly volatile (Cl, Br, Cd, Pb, etc.) elements. The moon is also depleted in moderate volatile and volatile elements compared to carbonaceous chondrites of type 1 (C1) and to the Earth. Again normalized to C1 and Si the Earth's mantle and the Moon are slightly enriched in refractory lithophile elements and in magnesium. The striking depletion of the Earth's mantle for the elements V, Cr and Mn can be explained by their partial removal into the core. Apart from their contents of metallic iron, all siderophile elements, moderately volatile and volatile elements, Earth and Moon are chemically very similar. It might well be that, with these exceptions and that of a varying degree of oxidation, all the inner planets have a similar chemistry. The chemical composition of the Earth's mantle, yields important information about the accretion history of the Earth and that of the inner planets. (author)

  20. Structure of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyttleton, R.A.

    1977-01-01

    Recent reviews (cf. Runcorn, 1968; or Cook, 1972, 1975) on the structure of the planets omit reference to the phase-change hypothesis for the nature of the terrestrial core, despite that numerous prior predictions of the theory based on this hypothesis have subsequently been borne out as correct. These reviews also ignore the existence of theoretical calculations of the internal structure of Venus which can be computed with high accuracy by use of the terrestrial seismic data. Several examples of numerous mistakes committed in these reviews are pointed out. (Auth.)

  1. Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted for presentation at the Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets, July 20-23,2004, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The contents include: 1) Experimental Constraints on Oxygen and Other Light Element Partitioning During Planetary Core Formation; 2) In Situ Determination of Fe(3+)/SigmaFe of Spinels by Electron Microprobe: An Evaluation of the Flank Method; 3) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Large-Strain Deformation and Recrystallization of Olivine; 4) Plagioclase-Liquid Trace Element Oxygen Barometry and Oxygen Behaviour in Closed and Open System Magmatic Processes; 5) Core Formation in the Earth: Constraints from Ni and Co; 6) Oxygen Isotopic Compositions of the Terrestrial Planets; 7) The Effect of Oxygen Fugacity on Electrical Conduction of Olivine and Implications for Earth s Mantle; 8) Redox Chemical Diffusion in Silicate Melts: The Impact of the Semiconductor Condition; 9) Ultra-High Temperature Effects in Earth s Magma Ocean: Pt and W Partitioning; 10) Terrestrial Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Variations: Primordial Values, Systematics, Subsolidus Effects, Planetary Comparisons, and the Role of Water; 11) Redox State of the Moon s Interior; 12) How did the Terrestrial Planets Acquire Their Water?; 13) Molecular Oxygen Mixing Ratio and Its Seasonal Variability in the Martian Atmosphere; 14) Exchange Between the Atmosphere and the Regolith of Mars: Discussion of Oxygen and Sulfur Isotope Evidence; 15) Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotope Systematics of Atmospheric Water Vapor and Meteoric Waters: Evidence from North Texas; 16) Implications of Isotopic and Redox Heterogeneities in Silicate Reservoirs on Mars; 17) Oxygen Isotopic Variation of the Terrestrial Planets; 18) Redox Exchanges in Hydrous Magma; 19) Hydrothermal Systems on Terrestrial Planets: Lessons from Earth; 20) Oxygen in Martian Meteorites: A Review of Results from Mineral Equilibria Oxybarometers; 21) Non-Linear Fractionation of Oxygen Isotopes Implanted in

  2. Geology and Habitability of Terrestrial Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Fishbaugh, Kathryn E; Raulin, François; Marais, David J; Korablev, Oleg

    2007-01-01

    Given the fundamental importance of and universal interest in whether extraterrestrial life has developed or could eventually develop in our solar system and beyond, it is vital that an examination of planetary habitability goes beyond simple assumptions such as, "Where there is water, there is life." This book has resulted from a workshop at the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland (5-9 September 2005) that brought together planetary geologists, geophysicists, atmospheric scientists, and biologists to discuss the multi-faceted problem of how the habitability of a planet co-evolves with the geology of the surface and interior, the atmosphere, and the magnetosphere. Each of the six chapters has been written by authors with a range of expertise so that each chapter is itself multi-disciplinary, comprehensive, and accessible to scientists in all disciplines. These chapters delve into what life needs to exist and ultimately to thrive, the early environments of the young terrestrial pl...

  3. DECIPHERING THERMAL PHASE CURVES OF DRY, TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koll, Daniel D. B.; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: dkoll@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-03-20

    Next-generation space telescopes will allow us to characterize terrestrial exoplanets. To do so effectively it will be crucial to make use of all available data. We investigate which atmospheric properties can, and cannot, be inferred from the broadband thermal phase curve of a dry and tidally locked terrestrial planet. First, we use dimensional analysis to show that phase curves are controlled by six nondimensional parameters. Second, we use an idealized general circulation model to explore the relative sensitivity of phase curves to these parameters. We find that the feature of phase curves most sensitive to atmospheric parameters is the peak-to-trough amplitude. Moreover, except for hot and rapidly rotating planets, the phase amplitude is primarily sensitive to only two nondimensional parameters: (1) the ratio of dynamical to radiative timescales and (2) the longwave optical depth at the surface. As an application of this technique, we show how phase curve measurements can be combined with transit or emission spectroscopy to yield a new constraint for the surface pressure and atmospheric mass of terrestrial planets. We estimate that a single broadband phase curve, measured over half an orbit with the James Webb Space Telescope, could meaningfully constrain the atmospheric mass of a nearby super-Earth. Such constraints will be important for studying the atmospheric evolution of terrestrial exoplanets as well as characterizing the surface conditions on potentially habitable planets.

  4. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  5. Terrestrial Planet Formation from an Annulus -- Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deienno, Rogerio; Walsh, Kevin J.; Kretke, Katherine A.; Levison, Harold F.

    2018-04-01

    Numerous recent theories of terrestrial planet formation suggest that, in order to reproduce the observed large Earth to Mars mass ratio, planets formed from an annulus of material within 1 au. The success of these models typically rely on a Mars sized embryo being scattered outside 1 au (to ~1.5 au) and starving, while those remaining inside 1 au continue growing, forming Earth and Venus. In some models the scattering is instigated by the migration of giant planets, while in others an embryo-instability naturally occurs due to the dissipation of the gaseous solar nebula. While these models can typically succeed in reproducing the overall mass ratio among the planets, the final angular momentum deficit (AMD) of the present terrestrial planets in our Solar System, and their radial mass concentration (RMC), namely the position where Mars end up in the simulations, are not always well reproduced. Assuming that the gas nebula may not be entirely dissipated when such an embryo-instability happens, here, we study the effects that the time of such an instability can have on the final AMD and RMC. In addition, we also included energy dissipation within embryo-embryo collisions by assuming a given coefficient of restitution for collisions. Our results show that: i) dissipation within embryo-embryo collisions do not play any important role in the final terrestrial planetary system; ii) the final AMD decreases only when the number of final planets formed increases; iii) the RMC tends to always be lower than the present value no matter the number of final planets; and iv) depending on the time that the embryo-instability happen, if too early, with too much gas still present, a second instability will generally happen after the dissipation of the gas nebula.

  6. Abiotic production of methane in terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Segura, Antígona; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-06-01

    On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×10(8) and 1.3×10(9) molecules cm(-2) s(-1) for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life.

  7. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION FROM AN ANNULUS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, Kevin J.; Levison, Harold F., E-mail: kwalsh@boulder.swri.edu [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St. Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2016-09-01

    It has been shown that some aspects of the terrestrial planets can be explained, particularly the Earth/Mars mass ratio, when they form from a truncated disk with an outer edge near 1.0 au. This has been previously modeled starting from an intermediate stage of growth utilizing pre-formed planetary embryos. We present simulations that were designed to test this idea by following the growth process from km-sized objects located between 0.7 and 1.0 au up to terrestrial planets. The simulations explore initial conditions where the solids in the disk are planetesimals with radii initially between 3 and 300 km, alternately including effects from a dissipating gaseous solar nebula and collisional fragmentation. We use a new Lagrangian code known as LIPAD, which is a particle-based code that models the fragmentation, accretion, and dynamical evolution of a large number of planetesimals, and can model the entire growth process from km-sizes up to planets. A suite of large (∼ Mars mass) planetary embryos is complete in only ∼1 Myr, containing most of the system mass. A quiescent period then persists for 10–20 Myr characterized by slow diffusion of the orbits and continued accretion of the remaining planetesimals. This is interrupted by an instability that leads to embryos crossing orbits and embryo–embryo impacts that eventually produce the final set of planets. While this evolution is different than that found in other works exploring an annulus, the final planetary systems are similar, with roughly the correct number of planets and good Mars-analogs.

  8. Climate evolution on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasting, J.F.; Toon, O.B.

    1989-01-01

    The present comparative evaluation of the long-term evolution of the Venus, earth, and Mars climates suggests that the earth's climate has remained temperate over most of its history despite a secular solar luminosity increase in virtue of a negative-feedback cycle based on atmospheric CO 2 levels and climate. The examination of planetary climate histories suggests that an earth-sized planet should be able to maintain liquid water on its surface at orbital distances in the 0.9-1.5 AU range, comparable to the orbit of Mars; this, in turn, implies that there may be many other habitable planets within the Galaxy

  9. Abiotic Production of Methane in Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Marmolejo, Andrés; Escobar-Briones, Elva

    2013-01-01

    Abstract On Earth, methane is produced mainly by life, and it has been proposed that, under certain conditions, methane detected in an exoplanetary spectrum may be considered a biosignature. Here, we estimate how much methane may be produced in hydrothermal vent systems by serpentinization, its main geological source, using the kinetic properties of the main reactions involved in methane production by serpentinization. Hydrogen production by serpentinization was calculated as a function of the available FeO in the crust, given the current spreading rates. Carbon dioxide is the limiting reactant for methane formation because it is highly depleted in aqueous form in hydrothermal vent systems. We estimated maximum CH4 surface fluxes of 6.8×108 and 1.3×109 molecules cm−2 s−1 for rocky planets with 1 and 5 M⊕, respectively. Using a 1-D photochemical model, we simulated atmospheres with volume mixing ratios of 0.03 and 0.1 CO2 to calculate atmospheric methane concentrations for the maximum production of this compound by serpentinization. The resulting abundances were 2.5 and 2.1 ppmv for 1 M⊕ planets and 4.1 and 3.7 ppmv for 5 M⊕ planets. Therefore, low atmospheric concentrations of methane may be produced by serpentinization. For habitable planets around Sun-like stars with N2-CO2 atmospheres, methane concentrations larger than 10 ppmv may indicate the presence of life. Key Words: Serpentinization—Exoplanets—Biosignatures—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 13, 550–559. PMID:23742231

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph High Accuracy Optical Propagation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) project is considering several approaches to discovering planets orbiting stars far from earth and assessing their suitability to...

  12. [Extrasolar terrestrial planets and possibility of extraterrestrial life].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ida, Shigeru

    2003-12-01

    Recent development of research on extrasolar planets are reviewed. About 120 extrasolar Jupiter-mass planets have been discovered through the observation of Doppler shift in the light of their host stars that is caused by acceleration due to planet orbital motions. Although the extrasolar planets so far observed may be limited to gas giant planets and their orbits differ from those of giant planets in our Solar system (Jupiter and Saturn), the theoretically predicted probability of existence of extrasolar terrestrial planets that can have liquid water ocean on their surface is comparable to that of detectable gas giant planets. Based on the number of extrasolar gas giants detected so far, about 100 life-sustainable planets may exist within a range of 200 light years. Indirect observation of extrasolar terrestrial planets would be done with space telescopes within several years and direct one may be done within 20 years. The latter can detect biomarkers on these planets as well.

  13. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part II: hydrogen coronae and ion escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kislyakova, Kristina G; Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Kulikov, Yuri N; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-11-01

    We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a "super-Earth" with a radius of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth), located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×10²⁵ s⁻¹ to ∼5.3×10³⁰ s⁻¹, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EO(H)) to <3 EO(H) and usually is several times smaller in comparison to the thermal atmospheric escape rates.

  14. XUV-Exposed, Non-Hydrostatic Hydrogen-Rich Upper Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets. Part II: Hydrogen Coronae and Ion Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V.; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Kulikov, Yuri N.; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a “super-Earth” with a radius of 2 REarth and a mass of 10 MEarth, located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×1025 s−1 to ∼5.3×1030 s−1, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EOH) to stars—Early atmospheres—Earth-like exoplanets—Energetic neutral atoms—Ion escape—Habitability. Astrobiology 13, 1030–1048. PMID:24283926

  15. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Knížek, Antonín; Ivanek, Ondřej; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalová, Markéta; Kavan, Ladislav; Ferus, Martin

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the chemical evolution of newly formed terrestrial planets involves uncertainties in atmospheric chemical composition and assessing the plausibility of biomolecule synthesis. In this study, an original scenario for the origin of methane on Mars and terrestrial planets is suggested. Carbon dioxide in Martian and other planetary atmospheres can be abiotically converted into a mixture of methane and carbon monoxide by `methanogenesis' on porous mineral photoactive surfaces under soft ultraviolet irradiation. On young planets exposed to heavy bombardment by interplanetary matter, this process can be followed by biomolecule synthesis through the reprocessing of reactive reducing atmospheres by impact-induced shock waves. The proposed mechanism of methanogenesis may help to answer the question concerning the formation of methane and carbon monoxide by photochemical processes, the formation of biomolecules on early Earth and other terrestrial planets, and the source and seasonal variation of methane concentrations on Mars.

  16. Comparative ionospheres: Terrestrial and giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendillo, Michael; Trovato, Jeffrey; Moore, Luke; Müller-Wodarg, Ingo

    2018-03-01

    The study of planetary ionospheres within our solar system offers a variety of settings to probe mechanisms of photo-ionization, chemical loss, and plasma transport. Ionospheres are a minor component of upper atmospheres, and thus their mix of ions observed depends on the neutral gas composition of their parent atmospheres. The same solar irradiance (x-rays and extreme-ultra-violet vs. wavelength) impinges upon each of these atmospheres, with solar flux magnitudes changed only by the inverse square of distance from the Sun. If all planets had the same neutral atmosphere-with ionospheres governed by photochemical equilibrium (production = loss)-their peak electron densities would decrease as the inverse of distance from the Sun, and any changes in solar output would exhibit coherent effects throughout the solar system. Here we examine the outer planet with the most observations of its ionosphere (Saturn) and compare its patterns of electron density with those at Earth under the same-day solar conditions. We show that, while the average magnitudes of the major layers of molecular ions at Earth and Saturn are approximately in accord with distance effects, only minor correlations exist between solar effects and day-to-day electron densities. This is in marked contrast to the strong correlations found between the ionospheres of Earth and Mars. Moreover, the variability observed for Saturn's ionosphere (maximum electron density and total electron content) is much larger than found at Earth and Mars. With solar irradiance changes far too small to cause such effects, we use model results to explore the roles of other agents. We find that water sources from Enceladus at low latitudes, and 'ring rain' at middle latitudes, contribute substantially to variability via water ion chemistry. Thermospheric winds and electrodynamics generated at auroral latitudes are suggested causes of high latitude ionospheric variability, but remain inconclusive due to the lack of relevant

  17. Atmospheric dynamics of tidally synchronized extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2011-06-01

    There exists strong circumstantial evidence from their eccentric orbits that most of the known extra-solar planetary systems are the survivors of violent dynamical instabilities. Here we explore the effect of giant planet instabilities on the formation and survival of terrestrial planets. We numerically simulate the evolution of planetary systems around Sun-like stars that include three components: (i) an inner disk of planetesimals and planetary embryos; (ii) three giant planets at Jupiter-Saturn distances; and (iii) an outer disk of planetesimals comparable to estimates of the primitive Kuiper belt. We calculate the dust production and spectral energy distribution of each system by assuming that each planetesimal particle represents an ensemble of smaller bodies in collisional equilibrium. Our main result is a strong correlation between the evolution of the inner and outer parts of planetary systems, i.e. between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks. Strong giant planet instabilities - that produce very eccentric surviving planets - destroy all rocky material in the system, including fully-formed terrestrial planets if the instabilities occur late, and also destroy the icy planetesimal population. Stable or weakly unstable systems allow terrestrial planets to accrete in their inner regions and significant dust to be produced in their outer regions, detectable at mid-infrared wavelengths as debris disks. Stars older than ~100 Myr with bright cold dust emission (in particular at λ ~ 70 μm) signpost dynamically calm environments that were conducive to efficient terrestrial accretion. Such emission is present around ~16% of billion-year old Solar-type stars. Our simulations yield numerous secondary results: 1) the typical eccentricities of as-yet undetected terrestrial planets are ~0.1 but there exists a novel class of terrestrial planet system whose single planet undergoes large amplitude oscillations in orbital eccentricity and inclination; 2) by

  19. Extending Whole-earth Tectonics To The Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, V. R.; Maruyama, S.; Dohm, J. M.

    Based on the need to explain a great many geological and geophysical anomalies on Mars, and stimulated by the new results from the Mars Global Surveyor Mission, we propose a conceptual model of whole-EARTH (Episodic Annular Revolving Thermal Hydrologic) tectonics for the long-term evolution of terrestrial planets. The theory emphasizes (1) the importance of water in planetary evolution, and (2) the physi- cal transitions in modes of mantle convection in relation to planetary heat produc- tion. Depending on their first-order geophysical parameters and following accretion and differentiation from volatile-rich planetessimals, terrestrial planets should evolve through various stages of mantle convection, including magma ocean, plate tectonic, and stagnant lid processes. If a water ocean is able to condense from the planet's early steam atmosphere, an early regime of plate tectonics will follow the initial magma ocean. This definitely happened on earth, probably on Mars, and possibly on Venus. The Mars history led to transfer of large amounts of water to the mantle during the pe- riod of heavy bombardment. Termination of plate tectonics on Mars during the heavy bombardment period led to initiation of superplumes at Tharsis and Elysium, where long-persistent volcanism and water outbursts dominated much of later Martian his- tory. For Venus, warming of the early sun made the surface ocean unstable, eliminating its early plate-tectonic regime. Although Venus now experiences stagnant-lid convec- tion with episodic mantle overturns, the water subducted to its lower mantle during the ancient plate-tectonic regime manifests itself in the initation of volatile-rich plumes that dominate its current tectonic regime.

  20. Long Term Evolution of Planetary Systems with a Terrestrial Planet and a Giant Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian; Way, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    We study the long term orbital evolution of a terrestrial planet under the gravitational perturbations of a giant planet. In particular, we are interested in situations where the two planets are in the same plane and are relatively close. We examine both possible configurations: the giant planet orbit being either outside or inside the orbit of the smaller planet. The perturbing potential is expanded to high orders and an analytical solution of the terrestrial planetary orbit is derived. The analytical estimates are then compared against results from the numerical integration of the full equations of motion and we find that the analytical solution works reasonably well. An interesting finding is that the new analytical estimates improve greatly the predictions for the timescales of the orbital evolution of the terrestrial planet compared to an octupole order expansion. Finally, we briefly discuss possible applications of the analytical estimates in astrophysical problems.

  1. Beyond the principle of plentitude: a review of terrestrial planet habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaidos, E; Deschenes, B; Dundon, L; Fagan, K; Menviel-Hessler, L; Moskovitz, N; Workman, M

    2005-04-01

    We review recent work that directly or indirectly addresses the habitability of terrestrial (rocky) planets like the Earth. Habitability has been traditionally defined in terms of an orbital semimajor axis within a range known as the habitable zone, but it is also well known that the habitability of Earth is due to many other astrophysical, geological, and geochemical factors. We focus this review on (1) recent refinements to habitable zone calculations; (2) the formation and orbital stability of terrestrial planets; (3) the tempo and mode of geologic activity (e.g., plate tectonics) on terrestrial planets; (4) the delivery of water to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone; and (5) the acquisition and loss of terrestrial planet carbon and nitrogen, elements that constitute important atmospheric gases responsible for habitable conditions on Earth's surface as well as being the building blocks of the biosphere itself. Finally, we consider recent work on evidence for the earliest habitable environments and the appearance of life itself on our planet. Such evidence provides us with an important, if nominal, calibration point for our search for other habitable worlds.

  2. Capture of terrestrial-sized moons by gas giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Darren M

    2013-04-01

    Terrestrial moons with masses >0.1 M (symbol in text) possibly exist around extrasolar giant planets, and here we consider the energetics of how they might form. Binary-exchange capture can occur if a binary-terrestrial object (BTO) is tidally disrupted during a close encounter with a giant planet and one of the binary members is ejected while the other remains as a moon. Tidal disruption occurs readily in the deep gravity wells of giant planets; however, the large encounter velocities in the wells make binary exchange more difficult than for planets of lesser mass. In addition, successful capture favors massive binaries with large rotational velocities and small component mass ratios. Also, since the interaction tends to leave the captured moons on highly elliptical orbits, permanent capture is only possible around planets with sizable Hill spheres that are well separated from their host stars.

  3. Geophysical and atmospheric evolution of habitable planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Frank; Chassefière, Eric; Breuer, Doris; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Kulikov, Yuri N; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Biernat, Helfried K; Leblanc, Francois; Kallio, Esa; Lundin, Richard; Westall, Frances; Bauer, Siegfried J; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Eiroa, Carlos; Fridlund, Malcolm; Gröller, Hannes; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Hausleitner, Walter; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Leitzinger, Martin; Lichtenegger, Herbert I M; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Motschmann, Uwe; Odert, Petra; Paresce, Francesco; Parnell, John; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Rauer, Heike; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Spohn, Tilman; Stadelmann, Anja; Stangl, Günter; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The evolution of Earth-like habitable planets is a complex process that depends on the geodynamical and geophysical environments. In particular, it is necessary that plate tectonics remain active over billions of years. These geophysically active environments are strongly coupled to a planet's host star parameters, such as mass, luminosity and activity, orbit location of the habitable zone, and the planet's initial water inventory. Depending on the host star's radiation and particle flux evolution, the composition in the thermosphere, and the availability of an active magnetic dynamo, the atmospheres of Earth-like planets within their habitable zones are differently affected due to thermal and nonthermal escape processes. For some planets, strong atmospheric escape could even effect the stability of the atmosphere.

  4. SEARCHING FOR THE SIGNATURES OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN SOLAR ANALOGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Hernandez, J. I.; Israelian, G.; Delgado-Mena, E.; Santos, N. C.; Sousa, S.; Neves, V.; Udry, S.

    2010-01-01

    We present a fully differential chemical abundance analysis using very high resolution (λ/δλ ∼> 85, 000) and very high signal-to-noise (S/N ∼800 on average) HARPS and UVES spectra of 7 solar twins and 95 solar analogs, of which 24 are planet hosts and 71 are stars without detected planets. The whole sample of solar analogs provides very accurate Galactic chemical evolution trends in the metallicity range -0.3 < [Fe/H] < 0.5. Solar twins with and without planets show similar mean abundance ratios. We have also analyzed a sub-sample of 28 solar analogs, 14 planet hosts, and 14 stars without known planets, with spectra at S/N ∼850 on average, in the metallicity range 0.14 < [Fe/H] < 0.36, and find the same abundance pattern for both samples of stars with and without planets. This result does not depend on either the planet mass, from 7 Earth masses to 17.4 Jupiter masses, or the orbital period of the planets, from 3 to 4300 days. In addition, we have derived the slope of the abundance ratios as a function of the condensation temperature for each star and again find similar distributions of the slopes for both stars with and without planets. In particular, the peaks of these two distributions are placed at a similar value but with the opposite sign to that expected from a possible signature of terrestrial planets. In particular, two of the planetary systems in this sample, each of them containing a super-Earth-like planet, show slope values very close to these peaks, which may suggest that these abundance patterns are not related to the presence of terrestrial planets.

  5. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON SURVIVAL OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Ida, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Makiko

    2013-01-01

    The orbital distributions of currently observed extrasolar giant planets allow marginally stable orbits for hypothetical, terrestrial planets. In this paper, we propose that many of these systems may not have additional planets on these ''stable'' orbits, since past dynamical instability among giant planets could have removed them. We numerically investigate the effects of early evolution of multiple giant planets on the orbital stability of the inner, sub-Neptune-like planets which are modeled as test particles, and determine their dynamically unstable region. Previous studies have shown that the majority of such test particles are ejected out of the system as a result of close encounters with giant planets. Here, we show that secular perturbations from giant planets can remove test particles at least down to 10 times smaller than their minimum pericenter distance. Our results indicate that, unless the dynamical instability among giant planets is either absent or quiet like planet-planet collisions, most test particles down to ∼0.1 AU within the orbits of giant planets at a few AU may be gone. In fact, out of ∼30% of survived test particles, about three quarters belong to the planet-planet collision cases. We find a good agreement between our numerical results and the secular theory, and present a semi-analytical formula which estimates the dynamically unstable region of the test particles just from the evolution of giant planets. Finally, our numerical results agree well with the observations, and also predict the existence of hot rocky planets in eccentric giant planet systems.

  6. The carbonate-silicate cycle and CO2/climate feedbacks on tidally locked terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edson, Adam R; Kasting, James F; Pollard, David; Lee, Sukyoung; Bannon, Peter R

    2012-06-01

    Atmospheric gaseous constituents play an important role in determining the surface temperatures and habitability of a planet. Using a global climate model and a parameterization of the carbonate-silicate cycle, we explored the effect of the location of the substellar point on the atmospheric CO(2) concentration and temperatures of a tidally locked terrestrial planet, using the present Earth continental distribution as an example. We found that the substellar point's location relative to the continents is an important factor in determining weathering and the equilibrium atmospheric CO(2) level. Placing the substellar point over the Atlantic Ocean results in an atmospheric CO(2) concentration of 7 ppmv and a global mean surface air temperature of 247 K, making ∼30% of the planet's surface habitable, whereas placing it over the Pacific Ocean results in a CO(2) concentration of 60,311 ppmv and a global temperature of 282 K, making ∼55% of the surface habitable.

  7. TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION DURING THE MIGRATION AND RESONANCE CROSSINGS OF THE GIANT PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lykawka, Patryk Sofia; Ito, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The newly formed giant planets may have migrated and crossed a number of mutual mean motion resonances (MMRs) when smaller objects (embryos) were accreting to form the terrestrial planets in the planetesimal disk. We investigated the effects of the planetesimal-driven migration of Jupiter and Saturn, and the influence of their mutual 1:2 MMR crossing on terrestrial planet formation for the first time, by performing N-body simulations. These simulations considered distinct timescales of MMR crossing and planet migration. In total, 68 high-resolution simulation runs using 2000 disk planetesimals were performed, which was a significant improvement on previously published results. Even when the effects of the 1:2 MMR crossing and planet migration were included in the system, Venus and Earth analogs (considering both orbits and masses) successfully formed in several runs. In addition, we found that the orbits of planetesimals beyond a ∼ 1.5-2 AU were dynamically depleted by the strengthened sweeping secular resonances associated with Jupiter's and Saturn's more eccentric orbits (relative to the present day) during planet migration. However, this depletion did not prevent the formation of massive Mars analogs (planets with more than 1.5 times Mars's mass). Although late MMR crossings (at t > 30 Myr) could remove such planets, Mars-like small mass planets survived on overly excited orbits (high e and/or i), or were completely lost in these systems. We conclude that the orbital migration and crossing of the mutual 1:2 MMR of Jupiter and Saturn are unlikely to provide suitable orbital conditions for the formation of solar system terrestrial planets. This suggests that to explain Mars's small mass and the absence of other planets between Mars and Jupiter, the outer asteroid belt must have suffered a severe depletion due to interactions with Jupiter/Saturn, or by an alternative mechanism (e.g., rogue super-Earths)

  8. Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamano, Keiko; Abe, Yutaka; Genda, Hidenori

    2013-05-30

    Understanding the origins of the diversity in terrestrial planets is a fundamental goal in Earth and planetary sciences. In the Solar System, Venus has a similar size and bulk composition to those of Earth, but it lacks water. Because a richer variety of exoplanets is expected to be discovered, prediction of their atmospheres and surface environments requires a general framework for planetary evolution. Here we show that terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from the initially hot molten state expected from the standard formation model. Even if, apart from their orbits, they were identical just after formation, the solidified planets can have different characteristics. A type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, solidifies within several million years. If the planet acquires water during formation, most of this water is retained and forms the earliest oceans. In contrast, on a type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, a magma ocean can be sustained for longer, even with a larger initial amount of water. Its duration could be as long as 100 million years if the planet is formed together with a mass of water comparable to the total inventory of the modern Earth. Hydrodynamic escape desiccates type II planets during the slow solidification process. Although Earth is categorized as type I, it is not clear which type Venus is because its orbital distance is close to the critical distance. However, because the dryness of the surface and mantle predicted for type II planets is consistent with the characteristics of Venus, it may be representative of type II planets. Also, future observations may have a chance to detect not only terrestrial exoplanets covered with water ocean but also those covered with magma ocean around a young star.

  9. A Google Earth Grand Tour of the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Paor, Declan; Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Google Earth is a powerful instructional resource for geoscience education. We have extended the virtual globe to include all terrestrial planets. Downloadable Keyhole Markup Language (KML) files (Google Earth's scripting language) associated with this paper include lessons about Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars. We created "grand…

  10. Predicting the Atmospheric Composition of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Crustal development in the terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, S. R.

    1985-01-01

    The development of planetary crusts may be divided into primary, resulting from melting during accretion, and secondary crusts developed by partial melting from planetary mantles. The Mercurian crust is probably primary with no compelling evidence of later basaltic extrusions. Reflectance spectral evidence for the existence Fe2(+) is equivocal. The Viking Lander XRF data on Mars indicate basaltic material at both sites 4,000 km apart. Surface aeolian processes would be expected to provide a homogeneous average of the crust, but no evidence of more siliceous material is present. This conclusion is weakly supported by the Russian gamma ray data. No evidence for granite appears from the Russian Venera XRF data which indicates MORB-type and alkali basalt (4% K2O) surface compositions. The highlands of Ishtar Terra and Aphrodite probably owe their elevation to tectonic processes rather than compositional effects. Venus may thus resemble the early Archean Earth. The terrestrial granitic continental crust is a product of episodic multiple partial melting events, probably a consequence of the presence of surface water.

  12. Tc Trends and Terrestrial Planet Formation: The Case of Zeta Reticuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adibekyan, Vardan; Delgado-Mena, Elisa; Figueira, Pedro; Sousa, Sergio; Santos, Nuno; Faria, Joao; González Hernández, Jonay; Israelian, Garik; Harutyunyan, Gohar; Suárez-Andrés, Lucia; Hakobyan, Artur

    2016-11-01

    During the last decade astronomers have been trying to search for chemical signatures of terrestrial planet formation in the atmospheres of the hosting stars. Several studies suggested that the chemical abundance trend with the condensation temperature, Tc, is a signature of rocky planet formation. In particular, it was suggested that the Sun shows 'peculiar' chemical abundances due to the presence of the terrestrial planets in our solar-system. However, the rocky material accretion or the trap of rocky materials in terrestrial planets is not the only explanation for the chemical 'peculiarity' of the Sun, or other Sun-like stars with planets. In this talk I madea very brief review of this topic, and presented our last results for the particular case of Zeta Reticuli binary system: A very interesting and well-known system (known in science fiction and ufology as the world of Grey Aliens, or Reticulans) where one of the components hosts an exo-Kuiper belt, and the other component is a 'single', 'lonely' star.

  13. IONIZATION OF EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANET ATMOSPHERES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

    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 I and extent D I of the EUV ionization peak layer. We find that Z I ∼1-10 nbar-for a wide range of orbital distances (a = 0.047-1 AU) from the host star-and D I /H p ∼>15, where H p is the pressure scale height. At Z I , the plasma frequency is ∼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 (∼9 x 10 13 m -3 to ∼2 x 10 12 m -3 , respectively) at Z 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.

  14. Lunar and terrestrial planet formation in the Grand Tack scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, S. A.; Morbidelli, A.

    2014-01-01

    We present conclusions from a large number of N-body simulations of the giant impact phase of terrestrial planet formation. We focus on new results obtained from the recently proposed Grand Tack model, which couples the gas-driven migration of giant planets to the accretion of the terrestrial planets. The giant impact phase follows the oligarchic growth phase, which builds a bi-modal mass distribution within the disc of embryos and planetesimals. By varying the ratio of the total mass in the embryo population to the total mass in the planetesimal population and the mass of the individual embryos, we explore how different disc conditions control the final planets. The total mass ratio of embryos to planetesimals controls the timing of the last giant (Moon-forming) impact and its violence. The initial embryo mass sets the size of the lunar impactor and the growth rate of Mars. After comparing our simulated outcomes with the actual orbits of the terrestrial planets (angular momentum deficit, mass concentration) and taking into account independent geochemical constraints on the mass accreted by the Earth after the Moon-forming event and on the time scale for the growth of Mars, we conclude that the protoplanetary disc at the beginning of the giant impact phase must have had most of its mass in Mars-sized embryos and only a small fraction of the total disc mass in the planetesimal population. From this, we infer that the Moon-forming event occurred between approximately 60 and approximately 130 Myr after the formation of the first solids and was caused most likely by an object with a mass similar to that of Mars. PMID:25114304

  15. Formation of telluric planets and the origin of terrestrial water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Sean

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of planet formation have failed to reproduce Mars’ small mass (compared with Earth for 20 years. Here I will present a solution to the Mars problem that invokes large-scale migration of Jupiter and Saturn while they were still embedded in the gaseous protoplanetary disk. Jupiter first migrated inward, then “tacked” and migrated back outward when Saturn caught up to it and became trapped in resonance. If this tack occurred when Jupiter was at 1.5 AU then the inner disk of rocky planetesimals and embryos is truncated and the masses and orbits of all four terrestrial planet are quantitatively reproduced. As the giant planets migrate back outward they re-populate the asteroid belt from two different source populations, matching the structure of the current belt. C-type material is also scattered inward to the terrestrial planet-forming zone, delivering about the right amount of water to Earth on 10-50 Myr timescales.

  16. Origin and evolution of life on terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brack, A; Horneck, G; Cockell, C S; Bérces, A; Belisheva, N K; Eiroa, Carlos; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Léger, Alain; Liseau, Réne; Lammer, Helmut; Selsis, Franck; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lunine, Jonathan; Paresce, Francesco; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    The ultimate goal of terrestrial planet-finding missions is not only to discover terrestrial exoplanets inside the habitable zone (HZ) of their host stars but also to address the major question as to whether life may have evolved on a habitable Earth-like exoplanet outside our Solar System. We note that the chemical evolution that finally led to the origin of life on Earth must be studied if we hope to understand the principles of how life might evolve on other terrestrial planets in the Universe. This is not just an anthropocentric point of view: the basic ingredients of terrestrial life, that is, reduced carbon-based molecules and liquid H(2)O, have very specific properties. We discuss the origin of life from the chemical evolution of its precursors to the earliest life-forms and the biological implications of the stellar radiation and energetic particle environments. Likewise, the study of the biological evolution that has generated the various life-forms on Earth provides clues toward the understanding of the interconnectedness of life with its environment.

  17. Characterizing the Atmosphere of a Young Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Since the discovery of the young, directly imaged planet 51 Eri b, its emergent spectrum has proved challenging to interpret. The initial discovery paper (Macintosh et al. 2015) interpreted the spectrum as indicative of a low mass (few Jupiter masses), effective temperature near 700 degrees Kelvin, and partial cloudiness. Subsequent observations in the K band, however, seem to invalidate the early models. In addition, newly improved photochemical data point to the likely presence of exotic haze species in the atmosphere. In my presentation I will explore the photochemistry of the atmosphere and discuss whether disequilibrium chemistry, hazes, clouds, or non-solar abundances of heavy elements may be responsible for the unusual spectrum of this planet. The implications for the interpretation of other young Jupiters in this mass and effective temperature range will also be considered.

  18. Energy Dissipation in the Upper Atmospheres of TRAPPIST-1 Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Ofer; Glocer, Alex; Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Bell, Jared M.

    2018-03-01

    We present a method to quantify the upper limit of the energy transmitted from the intense stellar wind to the upper atmospheres of three of the TRAPPIST-1 planets (e, f, and g). We use a formalism that treats the system as two electromagnetic regions, where the efficiency of the energy transmission between one region (the stellar wind at the planetary orbits) to the other (the planetary ionospheres) depends on the relation between the conductances and impedances of the two regions. Since the energy flux of the stellar wind is very high at these planetary orbits, we find that for the case of high transmission efficiency (when the conductances and impedances are close in magnitude), the energy dissipation in the upper planetary atmospheres is also very large. On average, the Ohmic energy can reach 0.5–1 W m‑2, about 1% of the stellar irradiance and 5–15 times the EUV irradiance. Here, using constant values for the ionospheric conductance, we demonstrate that the stellar wind energy could potentially drive large atmospheric heating in terrestrial planets, as well as in hot Jupiters. More detailed calculations are needed to assess the ionospheric conductance and to determine more accurately the amount of heating the stellar wind can drive in close-orbit planets.

  19. The Potential for Volcanism and Tectonics on Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quick, Lynnae C.; Roberge, Aki

    2018-01-01

    JWST and other next-generation space telescopes (e.g., LUVOIR, HabEx, & OST) will usher in a new era of exoplanet characterization that may lead to the identification of habitable, Earth-like worlds. Like the planets and moons in our solar system, the surfaces and interiors of terrestrial exoplanets may be shaped by volcanism and tectonics (Fu et al., 2010; van Summeren et al., 2011; Henning and Hurford, 2014). The magnitude and rate of occurrence of these dynamic processes can either facilitate or preclude the existence of habitable environments. Likewise, it has been suggested that detections of cryovolcanism on icy exoplanets, in the form of geyser-like plumes, could indicate the presence of subsurface oceans (Quick et al., 2017).The presence of volcanic and tectonic activity on solid exoplanets will be intimately linked to planet size and heat output in the form of radiogenic and/or tidal heating. In order to place bounds on the potential for such activity, we estimated the heat output of a variety of exoplanets observed by Kepler. We considered planets whose masses and radii range from 0.067 ME (super-Ganymede) to 8 ME (super-Earth), and 0.5 to 1.8 RE, respectively. These heat output estimates were then compared to those of planets, moons, and dwarf planets in our solar system for which we have direct evidence for the presence/absence of volcanic and tectonic activity. After exoplanet heating rates were estimated, depths to putative molten layers in their interiors were also calculated. For planets such as TRAPPIST-1h, whose densities, orbital parameters, and effective temperatures are consistent with the presence of significant amounts of H2O (Luger et al., 2017), these calculations reveal the depths to internal oceans which may serve as habitable niches beneath surface ice layers.

  20. The Kepler Mission: A Search for Terrestrial Planets - Development Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, David; Borucki, W.; Mayer, D.; Caldwell, D.; Jenkens, J.; Dunham, E.; Geary, J.; Bachtell, E.; Deininger, W.; Philbrick, R.

    2003-01-01

    We have embarked on a mission to detect terrestrial planets. The space mission has been optimized to search for earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars. Given this design, the mission will necessarily be capable of not only detecting Earth analogs, but a wide range of planetary types and characteristics ranging from Mercury-size objects with orbital periods of days to gas-giants in decade long orbits that have undeniable signatures even with only one transit detected. The mission is designed to survey the full range of spectral-type dwarf stars. The approach is to detect the periodic signal of transiting planets. Three or more transits of a star exceeding a combined threshold of eight sigma with a statistically consistent period, brightness change and duration provide a rigorous method of detection. From the relative brightness change the planet size can be calculated. From the period the orbital size can be calculated and its location relative to the HZ determined. Presented here are: the mission goals, the top level system design requirements derived from these goals that drive the flight system design, a number of the trades that have lead to the mission concept, expected photometric performance dependence on stellar brightness and spectral type based on the system 'noise tree' analysis. Updated estimates are presented of the numbers of detectable planets versus size, orbit, stellar spectral type and distances based on a planet frequency hypothesis. The current project schedule and organization are given.

  1. Terrestrial Planet Finder: Coda to 10 Years of Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Peter R.

    2009-01-01

    The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) was proposed as a mission concept to the 2000 Decadal Survey, and received a very high ranking amongst the major initiatives that were then reviewed. As proposed, it was a formation flying array of four 3-m class mid-infrared telescopes, linked together as an interferometer. Its science goal was to survey 150 nearby stars for the presence of Earth-like planets, to detect signs of life or habitability, and to enable revolutionary advances in high angular resolution astrophysics. The Decadal Survey Committee recommended that $200M be invested to advance TPF technology development in the Decade of 2000-2010. This paper presents the results of NASA's investment.

  2. Relative locations of the bow shocks of the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, C.T.

    1977-01-01

    The observed bow shock encounters at Mercury, Venus and Mars are least square fit using the same technique so that their sizes and shapes can be intercompared. The shock front of Mercury most resembles the terrestrial shock in shape, and the shock stand off distance is consistent with the observed moment. The shapes of the Venus and Mars shock fronts more resemble each other than the earth's and the stand off distances are consistent with direct interaction of the solar wind with the ionosphere on the dayside. The Venus shock is closer to the planet than the Mars shock suggesting more absorption of the solar wind at Venus

  3. WATER TRAPPING ON TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS REQUIRES SPECIAL CONDITIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S. [Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States); Liu, Yonggang [Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Hu, Yongyun, E-mail: junyang28@uchicago.edu [Laboratory for Climate and Atmosphere-Ocean Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing (China)

    2014-12-01

    Surface liquid water is essential for standard planetary habitability. Calculations of atmospheric circulation on tidally locked planets around M stars suggest that this peculiar orbital configuration lends itself to the trapping of large amounts of water in kilometers-thick ice on the night side, potentially removing all liquid water from the day side where photosynthesis is possible. We study this problem using a global climate model including coupled atmosphere, ocean, land, and sea ice components as well as a continental ice sheet model driven by the climate model output. For a waterworld, we find that surface winds transport sea ice toward the day side and the ocean carries heat toward the night side. As a result, nightside sea ice remains O(10 m) thick and nightside water trapping is insignificant. If a planet has large continents on its night side, they can grow ice sheets O(1000 m) thick if the geothermal heat flux is similar to Earth's or smaller. Planets with a water complement similar to Earth's would therefore experience a large decrease in sea level when plate tectonics drives their continents onto the night side, but would not experience complete dayside dessiccation. Only planets with a geothermal heat flux lower than Earth's, much of their surface covered by continents, and a surface water reservoir O(10%) of Earth's would be susceptible to complete water trapping.

  4. From Disks to Planets: The Making of Planets and Their Early Atmospheres. An Introduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Blanc, Michel

    2018-03-01

    This paper is an introduction to volume 56 of the Space Science Series of ISSI, "From disks to planets—the making of planets and their proto-atmospheres", a key subject in our quest for the origins and evolutionary paths of planets, and for the causes of their diversity. Indeed, as exoplanet discoveries progressively accumulated and their characterization made spectacular progress, it became evident that the diversity of observed exoplanets can in no way be reduced to the two classes of planets that we are used to identify in the solar system, namely terrestrial planets and gas or ice giants: the exoplanet reality is just much broader. This fact is no doubt the result of the exceptional diversity of the evolutionary paths linking planetary systems as a whole as well as individual exoplanets and their proto-atmospheres to their parent circumstellar disks: this diversity and its causes are exactly what this paper explores. For each of the main phases of the formation and evolution of planetary systems and of individual planets, we summarize what we believe we understand and what are the important open questions needing further in-depth examination, and offer some suggestions on ways towards solutions. We start with the formation mechanisms of circumstellar disks, with their gas and disk components in which chemical composition plays a very important role in planet formation. We summarize how dust accretion within the disk generates planet cores, while gas accretion on these cores can lead to the diversity of their fluid envelopes. The temporal evolution of the parent disk itself, and its final dissipation, put strong constraints on how and how far planetary formation can proceed. The radiation output of the central star also plays an important role in this whole story. This early phase of planet evolution, from disk formation to dissipation, is characterized by a co-evolution of the disk and its daughter planets. During this co-evolution, planets and their

  5. Atmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Delrez, Laetitia; Gillon, Michaël; Selsis, Frank; Leconte, Jérémy; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Bolmont, Emeline; Bourrier, Vincent; Burgasser, Adam J.; Grimm, Simon; Jehin, Emmanuël; Lederer, Susan M.; Owen, James E.; Stamenković, Vlada; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.

    2018-03-01

    Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres3-6. Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones6-8. An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures9. However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere10, 11. Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface12-14. These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature.

  6. Optimal Strategies for Probing Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.; Lewis, Nikole K.; Line, Michael

    2018-01-01

    It is imperative that the exoplanet community determines the feasibility and the resources needed to yield high fidelity atmospheric compositions from terrestrial exoplanets. In particular, LHS 1140b and the TRAPPIST-1 system, already slated for observations by JWST’s Guaranteed Time Observers, will be the first two terrestrial planets observed by JWST. I will discuss optimal observing strategies for observing these two systems, focusing on the NIRSpec Prism (1-5μm) and the combination of NIRISS SOSS (1-2.7μm) and NIRSpec G395H (3-5μm). I will also introduce currently unsupported JWST readmodes that have the potential to greatly increase the precision on our atmospheric spectra. Lastly, I will use information content theory to compute the expected confidence interval on the retrieved abundances of key molecular species and temperature profiles as a function of JWST observing cycles.

  7. Stable Hydrogen-rich Atmospheres of Young Rocky Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    SourceURL:file://localhost/Volumes/Lexar/Zahnle_AGU_2016.docx Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydrodynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's (Science 308, pp. 1014-1017, 2005) hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than

  8. Continuous reorientation of synchronous terrestrial planets due to mantle convection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy

    2018-02-01

    Many known rocky exoplanets are thought to have been spun down by tidal interactions to a state of synchronous rotation, in which a planet's period of rotation is equal to that of its orbit around its host star. Investigations into atmospheric and surface processes occurring on such exoplanets thus commonly assume that day and night sides are fixed with respect to the surface over geological timescales. Here we use an analytical model to show that true polar wander—where a planetary body's spin axis shifts relative to its surface because of changes in mass distribution—can continuously reorient a synchronous rocky exoplanet. As occurs on Earth, we find that even weak mantle convection in a rocky exoplanet can produce density heterogeneities within the mantle sufficient to reorient the planet. Moreover, we show that this reorientation is made very efficient by the slower rotation rate of a synchronous planet when compared with Earth, which limits the stabilizing effect of rotational and tidal deformations. Furthermore, a relatively weak lithosphere limits its ability to support remnant loads and stabilize against reorientation. Although uncertainties exist regarding the mantle and lithospheric evolution of these worlds, we suggest that the axes of smallest and largest moment of inertia of synchronous exoplanets with active mantle convection change continuously over time, but remain closely aligned with the star-planet and orbital axes, respectively.

  9. Comet and Asteroid Hazard to the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We made computer simulations of orbital evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of N=2000 Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs) with initial orbits close to those of real comets with period P less than 10 yr, 500 objects with orbits close to that of Comet 10P, and the asteroids initially located at the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances with Jupiter at initial eccentricity e(sub 0)=0.15 and initial inclination i(sub 0)=10(sup 0). The gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto, was taken into account (without dissipative factors). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of bodies with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all bodies, obtaining, the total probability Psigma of collisions with a planet and the total time interval Tsigma during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet. The values of p(sub r) =10(exp 6)Psigma/N and T(sub r)=T/1000 yr (where T=Tsigma/N) are presented in a table together with the ratio r of the total time interval when orbits were of Apollo type (at a greater than 1 AU, q less than 1.017 AU, e less than 0.999) to that of Amor type (1.017 less than q less than 1.33 AU), r(sub 2) is the same as r but for Apollo objects with e less than 0.9. For asteroids we present only results obtained by direct integration, as a symplectic method can give large errors for these resonances.

  10. Scenarios of giant planet formation and evolution and their impact on the formation of habitable terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2014-04-28

    In our Solar System, there is a clear divide between the terrestrial and giant planets. These two categories of planets formed and evolved separately, almost in isolation from each other. This was possible because Jupiter avoided migrating into the inner Solar System, most probably due to the presence of Saturn, and never acquired a large-eccentricity orbit, even during the phase of orbital instability that the giant planets most likely experienced. Thus, the Earth formed on a time scale of several tens of millions of years, by collision of Moon- to Mars-mass planetary embryos, in a gas-free and volatile-depleted environment. We do not expect, however, that this clear cleavage between the giant and terrestrial planets is generic. In many extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date, the giant planets migrated into the vicinity of the parent star and/or acquired eccentric orbits. In this way, the evolution and destiny of the giant and terrestrial planets become intimately linked. This paper discusses several evolutionary patterns for the giant planets, with an emphasis on the consequences for the formation and survival of habitable terrestrial planets. The conclusion is that we should not expect Earth-like planets to be typical in terms of physical and orbital properties and accretion history. Most habitable worlds are probably different, exotic worlds.

  11. Surface history of Mercury - Implications for terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, B. C.; Strom, R. G.; Trask, N. J.; Gault, D. E.

    1975-01-01

    A plausible surface history of Mercury is presented which is suggested by Mariner 10 television pictures. Five periods are postulated which are delineated by successive variations in the modification of the surface by external and internal processes: accretion and differentiation, terminal heavy bombardment, formation of the Caloris basin, flooding of that basin and other areas, and light cratering accumulated on the smooth plains. Each period is described in detail; the overall history is compared with the surface histories of Venus, Mars, and the moon; and the implications of this history for earth are discussed. It is tentatively concluded that: Mercury is a differentiated planet most likely composed of a large iron core enclosed by a relatively thin silicate layer; heavy surface bombardment occurred about four billion years ago, which probably affected all the inner planets, and was followed by a period of volcanic activity; no surface modifications caused by tectonic, volcanic, or atmospheric processes took place after the volcanic period.

  12. ATMOSPHERIC DYNAMICS OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF ORBITAL AND ATMOSPHERIC PARAMETERS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaspi, Yohai [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, 234 Herzl st., 76100, Rehovot (Israel); Showman, Adam P., E-mail: yohai.kaspi@weizmann.ac.il [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, The University of Arizona, 1629 University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2015-05-01

    The recent discoveries of terrestrial exoplanets and super-Earths extending over a broad range of orbital and physical parameters suggest that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super-Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone—including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks—depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, patterns of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. We show how the planetary rotation rate, stellar flux, atmospheric mass, surface gravity, optical thickness, and planetary radius affect the atmospheric circulation and temperature distribution on such planets. Our simulations demonstrate that equator-to-pole temperature differences, meridional heat transport rates, structure and strength of the winds, and the hydrological cycle vary strongly with these parameters, implying that the sensitivity of the planet to global climate feedbacks will depend significantly on the atmospheric circulation. We elucidate the possible climatic regimes and diagnose the mechanisms controlling the formation of atmospheric jet streams, Hadley and Ferrel cells, and latitudinal temperature differences. Finally, we discuss the implications for understanding how the atmospheric circulation influences the global climate.

  13. ATMOSPHERIC DYNAMICS OF TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF ORBITAL AND ATMOSPHERIC PARAMETERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaspi, Yohai; Showman, Adam P.

    2015-01-01

    The recent discoveries of terrestrial exoplanets and super-Earths extending over a broad range of orbital and physical parameters suggest that these planets will span a wide range of climatic regimes. Characterization of the atmospheres of warm super-Earths has already begun and will be extended to smaller and more distant planets over the coming decade. The habitability of these worlds may be strongly affected by their three-dimensional atmospheric circulation regimes, since the global climate feedbacks that control the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone—including transitions to Snowball-like states and runaway-greenhouse feedbacks—depend on the equator-to-pole temperature differences, patterns of relative humidity, and other aspects of the dynamics. Here, using an idealized moist atmospheric general circulation model including a hydrological cycle, we study the dynamical principles governing the atmospheric dynamics on such planets. We show how the planetary rotation rate, stellar flux, atmospheric mass, surface gravity, optical thickness, and planetary radius affect the atmospheric circulation and temperature distribution on such planets. Our simulations demonstrate that equator-to-pole temperature differences, meridional heat transport rates, structure and strength of the winds, and the hydrological cycle vary strongly with these parameters, implying that the sensitivity of the planet to global climate feedbacks will depend significantly on the atmospheric circulation. We elucidate the possible climatic regimes and diagnose the mechanisms controlling the formation of atmospheric jet streams, Hadley and Ferrel cells, and latitudinal temperature differences. Finally, we discuss the implications for understanding how the atmospheric circulation influences the global climate

  14. THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL EVOLUTION IN THE MAGNETIC PROTECTION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Bustamante, Sebastian; Cuartas, Pablo A. [Instituto de Fisica-FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 67 No. 53-108, Medellin (Colombia); Hoyos, Jaime H., E-mail: jzuluaga@fisica.udea.edu.co, E-mail: sbustama@pegasus.udea.edu.co, E-mail: p.cuartas@fisica.udea.edu.co, E-mail: jhhoyos@udem.edu.co [Departamento de Ciencias Basicas, Universidad de Medellin, Carrera 87 No. 30-65, Medellin (Colombia)

    2013-06-10

    Magnetic protection of potentially habitable planets plays a central role in determining their actual habitability and/or the chances of detecting atmospheric biosignatures. Here we develop a thermal evolution model of potentially habitable Earth-like planets and super-Earths (SEs). Using up-to-date dynamo-scaling laws, we predict the properties of core dynamo magnetic fields and study the influence of thermal evolution on their properties. The level of magnetic protection of tidally locked and unlocked planets is estimated by combining simplified models of the planetary magnetosphere and a phenomenological description of the stellar wind. Thermal evolution introduces a strong dependence of magnetic protection on planetary mass and rotation rate. Tidally locked terrestrial planets with an Earth-like composition would have early dayside magnetopause distances between 1.5 and 4.0 R{sub p} , larger than previously estimated. Unlocked planets with periods of rotation {approx}1 day are protected by magnetospheres extending between 3 and 8 R{sub p} . Our results are robust in comparison with variations in planetary bulk composition and uncertainties in other critical model parameters. For illustration purposes, the thermal evolution and magnetic protection of the potentially habitable SEs GL 581d, GJ 667Cc, and HD 40307g were also studied. Assuming an Earth-like composition, we found that the dynamos of these planets are already extinct or close to being shut down. While GL 581d is the best protected, the protection of HD 40307g cannot be reliably estimated. GJ 667Cc, even under optimistic conditions, seems to be severely exposed to the stellar wind, and, under the conditions of our model, has probably suffered massive atmospheric losses.

  15. Abiotic nitrogen fixation on terrestrial planets: reduction of NO to ammonia by FeS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, David P; Basa, Ranor C B; Khare, Bishun; Rodoni, David

    2012-02-01

    Understanding the abiotic fixation of nitrogen and how such fixation can be a supply of prebiotic nitrogen is critical for understanding both the planetary evolution of, and the potential origin of life on, terrestrial planets. As nitrogen is a biochemically essential element, sources of biochemically accessible nitrogen, especially reduced nitrogen, are critical to prebiotic chemistry and the origin of life. Loss of atmospheric nitrogen can result in loss of the ability to sustain liquid water on a planetary surface, which would impact planetary habitability and hydrological processes that shape the surface. It is known that NO can be photochemically converted through a chain of reactions to form nitrate and nitrite, which can be subsequently reduced to ammonia. Here, we show that NO can also be directly reduced, by FeS, to ammonia. In addition to removing nitrogen from the atmosphere, this reaction is particularly important as a source of reduced nitrogen on an early terrestrial planet. By converting NO directly to ammonia in a single step, ammonia is formed with a higher product yield (~50%) than would be possible through the formation of nitrate/nitrite and subsequent conversion to ammonia. In conjunction with the reduction of NO, there is also a catalytic disproportionation at the mineral surface that converts NO to NO₂ and N₂O. The NO₂ is then converted to ammonia, while the N₂O is released back in the gas phase, which provides an abiotic source of nitrous oxide.

  16. Demarcating Circulation Regimes of Synchronously Rotating Terrestrial Planets within the Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob; Wolf, Eric. T.; Joshi, Manoj; Zhang, Xi; Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2018-01-01

    We investigate the atmospheric dynamics of terrestrial planets in synchronous rotation within the habitable zone of low-mass stars using the Community Atmosphere Model. The surface temperature contrast between the day and night hemispheres decreases with an increase in incident stellar flux, which is opposite the trend seen in gas giants. We define three dynamical regimes in terms of the equatorial Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length. The slow rotation regime has a mean zonal circulation that spans from the day to the night sides, which occurs for planets around stars with effective temperatures of 3300–4500 K (rotation period > 20 days), with both the Rossby deformation radius and the Rhines length exceeding the planetary radius. Rapid rotators have a mean zonal circulation that partially spans a hemisphere and with banded cloud formation beneath the substellar point, which occurs for planets orbiting stars with effective temperatures of less than 3000 K (rotation period days), with the Rossby deformation radius less than the planetary radius. In between is the Rhines rotation regime, which retains a thermally direct circulation from the day side to the night side but also features midlatitude turbulence-driven zonal jets. Rhines rotators occur for planets around stars in the range of 3000–3300 K (rotation period ∼5–20 days), where the Rhines length is greater than the planetary radius but the Rossby deformation radius is less than the planetary radius. The dynamical state can be observationally inferred from a comparison of the morphologies of the thermal emission phase curves of synchronously rotating planets.

  17. EXAMINING TATOOINE: ATMOSPHERIC MODELS OF NEPTUNE-LIKE CIRCUMBINARY PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, E. M.; Rauscher, E. [University of Michigan (United States)

    2016-08-01

    Circumbinary planets experience a time-varying irradiation pattern as they orbit their two host stars. In this work, we present the first detailed study of the atmospheric effects of this irradiation pattern on known and hypothetical gaseous circumbinary planets. Using both a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM) and a three-dimensional general circulation model (GCM), we look at the temperature differences between circumbinary planets and their equivalent single-star cases in order to determine the nature of the atmospheres of these planets. We find that for circumbinary planets on stable orbits around their host stars, temperature differences are on average no more than 1.0% in the most extreme cases. Based on detailed modeling with the GCM, we find that these temperature differences are not large enough to excite circulation differences between the two cases. We conclude that gaseous circumbinary planets can be treated as their equivalent single-star case in future atmospheric modeling efforts.

  18. Clouds in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. V. The impact of CO2 ice clouds on the outer boundary of the habitable zone

    OpenAIRE

    Kitzmann, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Clouds have a strong impact on the climate of planetary atmospheres. The potential scattering greenhouse effect of CO2 ice clouds in the atmospheres of terrestrial extrasolar planets is of particular interest because it might influence the position and thus the extension of the outer boundary of the classic habitable zone around main sequence stars. Here, the impact of CO2 ice clouds on the surface temperatures of terrestrial planets with CO2 dominated atmospheres, orbiting different types of...

  19. Conditions of Passage and Entrapment of Terrestrial Planets in Spin-Orbit Resonances

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-10

    May 25 ABSTRACT The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using... planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury -like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in... Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance. Key words: celestial mechanics – planets

  20. Observing the Atmospheres of Known Temperate Earth-sized Planets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, Caroline V.; Kreidberg, Laura; Rustamkulov, Zafar; Robinson, Tyler; Fortney, Jonathan J.

    2017-12-01

    Nine transiting Earth-sized planets have recently been discovered around nearby late-M dwarfs, including the TRAPPIST-1 planets and two planets discovered by the MEarth survey, GJ 1132b and LHS 1140b. These planets are the smallest known planets that may have atmospheres amenable to detection with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). We present model thermal emission and transmission spectra for each planet, varying composition and surface pressure of the atmosphere. We base elemental compositions on those of Earth, Titan, and Venus and calculate the molecular compositions assuming chemical equilibrium, which can strongly depend on temperature. Both thermal emission and transmission spectra are sensitive to the atmospheric composition; thermal emission spectra are sensitive to surface pressure and temperature. We predict the observability of each planet’s atmosphere with JWST. GJ 1132b and TRAPPIST-1b are excellent targets for emission spectroscopy with JWST/MIRI, requiring fewer than 10 eclipse observations. Emission photometry for TRAPPIST-1c requires 5-15 eclipses; LHS 1140b and TRAPPIST-1d, TRAPPIST-1e, and TRAPPIST-1f, which could possibly have surface liquid water, may be accessible with photometry. Seven of the nine planets are strong candidates for transmission spectroscopy measurements with JWST, although the number of transits required depends strongly on the planets’ actual masses. Using the measured masses, fewer than 20 transits are required for a 5σ detection of spectral features for GJ 1132b and six of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. Dedicated campaigns to measure the atmospheres of these nine planets will allow us, for the first time, to probe formation and evolution processes of terrestrial planetary atmospheres beyond our solar system.

  1. Origin of the atmospheres of the earth and the planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Z M

    1978-06-01

    From a systematic analysis of the whole history of the protoplanetary cloud and the observational facts of the earth's atmosphere, new theory is proposed on the origin of the atmospheres of the earth and the planets. For the earth-like planets, there were profound primordial atmospheres originated from the protoplanetary cloud by the accretion of the embryoes of planets. These primordial atmospheres has existed in a time scale of 10/sup 3/ to 10/sup 7/ years and were composed of chemically reducing gases. The presence of such a reducing atmosphere may be of great significance to the theories of cosmogony and the origin of life. The contents are as follows: the escape of the nebulae and the planetary atmospheres, the blowing-off of the atmospheres and the disspiation of gases driven by the solar wind, the accretion of gases by the planetary embryoes, the primordial atmospheres.

  2. Biology on the outer planets. [life possibility in atmospheres and moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R. S.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1976-01-01

    A brief review is given of information on the structure and composition of the outer planets and the organic reactions that may be occurring on them. The possibility of life arising or surviving in the atmospheres of these planets is considered, and the problem of contamination during future unmanned missions is assessed. Atmospheric models or available atmospheric data are reviewed for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the Galilean satellites, and Titan. The presence of biologically interesting gases on Jupiter and Saturn is discussed, requirements for life on Jupiter are summarized, and possible sources of biological energy are examined. Proposals are made for protecting these planets and satellites from biological contamination by spacecraftborne terrestrial organisms.

  3. A Model of the Temporal Variability of Optical Light from Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    OpenAIRE

    Ford, Eric B.; Seager, Sara; Turner, Edwin L.

    2002-01-01

    The light scattered by an extrasolar Earth-like planet's surface and atmosphere will vary in intensity and color as the planet rotates; the resulting light curve will contain information about the planet's properties. Since most of the light comes from a small fraction of the planet's surface, the temporal flux variability can be quite significant, $\\sim$ 10-100%. In addition, for cloudless Earth-like extrasolar planet models, qualitative changes to the surface (such as ocean fraction, ice co...

  4. Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation. II. Dependence of exoplanet architectures on giant planet and disk properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, S. N.; Armitage, P. J.; Moro-Martín, A.; Booth, M.; Wyatt, M. C.; Armstrong, J. C.; Mandell, A. M.; Selsis, F.; West, A. A.

    2012-05-01

    We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple marginally unstable gas giants. We previously showed that in such systems, the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and cold dust, i.e., debris disks, which is particularly pronounced at λ ~ 70 μm. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to a range of parameters: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk when the giant planets become unstable. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. We find that systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and that these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass (M ≲ 30 M⊕) outermost giant planets have final planetary separations that, scaled to the planets' masses, are as large or larger than the Saturn-Uranus and Uranus-Neptune separations in the solar system. We find that the gaps between these planets are not only dynamically stable to test particles, but are frequently populated by planetesimals. The possibility of planetesimal belts between outer giant planets should be taken into account when interpreting debris disk SEDs. In addition, the presence of ~ Earth-mass "seeds" in outer planetesimal disks causes the disks to radially spread to colder temperatures, and leads to a slow depletion of the outer planetesimal disk from the inside out. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of >1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 μm excesses. Our simulations do not sample the full range of

  5. Consequences of intense intermittent astrophysical radiation sources for terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melott, Adrian

    2011-11-01

    Life on Earth has developed in the context of cosmic radiation backgrounds. This in turn can be a base for comparison with other potential life-bearing planets. Many kinds of strong radiation bursts are possible by astrophysical entities ranging from gamma-ray bursts at cosmological distances to the Sun itself. Many of these present potential hazards to the biosphere: on timescales long compared with human history, the probability of an event intense enough to disrupt life on the land surface or in the oceans becomes large. One of the mechanisms which comes into play even at moderate intensities is the ionization of the Earth's atmosphere, which leads through chemical changes (specifically, depletion of stratospheric ozone) to increased ultraviolet-B flux from the Sun reaching the surface. UVB is extremely hazardous to most life due to its strong absorption by the genetic material DNA and subsequent breaking of chemical bonds. We characterize intensities at the Earth and rates or upper limits on rates. We estimate how often a major extinction-level event is probable given the current state of knowledge. Moderate level events are dominated by the Sun, but the far more severe infrequent events are dominated by gamma-ray bursts and supernovae. So-called ``short-hard'' gamma-ray bursts are a substantial threat, comparable in magnitude to supernovae and greater than that of the higher-luminosity long bursts considered in most past work. Short bursts may come with little or no warning.

  6. Energetic Metastable Oxygen and Nitrogen Atoms in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharchenko, Vasili; Dalgarno, A.

    2005-01-01

    This report summarizes our research performed under NASA Grant NAG5-11857. The three-year grant have been supported by the Geospace Sciences SR&T program. We have investigated the energetic metastable oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the terrestrial stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. Hot atoms in the atmosphere are produced by solar radiation, the solar wind and various ionic reactions. Nascent hot atoms arise in ground and excited electronic states, and their translational energies are larger by two - three orders of magnitude than the thermal energies of the ambient gas. The relaxation kinetics of hot atoms determines the rate of atmospheric heating, the intensities of aeronomic reactions, and the rate of atom escape from the planet. Modeling of the non-Maxwellian energy distributions of metastable oxygen and nitrogen atoms have been focused on the determination of their impact on the energetics and chemistry of the terrestrial atmosphere between 25 and 250 km . At this altitudes, we have calculated the energy distribution functions of metastable O and N atoms and computed non-equilibrium rates of important aeronomic reactions, such as destruction of the water molecules by O(1D) atoms and production of highly excited nitric oxide molecules. In the upper atmosphere, the metastable O(lD) and N(2D) play important role in formation of the upward atomic fluxes. We have computed the upward fluxes of the metastable and ground state oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere above 250 km. The accurate distributions of the metastable atoms have been evaluated for the day and night-time conditions.

  7. Challenges in Discerning Atmospheric Composition in Directly Imaged Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    One of the justifications motivating efforts to detect and characterize young extrasolar giant planets has been to measure atmospheric composition for comparison with that of the primary star. If the enhancement of heavy elements in the atmospheres of extrasolar giant planets, like it is for their solar system analogs, is inversely proportional to mass, then it is likely that these worlds formed by core accretion. However in practice it has been very difficult to constrain metallicity because of the complex effect of clouds. Cloud opacity varies both vertically and, in some cases, horizontally through the atmosphere. Particle size and composition, both of which impact opacity, are difficult challenges both for forward modeling and retrieval studies. In my presentation I will discuss systematic efforts to improve cloud studies to enable more reliable determinations of atmospheric composition. These efforts are relevant both to discerning composition of directly imaged young planets from ground based telescopes and future space based missions, such as WFIRST and LUVOIR.

  8. ANALYSIS OF TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION BY THE GRAND TACK MODEL: SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE AND TACK LOCATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasser, R.; Ida, S. [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Matsumura, S. [School of Science and Engineering, Division of Physics, Fulton Building, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN (United Kingdom); Mojzsis, S. J. [Collaborative for Research in Origins (CRiO), Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, UCB 399, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0399 (United States); Werner, S. C. [The Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics, University of Oslo, Sem Saelandsvei 24, NO-0371 Oslo (Norway)

    2016-04-20

    The Grand Tack model of terrestrial planet formation has emerged in recent years as the premier scenario used to account for several observed features of the inner solar system. It relies on the early migration of the giant planets to gravitationally sculpt and mix the planetesimal disk down to ∼1 au, after which the terrestrial planets accrete from material remaining in a narrow circumsolar annulus. Here, we investigate how the model fares under a range of initial conditions and migration course-change (“tack”) locations. We run a large number of N-body simulations with tack locations of 1.5 and 2 au and test initial conditions using equal-mass planetary embryos and a semi-analytical approach to oligarchic growth. We make use of a recent model of the protosolar disk that takes into account viscous heating, includes the full effect of type 1 migration, and employs a realistic mass–radius relation for the growing terrestrial planets. Our results show that the canonical tack location of Jupiter at 1.5 au is inconsistent with the most massive planet residing at 1 au at greater than 95% confidence. This favors a tack farther out at 2 au for the disk model and parameters employed. Of the different initial conditions, we find that the oligarchic case is capable of statistically reproducing the orbital architecture and mass distribution of the terrestrial planets, while the equal-mass embryo case is not.

  9. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE DELIVERY OF ATMOPHILE ELEMENTS DURING TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsumura, Soko [School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland (United Kingdom); Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru, E-mail: s.matsumura@dundee.ac.uk [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152-8550 (Japan)

    2016-02-10

    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively.

  10. EFFECTS OF DYNAMICAL EVOLUTION OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE DELIVERY OF ATMOPHILE ELEMENTS DURING TERRESTRIAL PLANET FORMATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumura, Soko; Brasser, Ramon; Ida, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    Recent observations started revealing the compositions of protostellar disks and planets beyond the solar system. In this paper, we explore how the compositions of terrestrial planets are affected by the dynamical evolution of giant planets. We estimate the initial compositions of the building blocks of these rocky planets by using a simple condensation model, and numerically study the compositions of planets formed in a few different formation models of the solar system. We find that the abundances of refractory and moderately volatile elements are nearly independent of formation models, and that all the models could reproduce the abundances of these elements of the Earth. The abundances of atmophile elements, on the other hand, depend on the scattering rate of icy planetesimals into the inner disk, as well as the mixing rate of the inner planetesimal disk. For the classical formation model, neither of these mechanisms are efficient and the accretion of atmophile elements during the final assembly of terrestrial planets appears to be difficult. For the Grand Tack model, both of these mechanisms are efficient, which leads to a relatively uniform accretion of atmophile elements in the inner disk. It is also possible to have a “hybrid” scenario where the mixing is not very efficient but the scattering is efficient. The abundances of atmophile elements in this case increase with orbital radii. Such a scenario may occur in some of the extrasolar planetary systems, which are not accompanied by giant planets or those without strong perturbations from giants. We also confirm that the Grand Tack scenario leads to the distribution of asteroid analogues where rocky planetesimals tend to exist interior to icy ones, and show that their overall compositions are consistent with S-type and C-type chondrites, respectively

  11. Selections from 2017: Atmosphere Around an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Detection of the Atmosphere of the 1.6 M Exoplanet GJ 1132 bPublished March2017Main takeaway:An atmosphere was detected around the roughly Earth-size exoplanet GJ 1132 b using a telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. A team of scientists led byJohn Southworth (Keele University) found features indicating the presence of an atmosphere in theobservationsof this 1.6-Earth-mass planet as it transits an M-dwarf host star. This is the lowest-mass planet with a detected atmosphere thus far.Why its interesting:M dwarfs are among the most common stars in our galaxy, and weve found manyEarth-sizeexoplanets in or near the habitable zones around M-dwarf hosts. But M dwarfs are also more magnetically active than stars like our Sun, suggesting that the planets in M-dwarfhabitable zones may not be able to support life due to stellar activity eroding their atmospheres. The detection of an atmosphere around GJ 1132 b suggests that some planets orbiting M dwarfsare able to retain their atmospheres which meansthat these planetsmay be an interesting place to search for life after all.How the atmosphere was detected:The measured planetary radius for GJ 1132 b as a function of the wavelength used to observe it. [Southworth et al. 2017]When measuring the radius of GJ 1132 b based on its transits, the authors noticed that the planet appeared to be largerwhen observed in some wavelengths than in others. This can beexplained if the planet has asurface radius of 1.4 Earth radii, overlaid by an atmosphere that extends out another few tenths of an Earth radius. The atmosphere, which may consist of water vapor or methane, is transparent to some wavelengths and absorbs others which is why the apparent size of the planet changes

  12. Large impacts around a solar-analog star in the era of terrestrial planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Huan Y A; Su, Kate Y L; Rieke, George H; Stevenson, David J; Plavchan, Peter; Rujopakarn, Wiphu; Lisse, Carey M; Poshyachinda, Saran; Reichart, Daniel E

    2014-08-29

    The final assembly of terrestrial planets occurs via massive collisions, which can launch copious clouds of dust that are warmed by the star and glow in the infrared. We report the real-time detection of a debris-producing impact in the terrestrial planet zone around a 35-million-year-old solar-analog star. We observed a substantial brightening of the debris disk at a wavelength of 3 to 5 micrometers, followed by a decay over a year, with quasi-periodic modulations of the disk flux. The behavior is consistent with the occurrence of a violent impact that produced vapor out of which a thick cloud of silicate spherules condensed that were then ground into dust by collisions. These results demonstrate how the time domain can become a new dimension for the study of terrestrial planet formation. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  13. Terrestrial Planet Formation: Dynamical Shake-up and the Low Mass of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2017-05-01

    We consider a dynamical shake-up model to explain the low mass of Mars and the lack of planets in the asteroid belt. In our scenario, a secular resonance with Jupiter sweeps through the inner solar system as the solar nebula depletes, pitting resonant excitation against collisional damping in the Sun’s protoplanetary disk. We report the outcome of extensive numerical calculations of planet formation from planetesimals in the terrestrial zone, with and without dynamical shake-up. If the Sun’s gas disk within the terrestrial zone depletes in roughly a million years, then the sweeping resonance inhibits planet formation in the asteroid belt and substantially limits the size of Mars. This phenomenon likely occurs around other stars with long-period massive planets, suggesting that asteroid belt analogs are common.

  14. Ensemble Atmospheric Properties of Small Planets around M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xueying; Ballard, Sarah; Dragomir, Diana

    2018-01-01

    With the growing number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission and ground-base surveys, people start to try to understand the atmospheric features of those uncovered new worlds. While it has been found that hot Jupiters exhibit diverse atmosphere composition with both clear and cloudy/hazy atmosphere possible, similar studies on ensembles of smaller planets (Earth analogs) have been held up due to the faintness of most of their host stars. In this work, a sample of 20 Earth analogs of similar periods around M dwarfs with existing Kepler transit information and Spitzer observations is composed, complemented with previously studies GJ1214b and GJ1132b, as well as the recently announced 7 small planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. We evaluate their transit depths with uncertainties on the Spitzer 4.5 micron band using the “pixel-level decorrelation” method, and together with their well analyzed Kepler data and Hubble data, we put constraints on their atmosphere haze slopes and cloud levels. Aside from improving the understanding of ensemble properties of small planets, this study will also provide clues of potential targets for detailed atmospheric studies using the upcoming James Webb Telescope.

  15. Hubble 2020: Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Amy

    2017-08-01

    Long time base observations of the outer planets are critical in understanding the atmospheric dynamics and evolution of the gas giants. We propose yearly monitoring of each giant planet for the remainder of Hubble's lifetime to provide a lasting legacy of increasingly valuable data for time-domain studies. The Hubble Space Telescope is a unique asset to planetary science, allowing high spatial resolution data with absolute photometric knowledge. For the outer planets, gas/ice giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, many phenomena happen on timescales of years to decades, and the data we propose are beyond the scope of a typical GO program. Hubble is the only platform that can provide high spatial resolution global studies of cloud coloration, activity, and motion on a consistent time basis to help constrain the underlying mechanics.

  16. Giant Planets of Our Solar System Atmospheres, Composition, and Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Irwin, Patrick G. J

    2009-01-01

    This book reviews the current state of knowledge of the atmospheres of the giant gaseous planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The current theories of their formation are reviewed and their recently observed temperature, composition and cloud structures are contrasted and compared with simple thermodynamic, radiative transfer and dynamical models. The instruments and techniques that have been used to remotely measure their atmospheric properties are also reviewed, and the likely development of outer planet observations over the next two decades is outlined. This second edition has been extensively updated following the Cassini mission results for Jupiter/Saturn and the newest ground-based measurements for Uranus/Neptune as well as on the latest development in the theories on planet formation.

  17. KOI-3158: The oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Campante T. L.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The first discoveries of exoplanets around Sun-like stars have fueled efforts to find ever smaller worlds evocative of Earth and other terrestrial planets in the Solar System. While gas-giant planets appear to form preferentially around metal-rich stars, small planets (with radii less than four Earth radii can form under a wide range of metallicities. This implies that small, including Earth-size, planets may have readily formed at earlier epochs in the Universe’s history when metals were far less abundant. We report Kepler spacecraft observations of KOI-3158, a metal-poor Sun-like star from the old population of the Galactic thick disk, which hosts five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus. We used asteroseismology to directly measure a precise age of 11.2 ± 1.0 Gyr for the host star, indicating that KOI-3158 formed when the Universe was less than 20 % of its current age and making it the oldest known system of terrestrial-size planets. We thus show that Earth-size planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8-billion-year history, providing scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy.

  18. The Stability of Hydrogen-Rich Atmospheres of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding hydrogen escape is essential to understanding the limits to habitability, both for liquid water where the Sun is bright, but also to assess the true potential of H2 as a greenhouse gas where the Sun is faint. Hydrogen-rich primary atmospheres of Earth-like planets can result either from gravitational capture of solar nebular gases (with helium), or from impact shock processing of a wide variety of volatile-rich planetesimals (typically accompanied by H2O, CO2, and under the right circumstances, CH4). Most studies of hydrogen escape from planets focus on determining how fast the hydrogen escapes. In general this requires solving hydro- dynamic equations that take into account the acceleration of hydrogen through a critical transonic point and an energy budget that should include radiative heating and cooling, thermal conduction, the work done in lifting the hydrogen against gravity, and the residual heat carried by the hydrogen as it leaves. But for planets from which hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which is much simpler, and for which a relatively full-featured treatment of radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ is straightforward. Previous work has overlooked the fact that the H2 molecule is extremely efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, and thus that radiative cooling can be markedly more efficient when H2 is abundant. We map out the region of phase space in which terrestrial planets keep hydrogen-rich atmospheres, which is what we actually want to know for habitability. We will use this framework to reassess Tian et al's hypothesis that H2-rich atmospheres may have been rather long-lived on Earth itself. Finally, we will address the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than 1.6 Earth radii.

  19. Large-scale impact cratering on the terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grieve, R.A.F.

    1982-01-01

    The crater densities on the earth and moon form the basis for a standard flux-time curve that can be used in dating unsampled planetary surfaces and constraining the temporal history of endogenic geologic processes. Abundant evidence is seen not only that impact cratering was an important surface process in planetary history but also that large imapact events produced effects that were crucial in scale. By way of example, it is noted that the formation of multiring basins on the early moon was as important in defining the planetary tectonic framework as plate tectonics is on the earth. Evidence from several planets suggests that the effects of very-large-scale impacts go beyond the simple formation of an impact structure and serve to localize increased endogenic activity over an extended period of geologic time. Even though no longer occurring with the frequency and magnitude of early solar system history, it is noted that large scale impact events continue to affect the local geology of the planets. 92 references

  20. Evolving dynamical regimes during secular cooling of terrestrial planets : insights and inferences from numerical models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thienen, Peter van

    2003-01-01

    Although plate tectonics is the present-day mode of geodynamics on Earth, it is not so on Mars and Venus, and probably also not during the early history of the Earth. In this thesis, the conditions under which plate tectonics may operate on terrestrial planets are investigated. Numerical model

  1. Raman scattering in the atmospheres of the major planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cochran, W.D.; Trafton, L.M.

    1978-01-01

    A method is developed for calculating the rate at which photons are Raman scattered as a function of frequency and depth in an inhomogeneous anisotropically scattering atmosphere. This method is used to determine the effects of Raman scattering by H 2 in the atmospheres of the major planets. Raman scattering causes an insufficient decrease in the blue and ultraviolet to explain the albedos of all of the planets; an additional source of extinction is necessary in this spectral region. Approximately 0.5-2.0% of the blue continuum photons have undergone Raman scattering in the shallow atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, while in the deep atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune Raman scattering accounts for abount 10-15% of the blue continuum intensity. The filling in of the cores of solar lines and the production of Raman-shifted ghosts of the Fraunhofer spectrum will be detectable effects in all of the major planets. Raman scattering has a significant influence on the formation and profiles of the strong red and near-infrared CH 4 bands on Uranus and Neptune. The residual intensity in the cores of these bands may be fully explained as a result of Raman scattering by H 2 . This scattering of photons into the cores of saturated absorption bands will cause an underestimate of the abundance of the absorber unless the effects of Raman scattering by H 2 in an inhomogeneous atmosphere are properly included in the analysis

  2. Atmospheric Circulations of Rocky Planets as Heat Engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koll, D. D. B.

    2017-12-01

    Rocky planets are extremely common in the galaxy and include Earth, Mars, Venus, and hundreds of exoplanets. To understand and compare the climates of these planets, we need theories that are general enough to accommodate drastically different atmospheric and planetary properties. Unfortunately, few such theories currently exist.For Earth, there is a well-known principle that its atmosphere resembles a heat engine - the atmosphere absorbs heat near the surface, at a hot temperature, and emits heat to space in the upper troposphere, at a cold temperature, which allows it to perform work and balance dissipative processes such as friction. However, previous studies also showed that Earth's hydrological cycle uses up a large fraction of the heat engine's work output, which makes it difficult to view other atmospheres as heat engines.In this work I extend the heat engine principle from Earth towards other rocky planets. I explore both dry and moist atmospheres in an idealized general circulation model (GCM), and quantify their work output using entropy budgets. First, I show that convection and turbulent heat diffusion are important entropy sources in dry atmospheres. I develop a scaling that accounts for its effects, which allows me to predict the strength of frictional dissipation in dry atmospheres. There are strong parallels between my scaling and so-called potential intensity theory, which is a seminal theory for understanding tropical cyclones on Earth. Second, I address how moisture affects atmospheric heat engines. Moisture modifies both the thermodynamic properties of air and releases latent heat when water vapor condenses. I explore the impact of both effects, and use numerical simulations to explore the difference between dry and moist atmospheric circulations across a wide range of climates.

  3. Harmonic development of tide-generating potential of terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudryavtsev, Sergey M.

    2008-08-01

    The aim of this study is to obtain high-accurate harmonic developments of the tide-generating potential (TGP) of Mercury, Venus and Mars. The planets’ TGP values have been first calculated on the base of DE/LE-406 numerical planetary/lunar ephemerides over a long period of time and then processed by a new spectral analysis method. According to this method the development is directly made to Poisson series where both amplitudes and arguments of the series’ terms are high-degree polynomials of time. A new harmonic development of Mars TGP is made over the time period 1900 AD 2100 AD and includes 767 second-order Poisson series’ terms of minimum amplitude equal to 10-7 m2 s-2. Analogous series composing both Mercury and Venus TGP harmonic models are built over the time period 1000 AD 3000 AD and include 1,061 and 693 terms, respectively. A modification of the standard HW95 format for representation of the terrestrial planets’ TGP is proposed. The number of terms in the planets’ TGP models transformed to the modified HW95 format is 650 for Mercury, 422 for Venus, and 480 for Mars. The quality of the new developments of the terrestrial planets’ TGP is better than that of the similar developments obtained earlier.

  4. Environmental aspects: - Atmospheric, - aquatic, - terrestrial dispersion of radionuclides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirchmann, R.

    1982-01-01

    After general introductory remarks the paper deals with the dispersion of radionuclides in the atmosphere and in the aquatic environment as well as with the transfer through the terrestrial environment. (RW)

  5. Comparative Planetology of the Terrestrial Inner Planets: Implications for Astrobiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulze-Makuch, D.; Dohm, J.M.; Fairén, A.G.; Baker, V.R.; Strom, R.G.

    2004-01-01

    Venus and Mars had likely liquid water on their surface for long periods of time during their history from which life could have originated and then adapted to live in ecological niches such as the subsurface for Mars and the atmosphere for Venus.

  6. Linear Thermal Expansion Measurements of Lead Magnesium Niobate (PMN) Electroceramic Material for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlmann, Paul B.; Halverson, Peter G.; Peters, Robert D.; Levine, Marie B.; VanBuren, David; Dudik, Matthew J.

    2005-01-01

    Linear thermal expansion measurements of nine samples of Lead Magnesium Niobate (PMN) electroceramic material were recently performed in support of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C) mission. The TPF-C mission is a visible light coronagraph designed to look at roughly 50 stars pre- selected as good candidates for possessing earth-like planets. Upon detection of an earth-like planet, TPF-C will analyze the visible-light signature of the planet's atmosphere for specific spectroscopic indicators that life may exist there. With this focus, the project's primary interest in PMN material is for use as a solid-state actuator for deformable mirrors or compensating optics. The nine test samples were machined from three distinct boules of PMN ceramic manufactured by Xinetics Inc. Thermal expansion measurements were performed in 2005 at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in their Cryogenic Dilatometer Facility. All measurements were performed in vacuum with sample temperature actively controlled over the range of 270K to 3 10K. Expansion and contraction of the test samples with temperature was measured using a JPL developed interferometric system capable of sub-nanometer accuracy. Presented in this paper is a discussion of the sample configuration, test facilities, test method, data analysis, test results, and future plans.

  7. Filled aperture concepts for the Terrestrial Planet Finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Stephen T.

    2003-02-01

    Filled aperture telescopes can deliver a real, high Strehl image which is well suited for discrimination of faint planets in the vicinity of bright stars and against an extended exo-zodiacal light. A filled aperture offers a rich variety of PSF control and diffraction suppression techniques. Filled apertures are under consideration for a wide spectral range, including visible and thermal-IR, each of which offers a significant selection of biomarker molecular bands. A filled aperture visible TPF may be simpler in several respects than a thermal-IR nuller. The required aperture size (or baseline) is much smaller, and no cryogenic systems are required. A filled aperture TPF would look and act like a normal telescope - vendors and users alike would be comfortable with its design and operation. Filled aperture telescopes pose significant challenges in production of large primary mirrors, and in very stringent wavefront requirements. Stability of the wavefront control, and hence of the PSF, is a major issue for filled aperture systems. Several groups have concluded that these and other issues can be resolved, and that filled aperture options are competitive for a TPF precursor and/or for the full TPF mission. Ball, Boeing-SVS and TRW have recently returned architecture reviews on filled aperture TPF concepts. In this paper, I will review some of the major considerations underlying these filled aperture concepts, and suggest key issues in a TPF Buyers Guide.

  8. High Resolution N-Body Simulations of Terrestrial Planet Growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark Wallace, Spencer; Quinn, Thomas R.

    2018-04-01

    We investigate planetesimal accretion with a direct N-body simulation of an annulus at 1 AU around a 1 M_sun star. The planetesimal ring, which initially contains N = 106 bodies is evolved through the runaway growth stage into the phase of oligarchic growth. We find that the mass distribution of planetesimals develops a bump around 1022 g shortly after the oligarchs form. This feature is absent in previous lower resolution studies. We find that this bump marks a boundary between growth modes. Below the bump mass, planetesimals are packed tightly enough together to populate first order mean motion resonances with the oligarchs. These resonances act to heat the tightly packed, low mass planetesimals, inhibiting their growth. We examine the eccentricity evolution of a dynamically hot planetary embryo embedded in an annulus of planetesimals and find that dynamical friction acts more strongly on the embryo when the planetesimals are finely resolved. This effect disappears when the annulus is made narrow enough to exclude most of the mean motion resonances. Additionally, we find that the 1022 g bump is significantly less prominent when we follow planetesimal growth with a skinny annulus.This feature, which is reminiscent of the power law break seen in the size distribution of asteroid belt objects may be an important clue for constraining the initial size of planetesimals in planet formation models.

  9. N-body simulations of terrestrial planet formation under the influence of a hot Jupiter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Inutsuka, Shu-ichiro

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the formation of multiple-planet systems in the presence of a hot Jupiter (HJ) using extended N-body simulations that are performed simultaneously with semianalytic calculations. Our primary aims are to describe the planet formation process starting from planetesimals using high-resolution simulations, and to examine the dependences of the architecture of planetary systems on input parameters (e.g., disk mass, disk viscosity). We observe that protoplanets that arise from oligarchic growth and undergo type I migration stop migrating when they join a chain of resonant planets outside the orbit of an HJ. The formation of a resonant chain is almost independent of our model parameters, and is thus a robust process. At the end of our simulations, several terrestrial planets remain at around 0.1 AU. The formed planets are not equal mass; the largest planet constitutes more than 50% of the total mass in the close-in region, which is also less dependent on parameters. In the previous work of this paper, we have found a new physical mechanism of induced migration of the HJ, which is called a crowding-out. If the HJ opens up a wide gap in the disk (e.g., owing to low disk viscosity), crowding-out becomes less efficient and the HJ remains. We also discuss angular momentum transfer between the planets and disk.

  10. Determining Symmetry Properties of Gravitational Fields of Terrestrial Group Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.A. Kascheev

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Numerous models of gravity fields of the Solar system bodies have been constructed recently owing to successful space missions. These models are sets of harmonic coefficients of gravity potential expansion in series of spherical functions, which is Laplace series. The sets of coefficients are different in quantity of numerical parameters, sources and composition of the initial observational data, methods to obtain and process them, and, consequently, in a variety of properties and accuracy characteristics. For this reason, the task of comparison of different models of celestial bodies considered in the paper is of interest and relevant. The main purpose of this study is comparison of the models of gravitational potential of the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Venus with the quantitative criteria of different types of symmetries developed by us. It is assumed that some particular symmetry of the density distribution function of the planetary body causes similar symmetry of its gravitational potential. The symmetry of gravitational potential, in its turn, imposes additional conditions (restrictions, which must be satisfied by the harmonic coefficients. The paper deals with seven main types of symmetries: central, axial, two symmetries specular relative to the equatorial planes and prime meridian, as well as three rotational symmetries (at π angle around the coordinate system axes. According to the results of calculations carried out for the Earth, Moon, Mars, and Venus, the values of the criteria vary considerably for different types of symmetries and for different planets. It means that the specific value of each criterion corresponding to a particular celestial body is indicative of the properties and internal structure characteristics of the latter and, therefore, it can be used as a tool for comparative planetology. On the basis of the performed calculations, it is possible to distinguish two groups of celestial bodies having similar properties of

  11. Solar Evolution and Climate on the Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, J. F.

    2008-12-01

    Venus, Earth, and Mars followed different evolutionary paths, partly because of their relative distance from the Sun, and partly because of the differences in their masses. Venus was too close to the Sun to retain its water, despite reduced solar luminosity early in Solar System history (1). The loss of water, followed by the buildup of CO2 in its atmosphere, led to the atmosphere that we see today. Earth was within the liquid water regime throughout its history. However, it must have had a larger greenhouse effect in the past in order to compensate for the faint young Sun. A combination of CO2, H2O, CH4, and C2H6 may have helped keep it warm (2,3). Mars' surface appears to have been wet early in its history, although opinions differ on how warm it must have been (4-6). CO2 and H2O alone could not have kept Mars' surface above freezing during Mars' early history when most of the large-scale fluvial features are thought to have formed (7). SO2 has been suggested as an additional greenhouse gas (8), but new calculations show that it would likely have been insufficient. Other mechanisms for warming early Mars may exist, however. Mars' albedo could have been significantly lowered by the presence of trace gases that absorb visible sunlight. NO2, which has a broad absorption peak centered at 400 nm, is a good candidate. A 3- bar CO2 atmosphere containing 30 ppm of NO2 could have kept Mars' mean surface temperature well above the freezing point of water at 3.8 Ga. Plausible sources of nitrogen oxides on early Mars include lightning and impacts. Other visible/UV-absorbing trace gases may have added to this warming. Thus, a complex mixture of gases could have helped keep early Mars warm. References: 1. J.F. Kasting, Icarus 74, 472 (1988). 2. A.A. Pavlov et al., J. Geophys. Res. 105, 11 (2000). 3. J.D. Haqq-Misra et al., Astrobiol. (in press). 4. J.B. Pollack et al., Icarus 71, 203 (1987). 5. T.L. Segura, O.B. Toon, A. Colaprete et al., Science 298, 1977 (2002). 6. C.P. Mc

  12. Gas in the Terrestrial Planet Region of Disks: CO Fundamental Emission from T Tauri Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-06-01

    planetary systems: protoplanetary disks — stars: variables: other 1. INTRODUCTION As the likely birthplaces of planets, the inner regions of young...both low column density regions, such as disk gaps , and temperature inversion regions in disk atmospheres can produce significant emission. The esti...which planetary systems form. The moti- vation to study inner disks is all the more intense today given the discovery of planets outside the solar system

  13. Chemistry in an evolving protoplanetary disk: Effects on terrestrial planet composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moriarty, John; Fischer, Debra; Madhusudhan, Nikku

    2014-01-01

    The composition of planets is largely determined by the chemical and dynamical evolution of the disk during planetesimal formation and growth. To predict the diversity of exoplanet compositions, previous works modeled planetesimal composition as the equilibrium chemical composition of a protoplanetary disk at a single time. However, planetesimals form over an extended period of time, during which elements sequentially condense out of the gas as the disk cools and are accreted onto planetesimals. To account for the evolution of the disk during planetesimal formation, we couple models of disk chemistry and dynamics with a prescription for planetesimal formation. We then follow the growth of these planetesimals into terrestrial planets with N-body simulations of late-stage planet formation to evaluate the effect of sequential condensation on the bulk composition of planets. We find that our model produces results similar to those of earlier models for disks with C/O ratios close to the solar value (0.54). However, in disks with C/O ratios greater than 0.8, carbon-rich planetesimals form throughout a much larger radial range of the disk. Furthermore, our model produces carbon-rich planetesimals in disks with C/O ratios as low as ∼0.65, which is not possible in the static equilibrium chemistry case. These results suggest that (1) there may be a large population of short-period carbon-rich planets around moderately carbon-enhanced stars (0.65 < C/O < 0.8) and (2) carbon-rich planets can form throughout the terrestrial planet region around carbon-rich stars (C/O > 0.8).

  14. Stellar aspects of habitability--characterizing target stars for terrestrial planet-finding missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaltenegger, Lisa; Eiroa, Carlos; Ribas, Ignasi; Paresce, Francesco; Leitzinger, Martin; Odert, Petra; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Fridlund, Malcolm; Lammer, Helmut; Beichman, Charles; Danchi, William; Henning, Thomas; Herbst, Tom; Léger, Alain; Liseau, René; Lunine, Jonathan; Penny, Alan; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Röttgering, Huub; Selsis, Frank; Schneider, Jean; Stam, Daphne; Tinetti, Giovanna; White, Glenn J

    2010-01-01

    We present and discuss the criteria for selecting potential target stars suitable for the search for Earth-like planets, with a special emphasis on the stellar aspects of habitability. Missions that search for terrestrial exoplanets will explore the presence and habitability of Earth-like exoplanets around several hundred nearby stars, mainly F, G, K, and M stars. The evaluation of the list of potential target systems is essential in order to develop mission concepts for a search for terrestrial exoplanets. Using the Darwin All Sky Star Catalogue (DASSC), we discuss the selection criteria, configuration-dependent subcatalogues, and the implication of stellar activity for habitability.

  15. Para hydrogen equilibration in the atmospheres of the outer planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conrath, B.J.

    1986-01-01

    The thermodynamic behavior of the atmospheres of the Jovian planets is strongly dependent on the extent to which local thermal equilibration of the ortho and para states of molecular hydrogen is achieved. Voyager IRIS data from Jupiter imply substantial departures of the para hydrogen fraction from equilibrium in the upper troposphere at low latitudes, but with values approaching equilibrium at higher latitudes. Data from Saturn are less sensitive to the orth-para ratio, but suggest para hydrogen fractions near the equilibrium value. Above approximately the 200 K temperature level, para hydrogen conversion can enhance the efficiency of convection, resulting in a substantial increase in overturning times on all of the outer planets. Currently available data cannot definitively establish the ortho-para ratios in the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune, but suggest values closer to local equilibrium than to the 3.1 normal ratio. Modeling of sub-millimeter wavelength measurements of these planets suggest thermal structures with frozen equilibrium lapse rates in their convective regions

  16. Accurate Treatment of Collisions and Water-Delivery in Models of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Maindl, Thomas; Schaefer, Christoph

    2017-10-01

    It is widely accepted that collisions among solid bodies, ignited by their interactions with planetary embryos is the key process in the formation of terrestrial planets and transport of volatiles and chemical compounds to their accretion zones. Unfortunately, due to computational complexities, these collisions are often treated in a rudimentary way. Impacts are considered to be perfectly inelastic and volatiles are considered to be fully transferred from one object to the other. This perfect-merging assumption has profound effects on the mass and composition of final planetary bodies as it grossly overestimates the masses of these objects and the amounts of volatiles and chemical elements transferred to them. It also entirely neglects collisional-loss of volatiles (e.g., water) and draws an unrealistic connection between these properties and the chemical structure of the protoplanetary disk (i.e., the location of their original carriers). We have developed a new and comprehensive methodology to simulate growth of embryos to planetary bodies where we use a combination of SPH and N-body codes to accurately model collisions as well as the transport/transfer of chemical compounds. Our methodology accounts for the loss of volatiles (e.g., ice sublimation) during the orbital evolution of their careers and accurately tracks their transfer from one body to another. Results of our simulations show that traditional N-body modeling of terrestrial planet formation overestimates the amount of the mass and water contents of the final planets by over 60% implying that not only the amount of water they suggest is far from being realistic, small planets such as Mars can also form in these simulations when collisions are treated properly. We will present details of our methodology and discuss its implications for terrestrial planet formation and water delivery to Earth.

  17. A low-order model of water vapor, clouds, and thermal emission for tidally locked terrestrial planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Jun; Abbot, Dorian S., E-mail: junyang28@uchicago.edu [Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2014-04-01

    In the spirit of minimal modeling of complex systems, we develop an idealized two-column model to investigate the climate of tidally locked terrestrial planets with Earth-like atmospheres in the habitable zone of M-dwarf stars. The model is able to approximate the fundamental features of the climate obtained from three-dimensional (3D) atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) simulations. One important reason for the two-column model's success is that it reproduces the high cloud albedo of the GCM simulations, which reduces the planet's temperature and delays the onset of a runaway greenhouse state. The two-column model also clearly illustrates a secondary mechanism for determining the climate: the nightside acts as a 'radiator fin' through which infrared energy can be lost to space easily. This radiator fin is maintained by a temperature inversion and dry air on the nightside, and plays a similar role to the subtropics on modern Earth. Since one-dimensional radiative-convective models cannot capture the effects of the cloud albedo and radiator fin, they are systematically biased toward a narrower habitable zone. We also show that cloud parameters are the most important in the two-column model for determining the day-night thermal emission contrast, which decreases and eventually reverses as the stellar flux increases. This reversal is important because it could be detected by future extrasolar planet characterization missions, which would suggest that the planet has Earth-like water clouds and is potentially habitable.

  18. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillon, Michaël; Triaud, Amaury H M J; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuël; Agol, Eric; Deck, Katherine M; Lederer, Susan M; de Wit, Julien; Burdanov, Artem; Ingalls, James G; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy; Raymond, Sean N; Selsis, Franck; Turbet, Martin; Barkaoui, Khalid; Burgasser, Adam; Burleigh, Matthew R; Carey, Sean J; Chaushev, Aleksander; Copperwheat, Chris M; Delrez, Laetitia; Fernandes, Catarina S; Holdsworth, Daniel L; Kotze, Enrico J; Van Grootel, Valérie; Almleaky, Yaseen; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Magain, Pierre; Queloz, Didier

    2017-02-22

    One aim of modern astronomy is to detect temperate, Earth-like exoplanets that are well suited for atmospheric characterization. Recently, three Earth-sized planets were detected that transit (that is, pass in front of) a star with a mass just eight per cent that of the Sun, located 12 parsecs away. The transiting configuration of these planets, combined with the Jupiter-like size of their host star-named TRAPPIST-1-makes possible in-depth studies of their atmospheric properties with present-day and future astronomical facilities. Here we report the results of a photometric monitoring campaign of that star from the ground and space. Our observations reveal that at least seven planets with sizes and masses similar to those of Earth revolve around TRAPPIST-1. The six inner planets form a near-resonant chain, such that their orbital periods (1.51, 2.42, 4.04, 6.06, 9.1 and 12.35 days) are near-ratios of small integers. This architecture suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and migrated inwards. Moreover, the seven planets have equilibrium temperatures low enough to make possible the presence of liquid water on their surfaces.

  19. PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES. I. PHOTOCHEMISTRY MODEL AND BENCHMARK CASES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Bains, William, E-mail: hury@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2012-12-20

    We present a comprehensive photochemistry model for exploration of the chemical composition of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres. The photochemistry model is designed from the ground up to have the capacity to treat all types of terrestrial planet atmospheres, ranging from oxidizing through reducing, which makes the code suitable for applications for the wide range of anticipated terrestrial exoplanet compositions. The one-dimensional chemical transport model treats up to 800 chemical reactions, photochemical processes, dry and wet deposition, surface emission, and thermal escape of O, H, C, N, and S bearing species, as well as formation and deposition of elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid aerosols. We validate the model by computing the atmospheric composition of current Earth and Mars and find agreement with observations of major trace gases in Earth's and Mars' atmospheres. We simulate several plausible atmospheric scenarios of terrestrial exoplanets and choose three benchmark cases for atmospheres from reducing to oxidizing. The most interesting finding is that atomic hydrogen is always a more abundant reactive radical than the hydroxyl radical in anoxic atmospheres. Whether atomic hydrogen is the most important removal path for a molecule of interest also depends on the relevant reaction rates. We also find that volcanic carbon compounds (i.e., CH{sub 4} and CO{sub 2}) are chemically long-lived and tend to be well mixed in both reducing and oxidizing atmospheres, and their dry deposition velocities to the surface control the atmospheric oxidation states. Furthermore, we revisit whether photochemically produced oxygen can cause false positives for detecting oxygenic photosynthesis, and find that in 1 bar CO{sub 2}-rich atmospheres oxygen and ozone may build up to levels that have conventionally been accepted as signatures of life, if there is no surface emission of reducing gases. The atmospheric scenarios presented in this paper can serve as the

  20. Dinamics of hydrogen in terrestrial atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roamntan, A.; Mercea, V.; Ristoiu, D.; Ursu, D.

    1981-01-01

    Thishs monographic study presents the dynamics of hydrogen in t e Earth's atmosphere. Atomic hydrogen is produced in the homosphere through a complex system of chemical reaction in wich molecules of 2 , H 2 O, C 4 s ''parent '' molecules are involved. The maximum production of H appears at 8O km resulting a concentration of the order of 10 8 cm -3 . There is a correlation between the total mixing ratio of hydrogen in the homosphere and the global escape flux from the Earth's atmosphere. Two new physical mechanisms which may have a substantial contribution to the total escape flux are presented: ''polar wind'' and charge exchange of H with ''hot'' protons. The possibilities of accretion of hydrogen, as atomic hydrogen or as water from the Earth's atmosphere, are analysed in brief. (authors)

  1. Terrestrial planet formation in the presence of migrating super-Earths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Izidoro, André; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Raymond, Sean N.

    2014-01-01

    Super-Earths with orbital periods less than 100 days are extremely abundant around Sun-like stars. It is unlikely that these planets formed at their current locations. Rather, they likely formed at large distances from the star and subsequently migrated inward. Here we use N-body simulations to study the effect of super-Earths on the accretion of rocky planets. In our simulations, one or more super-Earths migrate inward through a disk of planetary embryos and planetesimals embedded in a gaseous disk. We tested a wide range of migration speeds and configurations. Fast-migrating super-Earths (τ mig ∼ 0.01-0.1 Myr) only have a modest effect on the protoplanetary embryos and planetesimals. Sufficient material survives to form rocky, Earth-like planets on orbits exterior to the super-Earths'. In contrast, slowly migrating super-Earths shepherd rocky material interior to their orbits and strongly deplete the terrestrial planet-forming zone. In this situation any Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone are extremely volatile-rich and are therefore probably not Earth-like.

  2. The thermal state and evolution of the earth and terrestrial planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tozer, D.C.

    1977-01-01

    In considering the problem of planetary evolution it is suggested that a completely fresh look at the working of the heat transfer process has made it possible to give a general interpretation of many of the recent discoveries of the Earth's present dynamism and past development without appealing to any but very general assumptions about the material behaviour. Once again, the flow properties of rock are in the forefront of the understanding of the Earth's internal heat while the temperature has somewhat receded into the background as a determined rather than a determining characteristic of the behaviour of the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) and the Moon. Misunderstanding about the nature of material properties has made theorists go too far in seeing planets as aggregates of potential laboratory samples, rather than as systems in their own right whose sheer size brings out behaviour requiring distinct ways of describing in situ planetary material. Study of the way in which the evolution of the terrestrial planets becomes regulated by a degree of creep resistance that is quite impossible to measure in the laboratory underlines the similarity of this situation with that which faced attempts to understand stellar evolution. (U.K.)

  3. Differentiation of crusts and cores of the terrestrial planets: lessons for the early Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.

    1980-01-01

    It now appears probable that all of the terrestrial planets underwent some form of global chemical differentiation to produce crusts, mantles, and cores of variable relative mass fractions. There is direct seismic evidence for a crust on the Moon, and indirect evidence for distinct crusts on Mars and Venus. Substantial portions of these crusts have been in place since the time that heavy bombardment of the inner solar system ceased approximately 4 Ga ago. There is direct evidence for a sizeable core on Mars, indirect evidence for one on Mercury, and bounds on a possible small core for the Moon. Core formation is an important heat source confined to times prior to 4 Ga ago for Mercury and the Earth, but was not closely linked to crustal formation on the Moon nor, apparently, on Mars. The tectonic and volcanic histories of the surfaces of the terrestrial planets Moon, Mars, and Mercury can be used, with simple thermal history models, to restrict the earliest chemical differentiation to be shallow (outer 200-400 km) for the first two bodies and much more extensive for Mercury. Extension of these models to an Earth-size planet leads to the prediction of a hot and vigorously convecting mantle with an easily deformable crust immediately following core formation, and of the gradual development of a lithosphere and of plates with some lateral rigidity in Late Archean-Proterzoic times. (Auth.)

  4. Characterization of extra-solar planets and their atmospheres (Spectroscopy of transits and atmospheric escape)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bourrier, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Hot Jupiters are exo-planets so close to their star that their atmosphere can lose gas because of hydrodynamic escape. Transiting gaseous giants are an excellent way to understand this mechanism, but it is necessary to study other types of planets to determine its impact on the exo-planetary population. This thesis aims at using transit spectroscopy to observe the atmosphere of several exo-planets, to study their properties and to contribute to the characterization of hydrodynamic escape. UV lines observed with the Hubble telescope are analyzed with the numerical model of upper atmospheres we developed. Using the Ly-α line we identify energetic and dynamical interactions between the atmospheres of the hot Jupiters HD209458b and HD189733b and their stars. We study the dependence of the escape on the environment of a planet and on its physical properties, through the observation of a super-Earth and a warm Jupiter in the 55 Cnc system. Using observations of HD209458b, we show that magnesium lines are a window on the region of formation of hydrodynamic escape. We study the potential of transit spectroscopy in the near-UV to detect new cases of atmospheric escape. This mechanism is fostered by the proximity of a planet to its star, which makes it even more important to understand the formation and migration processes that can be traced in the alignment of a planetary system. Using measures from the spectrographs HARPS-N and SOPHIE we study the alignments of 55 Cnc e and the Kepler candidate KOI 12.01, whose planetary nature we also seek to validate. (author)

  5. CONDITIONS OF PASSAGE AND ENTRAPMENT OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN SPIN-ORBIT RESONANCES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makarov, Valeri V.

    2012-01-01

    The dynamical evolution of terrestrial planets resembling Mercury in the vicinity of spin-orbit resonances is investigated using comprehensive harmonic expansions of the tidal torque taking into account the frequency-dependent quality factors and Love numbers. The torque equations are integrated numerically with a small step in time, including the oscillating triaxial torque components but neglecting the layered structure of the planet and assuming a zero obliquity. We find that a Mercury-like planet with a current value of orbital eccentricity (0.2056) is always captured in 3:2 resonance. The probability of capture in the higher 2:1 resonance is approximately 0.23. These results are confirmed by a semi-analytical estimation of capture probabilities as functions of eccentricity for both prograde and retrograde evolutions of spin rate. As follows from analysis of equilibrium torques, entrapment in 3:2 resonance is inevitable at eccentricities between 0.2 and 0.41. Considering the phase space parameters at the times of periastron, the range of spin rates and phase angles for which an immediate resonance passage is triggered is very narrow, and yet a planet like Mercury rarely fails to align itself into this state of unstable equilibrium before it traverses 2:1 resonance.

  6. LOW Mg/Si PLANETARY HOST STARS AND THEIR Mg-DEPLETED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carter-Bond, Jade C.; O' Brien, David P. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Fort Lowell, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Delgado Mena, Elisa; Israelian, Garik; Gonzalez Hernandez, Jonay I. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain); Santos, Nuno C., E-mail: j.bond@unsw.edu.au [Centro de Astrofisica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal)

    2012-03-15

    Simulations have shown that a diverse range of extrasolar terrestrial planet bulk compositions are likely to exist based on the observed variations in host star elemental abundances. Based on recent studies, it is expected that a significant proportion of host stars may have Mg/Si ratios below 1. Here we examine this previously neglected group of systems. Planets simulated as forming within these systems are found to be Mg-depleted (compared to Earth), consisting of silicate species such as pyroxene and various feldspars. Planetary carbon abundances also vary in accordance with the host star C/O ratio. The predicted abundances are in keeping with observations of polluted white dwarfs, lending validity to this approach. Further studies are required to determine the full planetary impacts of the bulk compositions predicted here.

  7. Tectonic history of the terrestrial planets. Final technical report, 1 October 1976-30 September 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solomon, S.C.

    1990-02-01

    It is impossible in a single brief summary to convey the full range of research results that have come from this project over the last 13 years. The sweep of subjects covered ranges widely over the broad areas of the thermal and tectonic evolution of the terrestrial planets. A full list of all publications supported by this grant is presented. The list includes 48 published journal articles, 2 papers currently in press, 3 chapters of books, 4 M.I.T. theses, 1 technical report, and 107 published abstracts and extended abstracts. All of these publications were submitted separately to NASA at the time of publication or submission

  8. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Civiš, Svatopluk; Knížek, Antonín; Ivanek, Ondřej; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalová, Markéta; Kavan, Ladislav; Ferus, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 10 (2017), s. 721-726 E-ISSN 2397-3366 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA17-05076S; GA ČR GA13-07724S Grant - others:Akademie věd - GA AV ČR(CZ) R200401721; Akademie věd - GA AV ČR(CZ) R200401521 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : biomolecules * CO2 cycle on terrestrial planets * Mars Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry

  9. ON THE MIGRATION OF JUPITER AND SATURN: CONSTRAINTS FROM LINEAR MODELS OF SECULAR RESONANT COUPLING WITH THE TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agnor, Craig B.; Lin, D. N. C.

    2012-01-01

    We examine how the late divergent migration of Jupiter and Saturn may have perturbed the terrestrial planets. Using a modified secular model we have identified six secular resonances between the ν 5 frequency of Jupiter and Saturn and the four apsidal eigenfrequencies of the terrestrial planets (g 1-4 ). We derive analytic upper limits on the eccentricity and orbital migration timescale of Jupiter and Saturn when these resonances were encountered to avoid perturbing the eccentricities of the terrestrial planets to values larger than the observed ones. Because of the small amplitudes of the j = 2, 3 terrestrial eigenmodes the g 2 – ν 5 and g 3 – ν 5 resonances provide the strongest constraints on giant planet migration. If Jupiter and Saturn migrated with eccentricities comparable to their present-day values, smooth migration with exponential timescales characteristic of planetesimal-driven migration (τ ∼ 5-10 Myr) would have perturbed the eccentricities of the terrestrial planets to values greatly exceeding the observed ones. This excitation may be mitigated if the eccentricity of Jupiter was small during the migration epoch, migration was very rapid (e.g., τ ∼< 0.5 Myr perhaps via planet-planet scattering or instability-driven migration) or the observed small eccentricity amplitudes of the j = 2, 3 terrestrial modes result from low probability cancellation of several large amplitude contributions. Results of orbital integrations show that very short migration timescales (τ < 0.5 Myr), characteristic of instability-driven migration, may also perturb the terrestrial planets' eccentricities by amounts comparable to their observed values. We discuss the implications of these constraints for the relative timing of terrestrial planet formation, giant planet migration, and the origin of the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment of the Moon 3.9 ± 0.1 Ga ago. We suggest that the simplest way to satisfy these dynamical constraints may be for the bulk of any giant

  10. Preentry communication design elements for outer planets atmospheric entry probe

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    Four related tasks are discussed for data transmission from a probe prior to entering the atmosphere of Jupiter to an orbiting spacecraft in a trajectory past the planet: (1) link analysis and design; (2) system conceptual design; (3) Doppler measurement analysis; and (4) an electronically despun antenna. For tasks 1, 3, and 4, an analytical approach was developed and combined with computational capability available to produce quantitative results corresponding to requirements and constraints given by NASA, ARC. One constraint having a major impact on the numerical results of the link analysis was the assumption of a nonsteerable antenna on a spinning orbiter. Other constraints included the interplanetary trajectory and the approach trajectory. Because the Jupiter Orbiter Probe (JOP) program is currently in a state of evolution, all requirements and constraints applied during this study are subject to change. However, the relationships of parameters as developed will remain valid and will aid in planning Jupiter missions.

  11. A REVISED ESTIMATE OF THE OCCURRENCE RATE OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONES AROUND KEPLER M-DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kopparapu, Ravi Kumar

    2013-01-01

    Because of their large numbers, low-mass stars may be the most abundant planet hosts in our Galaxy. Furthermore, terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) around M-dwarfs can potentially be characterized in the near future and hence may be the first such planets to be studied. Recently, Dressing and Charbonneau used Kepler data and calculated the frequency of terrestrial planets in the HZ of cool stars to be 0.15 +0.13 -0.06 per star for Earth-size planets (0.5-1.4 R ⊕ ). However, this estimate was derived using the Kasting et al. HZ limits, which were not valid for stars with effective temperatures lower than 3700 K. Here we update their result using new HZ limits from Kopparapu et al. for stars with effective temperatures between 2600 K and 7200 K, which includes the cool M stars in the Kepler target list. The new HZ boundaries increase the number of planet candidates in the HZ. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-1.4 R ⊕ , when we reanalyze their results, we obtain a terrestrial planet frequency of 0.48 +0.12 -0.24 and 0.53 +0.08 -0.17 planets per M-dwarf star for conservative and optimistic limits of the HZ boundaries, respectively. Assuming Earth-size planets as 0.5-2 R ⊕ , the frequency increases to 0.51 +0.10 -0.20 per star for the conservative estimate and to 0.61 +0.07 -0.15 per star for the optimistic estimate. Within uncertainties, our optimistic estimates are in agreement with a similar optimistic estimate from the radial velocity survey of M-dwarfs (0.41 +0.54 -0.13 ). So, the potential for finding Earth-like planets around M stars may be higher than previously reported.

  12. ON THE NOTION OF WELL-DEFINED TECTONIC REGIMES FOR TERRESTRIAL PLANETS IN THIS SOLAR SYSTEM AND OTHERS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenardic, A.; Crowley, J. W.

    2012-01-01

    A model of coupled mantle convection and planetary tectonics is used to demonstrate that history dependence can outweigh the effects of a planet's energy content and material parameters in determining its tectonic state. The mantle convection-surface tectonics system allows multiple tectonic modes to exist for equivalent planetary parameter values. The tectonic mode of the system is then determined by its specific geologic and climatic history. This implies that models of tectonics and mantle convection will not be able to uniquely determine the tectonic mode of a terrestrial planet without the addition of historical data. Historical data exists, to variable degrees, for all four terrestrial planets within our solar system. For the Earth, the planet with the largest amount of observational data, debate does still remain regarding the geologic and climatic history of Earth's deep past but constraints are available. For planets in other solar systems, no such constraints exist at present. The existence of multiple tectonic modes, for equivalent parameter values, points to a reason why different groups have reached different conclusions regarding the tectonic state of extrasolar terrestrial planets larger than Earth ( s uper-Earths ) . The region of multiple stable solutions is predicted to widen in parameter space for more energetic mantle convection (as would be expected for larger planets). This means that different groups can find different solutions, all potentially viable and stable, using identical models and identical system parameter values. At a more practical level, the results argue that the question of whether extrasolar terrestrial planets will have plate tectonics is unanswerable and will remain so until the temporal evolution of extrasolar planets can be constrained.

  13. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujii, Yuka; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Amundsen, David S.

    2017-01-01

    H 2 O is a key molecule in characterizing atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets, and observations of transmission spectra are expected to play a primary role in detecting its signatures in the near future. The detectability of H 2 O absorption features in transmission spectra depends on the abundance of water vapor in the upper part of the atmosphere. We study the three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric H 2 O for synchronously rotating Earth-sized aquaplanets using the general circulation model (GCM) ROCKE-3D, and examine the effects of total incident flux and stellar spectral type. We observe a more gentle increase of the water vapor mixing ratio in response to increased incident flux than one-dimensional models suggest, in qualitative agreement with the climate-stabilizing effect of clouds around the substellar point previously observed in GCMs applied to synchronously rotating planets. However, the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper atmosphere starts to increase while the surface temperature is still moderate. This is explained by the circulation in the upper atmosphere being driven by the radiative heating due to absorption by water vapor and cloud particles, causing efficient vertical transport of water vapor. Consistently, the water vapor mixing ratio is found to be well-correlated with the near-infrared portion of the incident flux. We also simulate transmission spectra based on the GCM outputs, and show that for the more highly irradiated planets, the H 2 O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H 2 O detection.

  14. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujii, Yuka; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Amundsen, David S. [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY (United States)

    2017-10-20

    H{sub 2}O is a key molecule in characterizing atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets, and observations of transmission spectra are expected to play a primary role in detecting its signatures in the near future. The detectability of H{sub 2}O absorption features in transmission spectra depends on the abundance of water vapor in the upper part of the atmosphere. We study the three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric H{sub 2}O for synchronously rotating Earth-sized aquaplanets using the general circulation model (GCM) ROCKE-3D, and examine the effects of total incident flux and stellar spectral type. We observe a more gentle increase of the water vapor mixing ratio in response to increased incident flux than one-dimensional models suggest, in qualitative agreement with the climate-stabilizing effect of clouds around the substellar point previously observed in GCMs applied to synchronously rotating planets. However, the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper atmosphere starts to increase while the surface temperature is still moderate. This is explained by the circulation in the upper atmosphere being driven by the radiative heating due to absorption by water vapor and cloud particles, causing efficient vertical transport of water vapor. Consistently, the water vapor mixing ratio is found to be well-correlated with the near-infrared portion of the incident flux. We also simulate transmission spectra based on the GCM outputs, and show that for the more highly irradiated planets, the H{sub 2}O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H{sub 2}O detection.

  15. What Should the FeO Content of a Terrestrial Planet Be?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, John H.

    2013-01-01

    Basalts from the Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Vesta are strongly depleted in elements that prefer to reside in the metallic state (siderophile elements). Therefore, it is believed that all these bodies have metallic cores. We do not yet have siderophile element analyses of venusian or mercurian basalts, but we assume that Venus, too, as a terrestrial planet, has a metallic core. For the Earth, Moon, Mercury, and Mars, the moments-of-inertia of these bodies are consistent with metallic cores of various sizes. Because Venus rotates so slowly, it may be difficult to determine the moment-of-inertia of Venus in order to confirm this assumption. However, despite many possible complexities, it seems likely that most of the major and minor terrestrial planets have experienced some sort of metal/silicate equilibration, and we will use this as a boundary condition. One immediate contrast between the Earth and Moon is the difference in FeO content between lunar and terrestrial basalts. Both bodies presumably formed near 1 AU and formed from the same feeding zone of planetesimals, judging by their oxygen isotopes [13]. If, for example, the Moon formed from the Earth by a giant impact, then this event must have occurred before high-pressure equilibria had the opportunity to deplete the Earth s mantle in FeO. Alternatively, the bulk silicate Moon may be dominated by material from the impactor. Regardless, it would be useful to know the pressures where FeO incorporation into a metallic core is not of interest. If the Giant Impact hypothesis is correct, this should set an upper limit for the size of the proto-Earth at the time of the impact.

  16. THE PROJECT: an Observatory / Transport Spaceship for Discovering and Populating Habitable Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilston, S.

    1998-12-01

    Recent extrasolar planet discoveries and related progress in astrophysics have refined our knowledge of the implications of the Drake equation. The Space Interferometry Mission and the planned Terrestrial Planet Finder will deepen this understanding, and begin pointing the way to places we need to explore at closer range. If the correct resolution of the Fermi paradox regarding intelligent extraterrestrials (``where are they?") is found to lie in the actual scarcity of such beings, it may turn out that we are more advanced than most other life-forms in our galaxy. In this case, a main purpose in finding planets may be to find places for us to go: astronomy will once again play a major role in human navigation and migration. We describe a strawman design concept for an astronomical observatory ship designed for launch beyond our solar system within several hundred years. This ship design would employ plausible physics, biology, technology, sociology, and economics to carry one million passengers in a one-G environment shielded from space radiation. A cruising speed under 0.01 c, slower than in many science-fiction concepts, minimizes power requirements and the danger from collisional impacts. The ship would contain all subsystems needed to sustain multi-generational life on a voyage of thousands of years, as well as the observatories to identify for human settlement a habitable extrasolar planet. Even the modestly advanced technology described here could spread intelligent life throughout our galaxy within 40 million years, a very small fraction of the galaxy's age. Motivation for such an ambitious project is three-fold: expanding our knowledge of the universe, enlisting the efforts and enthusiasms of humankind toward a very grand goal which will stimulate progress in all aspects of our cultures and technologies, and participating in the process of spreading life so its survivability and fruition are enhanced.

  17. The Sustainability of Habitability on Terrestrial Planets: Insights, Questions, and Needed Measurements from Mars for Understanding the Evolution of Earth-Like Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Anderson, F. S.; Andrews-Hanna, J.; Catling, D. C.; Christensen, P. R.; Cohen, B. A.; Dressing, C. D.; Edwards, C. S.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Farley, K. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    What allows a planet to be both within a potentially habitable zone and sustain habitability over long geologic time? With the advent of exoplanetary astronomy and the ongoing discovery of terrestrial-type planets around other stars, our own solar system becomes a key testing ground for ideas about what factors control planetary evolution. Mars provides the solar systems longest record of the interplay of the physical and chemical processes relevant to habitability on an accessible rocky planet with an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Here we review current understanding and update the timeline of key processes in early Mars history. We then draw on knowledge of exoplanets and the other solar system terrestrial planets to identify six broad questions of high importance to the development and sustaining of habitability (unprioritized): (1) Is small planetary size fatal? (2) How do magnetic fields influence atmospheric evolution? (3) To what extent does starting composition dictate subsequent evolution, including redox processes and the availability of water and organics? (4) Does early impact bombardment have a net deleterious or beneficial influence? (5) How do planetary climates respond to stellar evolution, e.g., sustaining early liquid water in spite of a faint young Sun? (6) How important are the timescales of climate forcing and their dynamical drivers? Finally, we suggest crucial types of Mars measurements (unprioritized) to address these questions: (1) in situ petrology at multiple units/sites; (2) continued quantification of volatile reservoirs and new isotopic measurements of H, C, N, O, S, Cl, and noble gases in rocks that sample multiple stratigraphic sections; (3) radiometric age dating of units in stratigraphic sections and from key volcanic and impact units; (4) higher-resolution measurements of heat flux, subsurface structure, and magnetic field anomalies coupled with absolute age dating. Understanding the evolution of early Mars will feed forward to

  18. ON THE EFFECT OF GIANT PLANETS ON THE SCATTERING OF PARENT BODIES OF IRON METEORITE FROM THE TERRESTRIAL PLANET REGION INTO THE ASTEROID BELT: A CONCEPT STUDY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Scott, Edward R. D.

    2012-01-01

    In their model for the origin of the parent bodies of iron meteorites, Bottke et al. proposed differentiated planetesimals, formed in 1-2 AU during the first 1.5 Myr, as the parent bodies, and suggested that these objects and their fragments were scattered into the asteroid belt as a result of interactions with planetary embryos. Although viable, this model does not include the effect of a giant planet that might have existed or been growing in the outer regions. We present the results of a concept study where we have examined the effect of a planetary body in the orbit of Jupiter on the early scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial region into the asteroid belt. We integrated the orbits of a large battery of planetesimals in a disk of planetary embryos and studied their evolutions for different values of the mass of the planet. Results indicate that when the mass of the planet is smaller than 10 M ⊕ , its effects on the interactions among planetesimals and planetary embryos are negligible. However, when the planet mass is between 10 and 50 M ⊕ , simulations point to a transitional regime with ∼50 M ⊕ being the value for which the perturbing effect of the planet can no longer be ignored. Simulations also show that further increase of the mass of the planet strongly reduces the efficiency of the scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial planet region into the asteroid belt. We present the results of our simulations and discuss their possible implications for the time of giant planet formation.

  19. Regionally strong feedbacks between the atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Julia K.; Konings, Alexandra G.; Alemohammad, Seyed Hamed; Berry, Joseph; Entekhabi, Dara; Kolassa, Jana; Lee, Jung-Eun; Gentine, Pierre

    2017-06-01

    The terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere interact through a series of feedback loops. Variability in terrestrial vegetation growth and phenology can modulate fluxes of water and energy to the atmosphere, and thus affect the climatic conditions that in turn regulate vegetation dynamics. Here we analyse satellite observations of solar-induced fluorescence, precipitation, and radiation using a multivariate statistical technique. We find that biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks are globally widespread and regionally strong: they explain up to 30% of precipitation and surface radiation variance in regions where feedbacks occur. Substantial biosphere-precipitation feedbacks are often found in regions that are transitional between energy and water limitation, such as semi-arid or monsoonal regions. Substantial biosphere-radiation feedbacks are often present in several moderately wet regions and in the Mediterranean, where precipitation and radiation increase vegetation growth. Enhancement of latent and sensible heat transfer from vegetation accompanies this growth, which increases boundary layer height and convection, affecting cloudiness, and consequently incident surface radiation. Enhanced evapotranspiration can increase moist convection, leading to increased precipitation. Earth system models underestimate these precipitation and radiation feedbacks mainly because they underestimate the biosphere response to radiation and water availability. We conclude that biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks cluster in specific climatic regions that help determine the net CO2 balance of the biosphere.

  20. New constraints on terrestrial and oceanic sources of atmospheric methanol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. B. Millet

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available We use a global 3-D chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem to interpret new aircraft, surface, and oceanic observations of methanol in terms of the constraints that they place on the atmospheric methanol budget. Recent measurements of methanol concentrations in the ocean mixed layer (OML imply that in situ biological production must be the main methanol source in the OML, dominating over uptake from the atmosphere. It follows that oceanic emission and uptake must be viewed as independent terms in the atmospheric methanol budget. We deduce that the marine biosphere is a large primary source (85 Tg a−1 of methanol to the atmosphere and is also a large sink (101 Tg a−1, comparable in magnitude to atmospheric oxidation by OH (88 Tg a−1. The resulting atmospheric lifetime of methanol in the model is 4.7 days. Aircraft measurements in the North American boundary layer imply that terrestrial plants are a much weaker source than presently thought, likely reflecting an overestimate of broadleaf tree emissions, and this is also generally consistent with surface measurements. We deduce a terrestrial plant source of 80 Tg a−1, comparable in magnitude to the ocean source. The aircraft measurements show a strong correlation with CO (R2=0.51−0.61 over North America during summer. We reproduce this correlation and slope in the model with the reduced plant source, which also confirms that the anthropogenic source of methanol must be small. Our reduced plant source also provides a better simulation of methanol observations over tropical South America.

  1. The chemical composition of the cores of the terrestrial planets and the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuskov, O. L.; Khitarov, N. I.

    1977-01-01

    Using models of the quasi-chemical theory of solutions, the activity coefficients of silicon are calculated in the melts Fe-Si, Ni-Si, and Fe-Ni-Si. The calculated free energies of solution of liquid nickel and silicon in liquid iron in the interval 0 to 1400 kbar and 1500 to 4000 K, shows that Fe-Ni-Si alloy is stable under the conditions of the outer core of the earth and the cores of the terrestrial planets. The oxidation-reduction conditions are studied, and the fugacity of oxygen in the mantles of the planets and at the core-mantle boundary are calculated. The mechanism of reduction of silicon is analyzed over a broad interval of p and T. The interaction between the matter of the core and mantle is studied, resulting in the extraction of silicon from the mantle and its solution in the material of the core. It is concluded that silicon can enter into the composition of the outer core of the earth and Venus, but probably does not enter into the composition of the cores of Mercury, Mars, and the moon, if in fact the latter possesses one.

  2. Refractory Abundances of Terrestrial Planets and Their Stars: Testing [Si/Fe] Correlations with TESS and PLATO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfgang, Angie; Fortney, Jonathan

    2018-01-01

    In standard models for planet formation, solid material in protoplanetary disks coagulate and collide to form rocky bodies. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that their chemical composition will follow the abundances of refractory elements, such as Si and Fe, in the host star, which has also accreted material from the disk. Backed by planet formation simulations which validate this assumption, planetary internal structure models have begun to use stellar abundances to break degeneracies in low-mass planet compositions inferred only from mass and radius. Inconveniently, our own Solar System contradicts this approach, as its terrestrial bodies exhibit a range of rock/iron ratios and the Sun's [Si/Fe] ratio is offset from the mean planetary [Si/Fe]. In this work, we explore what number and quality of observations we need to empirically measure the exoplanet-star [Si/Fe] correlation, given future transit missions, RV follow-up, and stellar characterization. Specifically, we generate synthetic datasets of terrestrial planet masses and radii and host star abundances assuming that the planets’ bulk [Si/Fe] ratio exactly tracks that of their host stars. We assign measurement uncertainties corresponding to expected precisions for TESS, PLATO, Gaia, and future RV instrumentation, and then invert the problem to infer the planet-star [Si/Fe] correlation given these observational constraints. Comparing the result to the generated truth, we find that 1% precision on the planet radii is needed to test whether [Si/Fe] ratios are correlated between exoplanet and host star. On the other hand, lower precisions can test for systematic offsets between planet and star [Si/Fe], which can constrain the importance of giant impacts for extrasolar terrestrial planet formation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Modeling of Atmospheric Turbulence Effect on Terrestrial FSO Link

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Prokes

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric turbulence results in many effects causing fluctuation in the received optical power. Terrestrial laser beam communication is affected above all by scintillations. The paper deals with modeling the influence of scintillation on link performance, using the modified Rytov theory. The probability of correct signal detection in direct detection system in dependence on many parameters such as link distance, power link margin, refractive-index structure parameter, etc. is discussed and different approaches to the evaluation of scintillation effect are compared. The simulations are performed for a horizontal-path propagation of the Gaussian-beam wave.

  5. Towards Understanding the Climate of Venus Applications of Terrestrial Models to Our Sister Planet

    CERN Document Server

    Bonnet, Roger-Maurice; Grinspoon, David; Koumoutsaris, Symeon; Lebonnois, Sebastien; Titov, Dmitri

    2013-01-01

    ESA’s Venus Express Mission has monitored Venus since April 2006, and scientists worldwide have used mathematical models to investigate its atmosphere and model its circulation. This book summarizes recent work to explore and understand the climate of the planet through a research program under the auspices of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland. Some of the unique elements that are discussed are the anomalies with Venus’ surface temperature (the huge greenhouse effect causes the surface to rise to 460°C, without which would plummet as low as -40°C), its unusual lack of solar radiation (despite being closer to the Sun, Venus receives less solar radiation than Earth due to its dense cloud cover reflecting 76% back) and the juxtaposition of its atmosphere and planetary rotation (wind speeds can climb up to 200 m/s, much faster than Venus’ sidereal day of 243 Earth-days).

  6. Terrestrial planet formation in a protoplanetary disk with a local mass depletion: A successful scenario for the formation of Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izidoro, A.; Winter, O. C. [UNESP, Univ. Estadual Paulista - Grupo de Dinâmica Orbital and Planetologia, Guaratinguetá, CEP 12.516-410, São Paulo (Brazil); Haghighipour, N. [Institute for Astronomy and NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Tsuchida, M., E-mail: izidoro@feg.unesp.br, E-mail: nader@ifa.hawaii.edu [UNESP, Univ. Estadual Paulista, DCCE-IBILCE, São José do Rio Preto, CEP 15.054-000, São Paulo (Brazil)

    2014-02-10

    Models of terrestrial planet formation for our solar system have been successful in producing planets with masses and orbits similar to those of Venus and Earth. However, these models have generally failed to produce Mars-sized objects around 1.5 AU. The body that is usually formed around Mars' semimajor axis is, in general, much more massive than Mars. Only when Jupiter and Saturn are assumed to have initially very eccentric orbits (e ∼ 0.1), which seems fairly unlikely for the solar system, or alternately, if the protoplanetary disk is truncated at 1.0 AU, simulations have been able to produce Mars-like bodies in the correct location. In this paper, we examine an alternative scenario for the formation of Mars in which a local depletion in the density of the protosolar nebula results in a non-uniform formation of planetary embryos and ultimately the formation of Mars-sized planets around 1.5 AU. We have carried out extensive numerical simulations of the formation of terrestrial planets in such a disk for different scales of the local density depletion, and for different orbital configurations of the giant planets. Our simulations point to the possibility of the formation of Mars-sized bodies around 1.5 AU, specifically when the scale of the disk local mass-depletion is moderately high (50%-75%) and Jupiter and Saturn are initially in their current orbits. In these systems, Mars-analogs are formed from the protoplanetary materials that originate in the regions of disk interior or exterior to the local mass-depletion. Results also indicate that Earth-sized planets can form around 1 AU with a substantial amount of water accreted via primitive water-rich planetesimals and planetary embryos. We present the results of our study and discuss their implications for the formation of terrestrial planets in our solar system.

  7. Understanding the Atmosphere of 51 Eri b: Do Photochemical Hazes Cloud the Planets Spectrum?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark Scott; Zahnle, Kevin; Moses, J.; Morley, C.

    2015-01-01

    The first young giant planet to be discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager was the (is) approximately 2MJ planet 51 Eri b. This approximately 20 Myr old young Jupiter is the first directly imaged planet to show unmistakable methane in H band. To constrain the planet's mass, atmospheric temperature, and composition, the GPI J and H band spectra as well as some limited photometric points were compared to the predictions of substellar atmosphere models. The best fitting models reported in the discovery paper (Macintosh et al. 2015) relied upon a combination of clear and cloudy atmospheric columns to reproduce the data. However for an object as cool as 700 K, the origin of the cloud coverage is somewhat puzzling, as the global silicate and iron clouds would be expected to have sunk well below the photosphere by this effective temperature. While strong vertical mixing in these low gravity atmospheres remains a plausible explanation, we have explored whether atmospheric photochemistry, driven by the UV flux from the primary star, may yield hazes that also influence the observed spectrum of the planet. To explore this possibility we have modeled the atmospheric photochemistry of 51 Eri b using two state-of-the-art photochemical models, both capable of predicting yields of complex hydrocarbons under various atmospheric conditions. In our presentation we will summarize the modeling approach employed to characterize 51 Eri b, explaining constraints on the planet's effective temperature, gravity, and atmospheric composition and also present results of our studies of atmospheric photochemistry. We will discuss whether photochemical hazes could indeed be responsible for the particulate opacity that apparently sculpts the spectrum of the planet.

  8. Hydrodynamics of embedded planets' first atmospheres - III. The role of radiation transport for super-Earth planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimerman, Nicolas P.; Kuiper, Rolf; Ormel, Chris W.

    2017-11-01

    The population of close-in super-Earths, with gas mass fractions of up to 10 per cent represents a challenge for planet formation theory: how did they avoid runaway gas accretion and collapsing to hot Jupiters despite their core masses being in the critical range of Mc ≃ 10 M⊕? Previous three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamical simulations indicate that atmospheres of low-mass planets cannot be considered isolated from the protoplanetary disc, contrary to what is assumed in 1D-evolutionary calculations. This finding is referred to as the recycling hypothesis. In this paper, we investigate the recycling hypothesis for super-Earth planets, accounting for realistic 3D radiation hydrodynamics. Also, we conduct a direct comparison in terms of the evolution of the entropy between 1D and 3D geometries. We clearly see that 3D atmospheres maintain higher entropy: although gas in the atmosphere loses entropy through radiative cooling, the advection of high-entropy gas from the disc into the Bondi/Hill sphere slows down Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction, potentially arresting envelope growth at a sub-critical gas mass fraction. Recycling, therefore, operates vigorously, in line with results by previous studies. However, we also identify an `inner core' - in size ≈25 per cent of the Bondi radius - where streamlines are more circular and entropies are much lower than in the outer atmosphere. Future studies at higher resolutions are needed to assess whether this region can become hydrodynamically isolated on long time-scales.

  9. Terrestrial mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric POPs pollution: A review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harmens, H.; Foan, L.; Simon, V.; Mills, G.

    2013-01-01

    Worldwide there is concern about the continuing release of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) into the environment. In this study we review the application of mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of POPs. Examples in the literature show that mosses are suitable organisms to monitor spatial patterns and temporal trends of atmospheric concentrations or deposition of POPs. These examples include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The majority of studies report on PAHs concentrations in mosses and relative few studies have been conducted on other POPs. So far, many studies have focused on spatial patterns around pollution sources or the concentration in mosses in remote areas such as the polar regions, as an indication of long-range transport of POPs. Very few studies have determined temporal trends or have directly related the concentrations in mosses with measured atmospheric concentrations and/or deposition fluxes. - Highlights: ► Terrestrial mosses are suitable organisms to monitor deposition of POPs. ► They provide a good indication of spatial patterns and temporal trends. ► Mosses have been used as biomonitors of PAHs, PCBs, PBDEs dioxins and furans. ► Few studies have assessed the relationship between concentrations in air and mosses. - Mosses are suitable biomonitors of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

  10. Water and the Interior Structure of Terrestrial Planets and Icy Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteux, J.; Golabek, G. J.; Rubie, D. C.; Tobie, G.; Young, E. D.

    2018-02-01

    Water content and the internal evolution of terrestrial planets and icy bodies are closely linked. The distribution of water in planetary systems is controlled by the temperature structure in the protoplanetary disk and dynamics and migration of planetesimals and planetary embryos. This results in the formation of planetesimals and planetary embryos with a great variety of compositions, water contents and degrees of oxidation. The internal evolution and especially the formation time of planetesimals relative to the timescale of radiogenic heating by short-lived 26Al decay may govern the amount of hydrous silicates and leftover rock-ice mixtures available in the late stages of their evolution. In turn, water content may affect the early internal evolution of the planetesimals and in particular metal-silicate separation processes. Moreover, water content may contribute to an increase of oxygen fugacity and thus affect the concentrations of siderophile elements within the silicate reservoirs of Solar System objects. Finally, the water content strongly influences the differentiation rate of the icy moons, controls their internal evolution and governs the alteration processes occurring in their deep interiors.

  11. Radio images of the planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Pater, I.

    1990-01-01

    Observations at radio wavelengths make possible detailed studies of planetary atmospheres, magnetospheres, and surface layers. The paper addresses the question of what can be learned from interferometric radio images of planets. Results from single-element radio observations are also discussed. Observations of both the terrestrial and the giant planets are considered. 106 refs

  12. Model coupler for coupling of atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagai, Haruyasu; Kobayashi, Takuya; Tsuduki, Katsunori; Kim, Keyong-Ok

    2007-02-01

    A numerical simulation system SPEEDI-MP, which is applicable for various environmental studies, consists of dynamical models and material transport models for the atmospheric, terrestrial, and oceanic environments, meteorological and geographical databases for model inputs, and system utilities for file management, visualization, analysis, etc., using graphical user interfaces (GUIs). As a numerical simulation tool, a model coupling program (model coupler) has been developed. It controls parallel calculations of several models and data exchanges among them to realize the dynamical coupling of the models. It is applicable for any models with three-dimensional structured grid system, which is used by most environmental and hydrodynamic models. A coupled model system for water circulation has been constructed with atmosphere, ocean, wave, hydrology, and land-surface models using the model coupler. Performance tests of the coupled model system for water circulation were also carried out for the flood event at Saudi Arabia in January 2005 and the storm surge case by the hurricane KATRINA in August 2005. (author)

  13. Collisional erosion and the non-chondritic composition of the terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Hugh St C; Palme, Herbert

    2008-11-28

    The compositional variations among the chondrites inform us about cosmochemical fractionation processes during condensation and aggregation of solid matter from the solar nebula. These fractionations include: (i) variable Mg-Si-RLE ratios (RLE: refractory lithophile element), (ii) depletions in elements more volatile than Mg, (iii) a cosmochemical metal-silicate fractionation, and (iv) variations in oxidation state. Moon- to Mars-sized planetary bodies, formed by rapid accretion of chondrite-like planetesimals in local feeding zones within 106 years, may exhibit some of these chemical variations. However, the next stage of planetary accretion is the growth of the terrestrial planets from approximately 102 embryos sourced across wide heliocentric distances, involving energetic collisions, in which material may be lost from a growing planet as well as gained. While this may result in averaging out of the 'chondritic' fractionations, it introduces two non-chondritic chemical fractionation processes: post-nebular volatilization and preferential collisional erosion. In the latter, geochemically enriched crust formed previously is preferentially lost. That post-nebular volatilization was widespread is demonstrated by the non-chondritic Mn/Na ratio in all the small, differentiated, rocky bodies for which we have basaltic samples, including the Moon and Mars. The bulk silicate Earth (BSE) has chondritic Mn/Na, but shows several other compositional features in its pattern of depletion of volatile elements suggestive of non-chondritic fractionation. The whole-Earth Fe/Mg ratio is 2.1+/-0.1, significantly greater than the solar ratio of 1.9+/-0.1, implying net collisional erosion of approximately 10 per cent silicate relative to metal during the Earth's accretion. If this collisional erosion preferentially removed differentiated crust, the assumption of chondritic ratios among all RLEs in the BSE would not be valid, with the BSE depleted in elements according to their

  14. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-09

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  15. Atmospheric escape from the TRAPPIST-1 planets and implications for habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Chuanfei; Jin, Meng; Lingam, Manasvi; Airapetian, Vladimir S.; Ma, Yingjuan; van der Holst, Bart

    2018-01-01

    The presence of an atmosphere over sufficiently long timescales is widely perceived as one of the most prominent criteria associated with planetary surface habitability. We address the crucial question of whether the seven Earth-sized planets transiting the recently discovered ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 are capable of retaining their atmospheres. To this effect, we carry out numerical simulations to characterize the stellar wind of TRAPPIST-1 and the atmospheric ion escape rates for all of the seven planets. We also estimate the escape rates analytically and demonstrate that they are in good agreement with the numerical results. We conclude that the outer planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system are capable of retaining their atmospheres over billion-year timescales. The consequences arising from our results are also explored in the context of abiogenesis, biodiversity, and searches for future exoplanets. In light of the many unknowns and assumptions involved, we recommend that these conclusions must be interpreted with due caution.

  16. Formation of the terrestrial planets in the solar system around 1 au via radial concentration of planetesimals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogihara, Masahiro; Kokubo, Eiichiro; Suzuki, Takeru K.; Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2018-05-01

    Context. No planets exist inside the orbit of Mercury and the terrestrial planets of the solar system exhibit a localized configuration. According to thermal structure calculation of protoplanetary disks, a silicate condensation line ( 1300 K) is located around 0.1 au from the Sun except for the early phase of disk evolution, and planetesimals could have formed inside the orbit of Mercury. A recent study of disk evolution that includes magnetically driven disk winds showed that the gas disk obtains a positive surface density slope inside 1 au from the central star. In a region with positive midplane pressure gradient, planetesimals undergo outward radial drift. Aims: We investigate the radial drift of planetesimals and type I migration of planetary embryos in a disk that viscously evolves with magnetically driven disk winds. We show a case in which no planets remain in the close-in region. Methods: Radial drifts of planetesimals are simulated using a recent disk evolution model that includes effects of disk winds. The late stage of planet formation is also examined by performing N-body simulations of planetary embryos. Results: We demonstrate that in the middle stage of disk evolution, planetesimals can undergo convergent radial drift in a magnetorotational instability (MRI)-inactive disk, in which the pressure maximum is created, and accumulate in a narrow ring-like region with an inner edge at 0.7 au from the Sun. We also show that planetary embryos that may grow from the narrow planetesimal ring do not exhibit significant type I migration in the late stage of disk evolution. Conclusions: The origin of the localized configuration of the terrestrial planets of the solar system, in particular the deficit of close-in planets, can be explained by the convergent radial drift of planetesimals in disks with a positive pressure gradient in the close-in region.

  17. The First 40 Million Years of Circumstellar Disk Evolution: The Signature of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Gáspár, András, E-mail: hyameng@lpl.arizona.edu [Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2017-02-10

    We characterize the first 40 Myr of evolution of circumstellar disks through a unified study of the infrared properties of members of young clusters and associations with ages from 2 Myr up to ∼40 Myr: NGC 1333, NGC 1960, NGC 2232, NGC 2244, NGC 2362, NGC 2547, IC 348, IC 2395, IC 4665, Chamaeleon I, Orion OB1a and OB1b, Taurus, the β Pictoris Moving Group, ρ Ophiuchi, and the associations of Argus, Carina, Columba, Scorpius–Centaurus, and Tucana–Horologium. Our work features: (1) a filtering technique to flag noisy backgrounds; (2) a method based on the probability distribution of deflections, P ( D ), to obtain statistically valid photometry for faint sources; and (3) use of the evolutionary trend of transitional disks to constrain the overall behavior of bright disks. We find that the fraction of disks three or more times brighter than the stellar photospheres at 24 μ m decays relatively slowly initially and then much more rapidly by ∼10 Myr. However, there is a continuing component until ∼35 Myr, probably due primarily to massive clouds of debris generated in giant impacts during the oligarchic/chaotic growth phases of terrestrial planets. If the contribution from primordial disks is excluded, the evolution of the incidence of these oligarchic/chaotic debris disks can be described empirically by a log-normal function with the peak at 12–20 Myr, including ∼13% of the original population, and with a post-peak mean duration of 10–20 Myr.

  18. The First 40 Million Years of Circumstellar Disk Evolution: The Signature of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Gáspár, András

    2017-01-01

    We characterize the first 40 Myr of evolution of circumstellar disks through a unified study of the infrared properties of members of young clusters and associations with ages from 2 Myr up to ∼40 Myr: NGC 1333, NGC 1960, NGC 2232, NGC 2244, NGC 2362, NGC 2547, IC 348, IC 2395, IC 4665, Chamaeleon I, Orion OB1a and OB1b, Taurus, the β Pictoris Moving Group, ρ Ophiuchi, and the associations of Argus, Carina, Columba, Scorpius–Centaurus, and Tucana–Horologium. Our work features: (1) a filtering technique to flag noisy backgrounds; (2) a method based on the probability distribution of deflections, P ( D ), to obtain statistically valid photometry for faint sources; and (3) use of the evolutionary trend of transitional disks to constrain the overall behavior of bright disks. We find that the fraction of disks three or more times brighter than the stellar photospheres at 24 μ m decays relatively slowly initially and then much more rapidly by ∼10 Myr. However, there is a continuing component until ∼35 Myr, probably due primarily to massive clouds of debris generated in giant impacts during the oligarchic/chaotic growth phases of terrestrial planets. If the contribution from primordial disks is excluded, the evolution of the incidence of these oligarchic/chaotic debris disks can be described empirically by a log-normal function with the peak at 12–20 Myr, including ∼13% of the original population, and with a post-peak mean duration of 10–20 Myr.

  19. The First 40 Million Years of Circumstellar Disk Evolution: The Signature of Terrestrial Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Huan Y. A.; Rieke, George H.; Su, Kate Y. L.; Gáspár, András

    2017-02-01

    We characterize the first 40 Myr of evolution of circumstellar disks through a unified study of the infrared properties of members of young clusters and associations with ages from 2 Myr up to ˜40 Myr: NGC 1333, NGC 1960, NGC 2232, NGC 2244, NGC 2362, NGC 2547, IC 348, IC 2395, IC 4665, Chamaeleon I, Orion OB1a and OB1b, Taurus, the β Pictoris Moving Group, ρ Ophiuchi, and the associations of Argus, Carina, Columba, Scorpius-Centaurus, and Tucana-Horologium. Our work features: (1) a filtering technique to flag noisy backgrounds; (2) a method based on the probability distribution of deflections, P(D), to obtain statistically valid photometry for faint sources; and (3) use of the evolutionary trend of transitional disks to constrain the overall behavior of bright disks. We find that the fraction of disks three or more times brighter than the stellar photospheres at 24 μm decays relatively slowly initially and then much more rapidly by ˜10 Myr. However, there is a continuing component until ˜35 Myr, probably due primarily to massive clouds of debris generated in giant impacts during the oligarchic/chaotic growth phases of terrestrial planets. If the contribution from primordial disks is excluded, the evolution of the incidence of these oligarchic/chaotic debris disks can be described empirically by a log-normal function with the peak at 12-20 Myr, including ˜13% of the original population, and with a post-peak mean duration of 10-20 Myr.

  20. Effects of atmospheric deposition of pesticides on terrestrial organisms in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jong FMW de; Luttik R; SEC

    2004-01-01

    At present there is much focus on the atmospheric dispersal of pesticides. However, there is very little known about the effects of atmospheric deposition, especially in terrestrial ecosystems. In the study described here, a start has been made to clarify the possible effects on terrestrial

  1. Radiative transfer through terrestrial atmosphere and ocean: Software package SCIATRAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozanov, V.V.; Rozanov, A.V.; Kokhanovsky, A.A.; Burrows, J.P.

    2014-01-01

    SCIATRAN is a comprehensive software package for the modeling of radiative transfer processes in the terrestrial atmosphere and ocean in the spectral range from the ultraviolet to the thermal infrared (0.18–40μm) including multiple scattering processes, polarization, thermal emission and ocean–atmosphere coupling. The software is capable of modeling spectral and angular distributions of the intensity or the Stokes vector of the transmitted, scattered, reflected, and emitted radiation assuming either a plane-parallel or a spherical atmosphere. Simulations are done either in the scalar or in the vector mode (i.e. accounting for the polarization) for observations by space-, air-, ship- and balloon-borne, ground-based, and underwater instruments in various viewing geometries (nadir, off-nadir, limb, occultation, zenith-sky, off-axis). All significant radiative transfer processes are accounted for. These are, e.g. the Rayleigh scattering, scattering by aerosol and cloud particles, absorption by gaseous components, and bidirectional reflection by an underlying surface including Fresnel reflection from a flat or roughened ocean surface. The software package contains several radiative transfer solvers including finite difference and discrete-ordinate techniques, an extensive database, and a specific module for solving inverse problems. In contrast to many other radiative transfer codes, SCIATRAN incorporates an efficient approach to calculate the so-called Jacobians, i.e. derivatives of the intensity with respect to various atmospheric and surface parameters. In this paper we discuss numerical methods used in SCIATRAN to solve the scalar and vector radiative transfer equation, describe databases of atmospheric, oceanic, and surface parameters incorporated in SCIATRAN, and demonstrate how to solve some selected radiative transfer problems using the SCIATRAN package. During the last decades, a lot of studies have been published demonstrating that SCIATRAN is a valuable

  2. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Thermal models of Mercury. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Recent and more complex thermal models of Mercury and the terrestrial planets are discussed or noted. These models isolate a particular aspect of the planet's thermal history in an attempt to understand that parameter. Among these topics are thermal conductivity, convection, radiogenic sources of heat, other heat sources, and the problem of the molten core and regenerative dynamo.

  3. Aerosol Properties of the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectrométrie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique, UMR CNRS 7331, Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne, Reims (France); Koskinen, T., E-mail: panayotis.lavvas@univ-reims.fr [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States)

    2017-09-20

    We use a model of aerosol microphysics to investigate the impact of high-altitude photochemical aerosols on the transmission spectra and atmospheric properties of close-in exoplanets, such as HD 209458 b and HD 189733 b. The results depend strongly on the temperature profiles in the middle and upper atmospheres, which are poorly understood. Nevertheless, our model of HD 189733 b, based on the most recently inferred temperature profiles, produces an aerosol distribution that matches the observed transmission spectrum. We argue that the hotter temperature of HD 209458 b inhibits the production of high-altitude aerosols and leads to the appearance of a clearer atmosphere than on HD 189733 b. The aerosol distribution also depends on the particle composition, photochemical production, and atmospheric mixing. Due to degeneracies among these inputs, current data cannot constrain the aerosol properties in detail. Instead, our work highlights the role of different factors in controlling the aerosol distribution that will prove useful in understanding different observations, including those from future missions. For the atmospheric mixing efficiency suggested by general circulation models, we find that the aerosol particles are small (∼nm) and probably spherical. We further conclude that a composition based on complex hydrocarbons (soots) is the most likely candidate to survive the high temperatures in hot-Jupiter atmospheres. Such particles would have a significant impact on the energy balance of HD 189733 b’s atmosphere and should be incorporated in future studies of atmospheric structure. We also evaluate the contribution of external sources to photochemical aerosol formation and find that their spectral signature is not consistent with observations.

  4. Surface-Atmosphere Connections on Titan: A New Window into Terrestrial Hydroclimate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulk, Sean

    This dissertation investigates the coupling between the large-scale atmospheric circulation and surface processes on Titan, with a particular focus on methane precipitation and its influence on surface geomorphology and hydrology. As the only body in the Solar System with an active hydrologic cycle other than Earth, Titan presents a valuable laboratory for studying principles of hydroclimate on terrestrial planets. Idealized general circulation models (GCMs) are used here to test hypotheses regarding Titan's surface-atmosphere connections. First, an Earth-like GCM simulated over a range of rotation rates is used to evaluate the effect of rotation rate on seasonal monsoon behavior. Slower rotation rates result in poleward migration of summer rain, indicating a large-scale atmospheric control on Titan's observed dichotomy of dry low latitudes and moist high latitudes. Second, a Titan GCM benchmarked against observations is used to analyze the magnitudes and frequencies of extreme methane rainstorms as simulated by the model. Regional patterns in these extreme events correlate well with observed geomorphic features, with the most extreme rainstorms occurring in mid-latitude regions associated with high alluvial fan concentrations. Finally, a planetary surface hydrology scheme is developed and incorporated into a Titan GCM to evaluate the roles of surface flow, subsurface flow, infiltration, and groundmethane evaporation in Titan's climate. The model reproduces Titan's observed surface liquid and cloud distributions, and reaches an equilibrium state with limited interhemispheric transport where atmospheric transport is approximately balanced by subsurface transport. The equilibrium state suggests that Titan's current hemispheric surface liquid asymmetry, favoring methane accumulation in the north, is stable in the modern climate.

  5. Multilingual Maps of the Terrestrial Planets and their Moons: the East and Central European Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargitai, H.; Berczi, Sz.

    added more details. We also look for a new color-code, since the natural terrestrial map colors scheme can not be used here: colors like blue or green can be misinterpreted easily. The colors on a terrestrial topographic map use a color system that reflects general vegetation cover (green) and the hydrologic system (blue). Part of this color system, however, can also be found in nature: in yellowing leaves (green-yellow-brown). On Mars or the Moon we try to find a color system that reflect the general colors of these planets but also allows discretion of the colors that reflect height or/and terrain type. The maps are available via internet for free pdf download at http://planetologia.elte.hu. References: Hargitai H. I., Rükl A., Gabzdyl P., Roša D., Kundera T., Marjanac T., Ozimkowsky W., Peneva E., Bandrova T., Oreshina L. S., Baeva L. Y, Krasnopevtseva B. V, Shingareva K. B. (2001-2006) Maps of Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Phobos and Deimos, Central European Edition. Budapest 2 Shingareva K. B., J. Zimbelman, M. Buchroithner, H. I. Hargitai (2006): The Realization of ICA Commission Projects on Planetary Cartography Cartographica Volume 40, issue 4. 3

  6. NH4SH and cloud cover in the atmospheres of the giant planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibragimov, K. Iu.; Solodovnik, A. A.

    1991-02-01

    The probability of the formation of NH4SH and (NH4)2S is examined on the basis of the Le Chatelier principle. It is shown that it is very doubtful if NH4SH can be created in the atmospheres of the giant planets in quantities sufficient for cloud formation. Thus (NH4)2S is considered as a more likely candidate for cloud formation in the atmospheres of these planets, inasmuch as the conditions for its production there are more favorable.

  7. Lunar eclipses: Probing the atmosphere of an inhabited planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Muñoz, A.

    2013-04-01

    The Moon's brightness during a lunar eclipse is indicative of the composition, cloudiness and aerosol loading of the Earth's atmosphere. The idea of using lunar eclipse observations to characterize the Earth's atmosphere is not new, but the interest raised by the prospects of discovering Earth-like exoplanets transiting their host stars has brought renewed attention to the method. We review some recent efforts made in the prediction and interpretation of lunar eclipses. We also comment on the contribution of the lunar eclipse theory to the refractive theory of planetary transits.

  8. Lunar eclipses: Probing the atmosphere of an inhabited planet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muñoz A. García

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The Moon's brightness during a lunar eclipse is indicative of the composition, cloudiness and aerosol loading of the Earth's atmosphere. The idea of using lunar eclipse observations to characterize the Earth's atmosphere is not new, but the interest raised by the prospects of discovering Earth-like exoplanets transiting their host stars has brought renewed attention to the method. We review some recent efforts made in the prediction and interpretation of lunar eclipses. We also comment on the contribution of the lunar eclipse theory to the refractive theory of planetary transits.

  9. Glimpses of far away places: Intensive atmosphere characterization of extrasolar planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    Exoplanet atmosphere characterization has the potential to reveal the origins, nature, and even habitability of distant worlds. This thesis represents a step towards realizing that potential for a diverse group of four extrasolar planets. Here, I present the results of intensive observational campaigns with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes to study the atmospheres of the super-Earth GJ 1214b and the hot Jupiters WASP-43b, WASP-12b, and WASP-103b. I measured an unprecedentedly precise near-infrared transmission spectrum for GJ 1214b that definitively reveals the presence of clouds in the planet's atmosphere. For WASP-43b and WASP-12b, I also measured very precise spectra that exhibit water features at high confidence (>7 sigma). The retrieved water abundance for WASP-43b extends the well-known Solar System trend of decreasing atmospheric metallicity with increasing planet mass. The detection of water for WASP-12b marks the first spectroscopic identification of a molecule in the planet's atmosphere and implies that it has solar composition, ruling out carbon-to-oxygen ratios greater than unity. For WASP-103b, I present preliminary results from the new technique of phase-resolved spectroscopy to determine the planet's temperature structure, dynamics, and energy budget. In addition to these observations, I also describe the BATMAN code, an open-source Python package for fast and flexible modeling of transit light curves. Taken together, these results provide a foundation for comparative planetology beyond the Solar System and the investigation of Earth-like, potentially habitable planets with future observing facilities.

  10. CHARACTERIZING THE ATMOSPHERES OF TRANSITING ROCKY PLANETS AROUND LATE-TYPE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palle, E.; Garcia Munoz, A.; Zosorio, M. R. Zapatero

    2011-01-01

    Visible and near-infrared spectra of transiting hot Jupiter planets have recently been observed, revealing some of the atmospheric constituents of their atmospheres. In the near future, it is probable that primary and secondary eclipse observations of Earth-like rocky planets will also be achieved. The characterization of Earth's transmission spectrum has shown that both major and trace atmospheric constituents may present strong absorption features, including important bio-markers such as water, oxygen, and methane. Our simulations using a recently published empirical Earth's transmission spectrum, and the stellar spectra for a variety of stellar types, indicate that the new generation of extremely large telescopes, such as the proposed 42 m European Extremely Large Telescope, could be capable of retrieving the transmission spectrum of an Earth-like planet around very cool stars and brown dwarfs (T eff ≤ ∼3100 K). For a twin of Earth around a star with T eff ∼ 3100 K (M4), for example, the spectral features of H 2 O, CH 4 , CO 2 , and O 2 in the wavelength range between 0.9 and 2.4 μm can simultaneously be detected within 100 hr of observing time, or even less for a late-M star. Such detection would constitute proof for the existence of life in that planet. The detection time can be reduced to a few hours for a super-Earth type of planet with twice Earth's radius.

  11. THE MASS OF Kepler-93b AND THE COMPOSITION OF TERRESTRIAL PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dressing, Courtney D.; Charbonneau, David; Dumusque, Xavier; Gettel, Sara; Latham, David W.; Buchhave, Lars A.; Johnson, John Asher; Lopez-Morales, Mercedes [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Pepe, Francesco; Udry, Stéphane; Lovis, Christophe [Observatoire Astronomique de l' Université de Genève, 51 ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Collier Cameron, Andrew; Haywood, Raphaëlle D. [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, North Haugh, St. Andrews Fife KY16 9SS (United Kingdom); Molinari, Emilio; Cosentino, Rosario; Fiorenzano, Aldo F. M.; Harutyunyan, Avet [INAF - Fundación Galileo Galilei, Rambla José Ana Fernandez Pérez 7, E-38712 Breña Baja (Spain); Affer, Laura [INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Piazza del Parlamento 1, I-90124 Palermo (Italy); Bonomo, Aldo S. [INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Figueira, Pedro, E-mail: cdressing@cfa.harvard.edu [Centro de Astrofìsica, Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto (Portugal); and others

    2015-02-20

    Kepler-93b is a 1.478 ± 0.019 R {sub ⊕} planet with a 4.7 day period around a bright (V = 10.2), astroseismically characterized host star with a mass of 0.911 ± 0.033 M {sub ☉} and a radius of 0.919 ± 0.011 R {sub ☉}. Based on 86 radial velocity observations obtained with the HARPS-N spectrograph on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo and 32 archival Keck/HIRES observations, we present a precise mass estimate of 4.02 ± 0.68 M {sub ⊕}. The corresponding high density of 6.88 ± 1.18 g cm{sup –3} is consistent with a rocky composition of primarily iron and magnesium silicate. We compare Kepler-93b to other dense planets with well-constrained parameters and find that between 1 and 6 M {sub ⊕}, all dense planets including the Earth and Venus are well-described by the same fixed ratio of iron to magnesium silicate. There are as of yet no examples of such planets with masses >6 M {sub ⊕}. All known planets in this mass regime have lower densities requiring significant fractions of volatiles or H/He gas. We also constrain the mass and period of the outer companion in the Kepler-93 system from the long-term radial velocity trend and archival adaptive optics images. As the sample of dense planets with well-constrained masses and radii continues to grow, we will be able to test whether the fixed compositional model found for the seven dense planets considered in this paper extends to the full population of 1-6 M {sub ⊕} planets.

  12. DISCOVERY AND ATMOSPHERIC CHARACTERIZATION OF GIANT PLANET KEPLER-12b: AN INFLATED RADIUS OUTLIER

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fortney, Jonathan J.; Nutzman, Philip; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Désert, Jean-Michel; Buchhave, Lars A.; Charbonneau, David; Fressin, François; Rowe, Jason; Caldwell, Douglas A.; Jenkins, Jon M.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Isaacson, Howard; Howard, Andrew; Knutson, Heather A.; Ciardi, David; Gautier, Thomas N.; Batalha, Natalie M.; Bryson, Stephen T.; Howell, Steve B.; Everett, Mark

    2011-01-01

    We report the discovery of planet Kepler-12b (KOI-20), which at 1.695 ± 0.030 R J is among the handful of planets with super-inflated radii above 1.65 R J . Orbiting its slightly evolved G0 host with a 4.438 day period, this 0.431 ± 0.041 M J planet is the least irradiated within this largest-planet-radius group, which has important implications for planetary physics. The planet's inflated radius and low mass lead to a very low density of 0.111 ± 0.010 g cm –3 . We detect the occultation of the planet at a significance of 3.7σ in the Kepler bandpass. This yields a geometric albedo of 0.14 ± 0.04; the planetary flux is due to a combination of scattered light and emitted thermal flux. We use multiple observations with Warm Spitzer to detect the occultation at 7σ and 4σ in the 3.6 and 4.5 μm bandpasses, respectively. The occultation photometry timing is consistent with a circular orbit at e < 0.01 (1σ) and e < 0.09 (3σ). The occultation detections across the three bands favor an atmospheric model with no dayside temperature inversion. The Kepler occultation detection provides significant leverage, but conclusions regarding temperature structure are preliminary, given our ignorance of opacity sources at optical wavelengths in hot Jupiter atmospheres. If Kepler-12b and HD 209458b, which intercept similar incident stellar fluxes, have the same heavy-element masses, the interior energy source needed to explain the large radius of Kepler-12b is three times larger than that of HD 209458b. This may suggest that more than one radius-inflation mechanism is at work for Kepler-12b or that it is less heavy-element rich than other transiting planets.

  13. Steamworlds: Atmospheric Structure and Critical Mass of Planets Accreting Icy Pebbles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chambers, John

    2017-01-01

    In the core accretion model, gas-giant planets first form a solid core, which then accretes gas from a protoplanetary disk when the core exceeds a critical mass. Here, we model the atmosphere of a core that grows by accreting ice-rich pebbles. The ice fraction of pebbles evaporates in warm regions of the atmosphere, saturating it with water vapor. Excess water precipitates to lower altitudes. Beneath an outer radiative region, the atmosphere is convective, following a moist adiabat in saturated regions due to water condensation and precipitation. Atmospheric mass, density, and temperature increase with core mass. For nominal model parameters, planets with core masses (ice + rock) between 0.08 and 0.16 Earth masses have surface temperatures between 273 and 647 K and form an ocean. In more massive planets, water exists as a supercritical convecting fluid mixed with gas from the disk. Typically, the core mass reaches a maximum (the critical mass) as a function of the total mass when the core is 2–5 Earth masses. The critical mass depends in a complicated way on pebble size, mass flux, and dust opacity due to the occasional appearance of multiple core-mass maxima. The core mass for an atmosphere of 50% hydrogen and helium may be a more robust indicator of the onset of gas accretion. This mass is typically 1–3 Earth masses for pebbles that are 50% ice by mass, increasing with opacity and pebble flux and decreasing with pebble ice/rock ratio.

  14. Steamworlds: Atmospheric Structure and Critical Mass of Planets Accreting Icy Pebbles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chambers, John, E-mail: jchambers@carnegiescience.edu [Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States)

    2017-11-01

    In the core accretion model, gas-giant planets first form a solid core, which then accretes gas from a protoplanetary disk when the core exceeds a critical mass. Here, we model the atmosphere of a core that grows by accreting ice-rich pebbles. The ice fraction of pebbles evaporates in warm regions of the atmosphere, saturating it with water vapor. Excess water precipitates to lower altitudes. Beneath an outer radiative region, the atmosphere is convective, following a moist adiabat in saturated regions due to water condensation and precipitation. Atmospheric mass, density, and temperature increase with core mass. For nominal model parameters, planets with core masses (ice + rock) between 0.08 and 0.16 Earth masses have surface temperatures between 273 and 647 K and form an ocean. In more massive planets, water exists as a supercritical convecting fluid mixed with gas from the disk. Typically, the core mass reaches a maximum (the critical mass) as a function of the total mass when the core is 2–5 Earth masses. The critical mass depends in a complicated way on pebble size, mass flux, and dust opacity due to the occasional appearance of multiple core-mass maxima. The core mass for an atmosphere of 50% hydrogen and helium may be a more robust indicator of the onset of gas accretion. This mass is typically 1–3 Earth masses for pebbles that are 50% ice by mass, increasing with opacity and pebble flux and decreasing with pebble ice/rock ratio.

  15. Energy Balance Models of planetary climate as a tool for investigating the habitability of terrestrial planets and its evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, G.; Murante, G.; Provenzale, A.; Silva, L.; Vladilo, G.

    2012-04-01

    The study of the habitability and potential for life formation of terrestrial planets requires a considerable work of modelization owing to the limited amount of experimental constraints typical of this type of research. As an example, the paucity of experimental Archean data severely limits the study of the habitability of the primitive Earth at the epoch of the origin of life. In the case of exoplanets the amount of experimental information available is quite limited and the need for modelization strong. Here we focus on the modelization of the surface planetary temperature, a key thermodynamical quantity used to define the habitability. Energy Balance Models (EBM) of planetary climate provide a simple way to calculate the temperature-latitude profile of terrestrial planets with a small amount of computing resources. Thanks to this fact EBMs offer an excellent tool to exploring a wide range of parameter space and therefore testing the effects of variations of physical/chemical quantities unconstrained by experimental data. In particular, one can easily probe possible scenarios of habitability at different stages of planetary evolution. We have recently implemented one-dimensional EBMs featuring the possibility of probing variations of astronomical and geophysical parameters, such as stellar luminosity, orbital semi-major axis and eccentricity, obliquity of the planetary axis, planet rotational velocity, land/ocean surface fractions and thermal capacities, and latitudinal heat diffusion. After testing our models against results obtained in previous work (Williams & Kasting 1997, Icarus, 129, 254; Spiegel et al. 2008, ApJ, 681, 1609), we introduced a novel parametrization of the diffusion coefficient as a function of the stellar zenith distance. Our models have been validated using the mean temperature-latitude profiles of the present Earth and its seasonal variations; the global albedo has been used as an additional constraint. In this work we present specific

  16. Magnetospheric structure and atmospheric Joule heating of habitable planets orbiting M-dwarf stars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Garraffo, C.; Poppenhaeger, K. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Glocer, A. [NASA/GSFC, Code 673, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Bell, J. M. [Center for Planetary Atmospheres and Flight Sciences, National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA 23666 (United States); Ridley, A. J.; Gombosi, T. I. [Center for Space Environment Modeling, University of Michigan, 2455 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2014-07-20

    We study the magnetospheric structure and the ionospheric Joule Heating of planets orbiting M-dwarf stars in the habitable zone using a set of magnetohydrodynamic models. The stellar wind solution is used to drive a model for the planetary magnetosphere, which is coupled with a model for the planetary ionosphere. Our simulations reveal that the space environment around close-in habitable planets is extreme, and the stellar wind plasma conditions change from sub- to super-Alfvénic along the planetary orbit. As a result, the magnetospheric structure changes dramatically with a bow shock forming in the super-Alfvénic sectors, while no bow shock forms in the sub-Alfvénic sectors. The planets reside most of the time in the sub-Alfvénic sectors with poor atmospheric protection. A significant amount of Joule Heating is provided at the top of the atmosphere as a result of the intense stellar wind. For the steady-state solution, the heating is about 0.1%-3% of the total incoming stellar irradiation, and it is enhanced by 50% for the time-dependent case. The significant Joule Heating obtained here should be considered in models for the atmospheres of habitable planets in terms of the thickness of the atmosphere, the top-side temperature and density, the boundary conditions for the atmospheric pressure, and particle radiation and transport. Here we assume constant ionospheric Pedersen conductance similar to that of the Earth. The conductance could be greater due to the intense EUV radiation leading to smaller heating rates. We plan to quantify the ionospheric conductance in future study.

  17. The Bulk Elemental Composition of any Terrestrial Planets in the Alpha Centauri System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lineweaver, C. H.; Schonberger, B. F. G.; Robles, J. A.

    2010-04-01

    Based on the devolatilization patterns in the solar system, and on the differences in the chemical compositions of the Sun and Alpha Centauri, we make estimates of the chemical composition of any Earth-like planets in the Alpha Centauri system.

  18. Atmospheric mass-loss of extrasolar planets orbiting magnetically active host stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalitha, Sairam; Schmitt, J. H. M. M.; Dash, Spandan

    2018-06-01

    Magnetic stellar activity of exoplanet hosts can lead to the production of large amounts of high-energy emission, which irradiates extrasolar planets, located in the immediate vicinity of such stars. This radiation is absorbed in the planets' upper atmospheres, which consequently heat up and evaporate, possibly leading to an irradiation-induced mass-loss. We present a study of the high-energy emission in the four magnetically active planet-bearing host stars, Kepler-63, Kepler-210, WASP-19, and HAT-P-11, based on new XMM-Newton observations. We find that the X-ray luminosities of these stars are rather high with orders of magnitude above the level of the active Sun. The total XUV irradiation of these planets is expected to be stronger than that of well-studied hot Jupiters. Using the estimated XUV luminosities as the energy input to the planetary atmospheres, we obtain upper limits for the total mass- loss in these hot Jupiters.

  19. The solar-terrestrial environment. An introduction to geospace - the science of the terrestrial upper atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, J. K.

    This textbook is a successor to "The upper atmosphere and solar-terrestrial relations" first published in 1979. It describes physical conditions in the upper atmosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth. This geospace environment begins 70 kilometres above the surface of the Earth and extends in near space to many times the Earth's radius. It is the region of near-Earth environment where the Space Shuttle flies, the aurora is generated, and the outer atmosphere meets particles streaming out of the sun. The account is introductory. The intent is to present basic concepts, and for that reason the mathematical treatment is not complex. There are three introductory chapters that give basic physics and explain the principles of physical investigation. The principal material contained in the main part of the book covers the neutral and ionized upper atmosphere, the magetosphere, and structures, dynamics, disturbances and irregularities. The concluding chapter deals with technological applications.

  20. CAN TiO EXPLAIN THERMAL INVERSIONS IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERES OF IRRADIATED GIANT PLANETS?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Silverio, Katie; Burrows, Adam

    2009-01-01

    Spitzer Space Telescope infrared observations indicate that several transiting extrasolar giant planets have thermal inversions in their upper atmospheres. Above a relative minimum, the temperature appears to increase with altitude. Such an inversion probably requires a species at high altitude that absorbs a significant amount of incident optical/UV radiation. Some authors have suggested that the strong optical absorbers titanium oxide (TiO) and vanadium oxide (VO) could provide the needed additional opacity, but if regions of the atmosphere are cold enough for Ti and V to be sequestered into solids they might rain out and be severely depleted. With a model of the vertical distribution of a refractory species in gaseous and condensed form, we address the question of whether enough TiO (or VO) could survive aloft in an irradiated planet's atmosphere to produce a thermal inversion. We find that it is unlikely that VO could play a critical role in producing thermal inversions. Furthermore, we find that macroscopic mixing is essential to the TiO hypothesis; without macroscopic mixing, such a heavy species cannot persist in a planet's upper atmosphere. The amount of macroscopic mixing that is required depends on the size of condensed titanium-bearing particles that form in regions of an atmosphere that are too cold for gaseous TiO to exist. We parameterize the macroscopic mixing with the eddy diffusion coefficient K zz and find, as a function of particle size a, the values that K zz must assume on the highly irradiated planets HD 209458b, HD 149026b, TrES-4, and OGLE-TR-56b to loft enough titanium to the upper atmosphere for the TiO hypothesis to be correct. On these planets, we find that for TiO to be responsible for thermal inversions K zz must be at least a few times 10 7 cm 2 s -1 , even for a = 0.1 μm, and increases to nearly 10 11 cm 2 s -1 for a = 10 μm. Such large values may be problematic for the TiO hypothesis, but are not impossible.

  1. Impact of atmospheric and terrestrial CO2 feedbacks on fertilization-induced marine carbon uptake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oschlies, A.

    2009-08-01

    The sensitivity of oceanic CO2 uptake to alterations in the marine biological carbon pump, such as brought about by natural or purposeful ocean fertilization, has repeatedly been investigated by studies employing numerical biogeochemical ocean models. It is shown here that the results of such ocean-centered studies are very sensitive to the assumption made about the response of the carbon reservoirs on the atmospheric side of the sea surface. Assumptions made include prescribed atmospheric pCO2, an interactive atmospheric CO2 pool exchanging carbon with the ocean but not with the terrestrial biosphere, and an interactive atmosphere that exchanges carbon with both oceanic and terrestrial carbon pools. The impact of these assumptions on simulated annual to millennial oceanic carbon uptake is investigated for a hypothetical increase in the C:N ratio of the biological pump and for an idealized enhancement of phytoplankton growth. Compared to simulations with interactive atmosphere, using prescribed atmospheric pCO2 overestimates the sensitivity of the oceanic CO2 uptake to changes in the biological pump, by about 2%, 25%, 100%, and >500% on annual, decadal, centennial, and millennial timescales, respectively. The smaller efficiency of the oceanic carbon uptake under an interactive atmosphere is due to the back flux of CO2 that occurs when atmospheric CO2 is reduced. Adding an interactive terrestrial carbon pool to the atmosphere-ocean model system has a small effect on annual timescales, but increases the simulated fertilization-induced oceanic carbon uptake by about 4%, 50%, and 100% on decadal, centennial, and millennial timescales, respectively, for pCO2 sensitivities of the terrestrial carbon storage in the middle range of the C4MIP models (Friedlingstein et al., 2006). For such sensitivities, a substantial fraction of oceanic carbon uptake induced by natural or purposeful ocean fertilization originates, on timescales longer than decades, not from the atmosphere

  2. A terrestrial ecosystem model (SOLVEG) coupled with atmospheric gas and aerosol exchange processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katata, Genki; Ota, Masakazu

    2017-01-01

    In order to predict the impact of atmospheric pollutants (gases and aerosols) to the terrestrial ecosystem, new schemes for calculating the processes of dry deposition of gases and aerosols, and water and carbon cycles in terrestrial ecosystems were implemented in the one-dimensional atmosphere-SOiL-VEGetation model, SOLVEG. We made performance tests at various vegetation areas to validate the newly developed schemes. In this report, the detail in each modeled process is described with an instruction how to use the modified SOLVEG. The framework of 'terrestrial ecosystem model' was developed for investigation of a change in water, energy, and carbon cycles associated with global warming and air pollution and its impact on terrestrial ecosystems. (author)

  3. Sonora: A New Generation Model Atmosphere Grid for Brown Dwarfs and Young Extrasolar Giant Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.; Saumon, Didier; Fortney, Jonathan J.; Morley, Caroline; Lupu, Roxana Elena; Freedman, Richard; Visscher, Channon

    2017-01-01

    Brown dwarf and giant planet atmospheric structure and composition has been studied both by forward models and, increasingly so, by retrieval methods. While indisputably informative, retrieval methods are of greatest value when judged in the context of grid model predictions. Meanwhile retrieval models can test the assumptions inherent in the forward modeling procedure. In order to provide a new, systematic survey of brown dwarf atmospheric structure, emergent spectra, and evolution, we have constructed a new grid of brown dwarf model atmospheres. We ultimately aim for our grid to span substantial ranges of atmospheric metallilcity, C/O ratios, cloud properties, atmospheric mixing, and other parameters. Spectra predicted by our modeling grid can be compared to both observations and retrieval results to aid in the interpretation and planning of future telescopic observations. We thus present Sonora, a new generation of substellar atmosphere models, appropriate for application to studies of L, T, and Y-type brown dwarfs and young extrasolar giant planets. The models describe the expected temperature-pressure profile and emergent spectra of an atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium for ranges of effective temperatures and gravities encompassing 200 less than or equal to T(sub eff) less than or equal to 2400 K and 2.5 less than or equal to log g less than or equal to 5.5. In our poster we briefly describe our modeling methodology, enumerate various updates since our group's previous models, and present our initial tranche of models for cloudless, solar metallicity, and solar carbon-to-oxygen ratio, chemical equilibrium atmospheres. These models will be available online and will be updated as opacities and cloud modeling methods continue to improve.

  4. The Effect of Varying Atmospheric Pressure upon Habitability and Biosignatures of Earth-like Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keles, Engin; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Stracke, Barbara; Rauer, Heike

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the possible climatic conditions on rocky extrasolar planets, and thereby their potential habitability, is one of the major subjects of exoplanet research. Determining how the climate, as well as potential atmospheric biosignatures, changes under different conditions is a key aspect when studying Earth-like exoplanets. One important property is the atmospheric mass, hence pressure and its influence on the climatic conditions. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand the influence of atmospheric mass on climate, hence habitability, and the spectral appearance of planets with Earth-like, that is, N 2 -O 2 dominated, atmospheres orbiting the Sun at 1 AU. This work utilizes a 1D coupled, cloud-free, climate-photochemical atmospheric column model; varies atmospheric surface pressure from 0.5 to 30 bar; and investigates temperature and key species profiles, as well as emission and brightness temperature spectra in a range between 2 and 20 μm. Increasing the surface pressure up to 4 bar leads to an increase in the surface temperature due to increased greenhouse warming. Above this point, Rayleigh scattering dominates, and the surface temperature decreases, reaching surface temperatures below 273 K (approximately at ∼34 bar surface pressure). For ozone, nitrous oxide, water, methane, and carbon dioxide, the spectral response either increases with surface temperature or pressure depending on the species. Masking effects occur, for example, for the bands of the biosignatures ozone and nitrous oxide by carbon dioxide, which could be visible in low carbon dioxide atmospheres. Key Words: Planetary habitability and biosignatures-Atmospheres-Radiative transfer. Astrobiology 18, 116-132.

  5. Asteroid impacts on terrestrial planets: the effects of super-Earths and the role of the ν6 resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallwood, Jeremy L.; Martin, Rebecca G.; Lepp, Stephen; Livio, Mario

    2018-01-01

    With N-body simulations of a planetary system with an asteroid belt, we investigate how the asteroid impact rate on the Earth is affected by the architecture of the planetary system. We find that the ν6 secular resonance plays an important role in the asteroid collision rate with the Earth. Compared to exoplanetary systems, the Solar system is somewhat special in its lack of a super-Earth mass planet in the inner Solar system. We therefore first consider the effects of the presence of a super-Earth in the terrestrial planet region. We find a significant effect for super-Earths with a mass of around 10 M⊕ and a separation greater than about 0.7 au. For a super-Earth which is interior to the Earth's orbit, the number of asteroids colliding with Earth increases the closer the super-Earth is to the Earth's orbit. This is the result of multiple secular resonance locations causing more asteroids to be perturbed on to Earth-crossing orbits. When the super-Earth is placed exterior to Earth's orbit, the collision rate decreases substantially because the ν6 resonance no longer exists in the asteroid belt region. We also find that changing the semimajor axis of Saturn leads to a significant decrease in the asteroid collision rate, though increasing its mass increases the collision rate. These results may have implications for the habitability of exoplanetary systems.

  6. Thermal expansion and thermal stress in the moon and terrestrial planets - Clues to early thermal history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.; Chaiken, J.

    1976-01-01

    The paper discusses how features of the surface geology of the moon and also Mars and Mercury impose constraints on the volumetric expansion or contraction of a planet and consequently provide a test of thermal history models. The moon has changed very little in volume over the last 3.8 b.y. Thermal models satisfying this constraint involve early heating and perhaps melting of the outer 200 km of the moon and an initially cold interior. Mercury has contracted by about 2 km in radius since emplacement of its present surface, so core formation must predate that surface. A hot initial temperature distribution is implied.

  7. EFFECTS OF STELLAR FLUX ON TIDALLY LOCKED TERRESTRIAL PLANETS: DEGREE-1 MANTLE CONVECTION AND LOCAL MAGMA PONDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gelman, S. E.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Seager, S.

    2011-01-01

    We model the geodynamical evolution of super-Earth exoplanets in synchronous rotation about their star. While neglecting the effects of a potential atmosphere, we explore the parameter spaces of both the Rayleigh number and intensity of incoming stellar flux, and identify two main stages of mantle convection evolution. The first is a transient stage in which a lithospheric temperature and thickness dichotomy emerges between the substellar and the antistellar hemispheres, while the style of mantle convection is dictated by the Rayleigh number. The second stage is the development of degree-1 mantle convection. Depending on mantle properties, the timescale of onset of this second stage of mantle evolution varies from order 1 to 100 billion years of simulated planetary evolution. Planets with higher Rayleigh numbers (due to, for instance, larger planetary radii than the Earth) and planets whose incoming stellar flux is high (likely for most detectable exoplanets) will develop degree-1 mantle convection most quickly, on the order of 1 billion years, which is within the age of many planetary systems. Surface temperatures range from 220 K to 830 K, implying the possibility of liquid water in some regions near the surface. These results are discussed in the context of stable molten magma ponds on hotter planets, and the habitability of super-Earths which may lie outside the Habitable Zone.

  8. MICROLENS TERRESTRIAL PARALLAX MASS MEASUREMENTS: A RARE PROBE OF ISOLATED BROWN DWARFS AND FREE-FLOATING PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, Andrew; Yee, Jennifer C.

    2013-01-01

    Terrestrial microlens parallax is one of the very few methods that can measure the mass and number density of isolated dark low-mass objects, such as old free-floating planets and brown dwarfs. Terrestrial microlens parallax can be measured whenever a microlensing event differs substantially as observed from two or more well-separated sites. If the lens also transits the source during the event, then its mass can be measured. We derive an analytic expression for the expected rate of such events and then use this to derive two important conclusions. First, the rate is directly proportional to the number density of a given population, greatly favoring low-mass populations relative to their contribution to the general microlensing rate, which further scales as M 1/2 where M is the lens mass. Second, the rate rises sharply as one probes smaller source stars, despite the fact that the probability of transit falls directly with source size. We propose modifications to current observing strategies that could yield a factor of 100 increase in sensitivity to these rare events.

  9. Suppression of atmospheric recycling of planets embedded in a protoplanetary disc by buoyancy barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurokawa, Hiroyuki; Tanigawa, Takayuki

    2018-06-01

    The ubiquity of super-Earths poses a problem for planet formation theory to explain how they avoided becoming gas giants. Rapid recycling of the envelope gas of planets embedded in a protoplanetary disc has been proposed to delay the cooling and following accretion of disc gas. We compare isothermal and non-isothermal 3D hydrodynamical simulations of the gas flow past a planet to investigate the influence on the feasibility of the recycling mechanism. Radiative cooling is implemented by using the β cooling model. We find that, in either case, gas enters the Bondi sphere at high latitudes and leaves through the midplane regions, or vice versa when disc gas rotates sub-Keplerian. However, in contrast to the isothermal case where the recycling flow reaches the deeper part of the envelope, the inflow is inhibited from reaching the deep envelope in the non-isothermal case. Once the atmosphere starts cooling, buoyant force prevents the high-entropy disc gas from intruding the low-entropy atmosphere. We suggest that the buoyancy barrier isolates the lower envelope from the recycling and allows further cooling, which may lead runaway gas accretion onto the core.

  10. Terrestrial mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric POPs pollution: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmens, H; Foan, L; Simon, V; Mills, G

    2013-02-01

    Worldwide there is concern about the continuing release of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) into the environment. In this study we review the application of mosses as biomonitors of atmospheric deposition of POPs. Examples in the literature show that mosses are suitable organisms to monitor spatial patterns and temporal trends of atmospheric concentrations or deposition of POPs. These examples include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The majority of studies report on PAHs concentrations in mosses and relative few studies have been conducted on other POPs. So far, many studies have focused on spatial patterns around pollution sources or the concentration in mosses in remote areas such as the polar regions, as an indication of long-range transport of POPs. Very few studies have determined temporal trends or have directly related the concentrations in mosses with measured atmospheric concentrations and/or deposition fluxes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The provenances of asteroids, and their contributions to the volatile inventories of the terrestrial planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, C M O'D; Bowden, R; Fogel, M L; Howard, K T; Herd, C D K; Nittler, L R

    2012-08-10

    Determining the source(s) of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen accreted by Earth is important for understanding the origins of water and life and for constraining dynamical processes that operated during planet formation. Chondritic meteorites are asteroidal fragments that retain records of the first few million years of solar system history. The deuterium/hydrogen (D/H) values of water in carbonaceous chondrites are distinct from those in comets and Saturn's moon Enceladus, implying that they formed in a different region of the solar system, contrary to predictions of recent dynamical models. The D/H values of water in carbonaceous chondrites also argue against an influx of water ice from the outer solar system, which has been invoked to explain the nonsolar oxygen isotopic composition of the inner solar system. The bulk hydrogen and nitrogen isotopic compositions of CI chondrites suggest that they were the principal source of Earth's volatiles.

  12. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura [INAF-Trieste Astronomical Observatory, Trieste (Italy); Provenzale, Antonello [Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate-CNR, Torino (Italy); Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio, E-mail: vladilo@oats.inaf.it [Department of Physics, University of Trieste, Trieste (Italy)

    2013-04-10

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

  13. THE HABITABLE ZONE OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS WITH DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vladilo, Giovanni; Murante, Giuseppe; Silva, Laura; Provenzale, Antonello; Ferri, Gaia; Ragazzini, Gregorio

    2013-01-01

    As a contribution to the study of the habitability of extrasolar planets, we implemented a one-dimensional energy balance model (EBM), the simplest seasonal model of planetary climate, with new prescriptions for most physical quantities. Here we apply our EBM to investigate the surface habitability of planets with an Earth-like atmospheric composition but different levels of surface pressure. The habitability, defined as the mean fraction of the planet's surface on which liquid water could exist, is estimated from the pressure-dependent liquid water temperature range, taking into account seasonal and latitudinal variations of surface temperature. By running several thousands of EBM simulations we generated a map of the habitable zone (HZ) in the plane of the orbital semi-major axis, a, and surface pressure, p, for planets in circular orbits around a Sun-like star. As pressure increases, the HZ becomes broader, with an increase of 0.25 AU in its radial extent from p = 1/3 to 3 bar. At low pressure, the habitability is low and varies with a; at high pressure, the habitability is high and relatively constant inside the HZ. We interpret these results in terms of the pressure dependence of the greenhouse effect, the efficiency of horizontal heat transport, and the extent of the liquid water temperature range. Within the limits discussed in the paper, the results can be extended to planets in eccentric orbits around non-solar-type stars. The main characteristics of the pressure-dependent HZ are modestly affected by variations of planetary properties, particularly at high pressure.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  15. On the Role of Dissolved Gases in the Atmosphere Retention of Low-mass Low-density Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chachan, Yayaati; Stevenson, David J.

    2018-02-01

    Low-mass low-density planets discovered by Kepler in the super-Earth mass regime typically have large radii for their inferred masses, implying the presence of H2–He atmospheres. These planets are vulnerable to atmospheric mass loss due to heating by the parent star’s XUV flux. Models coupling atmospheric mass loss with thermal evolution predicted a bimodal distribution of planetary radii, which has gained observational support. However, a key component that has been ignored in previous studies is the dissolution of these gases into the molten core of rock and iron that constitute most of their mass. Such planets have high temperatures (>2000 K) and pressures (∼kbars) at the core-envelope boundary, ensuring a molten surface and a subsurface reservoir of hydrogen that can be 5–10 times larger than the atmosphere. This study bridges this gap by coupling the thermal evolution of the planet and the mass loss of the atmosphere with the thermodynamic equilibrium between the dissolved H2 and the atmospheric H2 (Henry’s law). Dissolution in the interior allows a planet to build a larger hydrogen repository during the planet formation stage. We show that the dissolved hydrogen outgasses to buffer atmospheric mass loss. The slow cooling of the planet also leads to outgassing because solubility decreases with decreasing temperature. Dissolution of hydrogen in the interior therefore increases the atmosphere retention ability of super-Earths. The study highlights the importance of including the temperature- and pressure-dependent solubility of gases in magma oceans and coupling outgassing to planetary evolution models.

  16. ANALYTICAL SOLUTION FOR WAVES IN PLANETS WITH ATMOSPHERIC SUPERROTATION. II. LAMB, SURFACE, AND CENTRIFUGAL WAVES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peralta, J.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Imamura, T.; Read, P. L.; Luz, D.; Piccialli, A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper is the second in a two-part study devoted to developing tools for a systematic classification of the wide variety of atmospheric waves expected on slowly rotating planets with atmospheric superrotation. Starting with the primitive equations for a cyclostrophic regime, we have deduced the analytical solution for the possible waves, simultaneously including the effect of the metric terms for the centrifugal force and the meridional shear of the background wind. In those cases where the conditions for the method of the multiple scales in height are met, these wave solutions are also valid when vertical shear of the background wind is present. A total of six types of waves have been found and their properties were characterized in terms of the corresponding dispersion relations and wave structures. In this second part, we study the waves' solutions when several atmospheric approximations are applied: Lamb, surface, and centrifugal waves. Lamb and surface waves are found to be quite similar to those in a geostrophic regime. By contrast, centrifugal waves turn out to be a special case of Rossby waves that arise in atmospheres in cyclostrophic balance. Finally, we use our results to identify the nature of the waves behind atmospheric periodicities found in polar and lower latitudes of Venus's atmosphere

  17. ANALYTICAL SOLUTION FOR WAVES IN PLANETS WITH ATMOSPHERIC SUPERROTATION. II. LAMB, SURFACE, AND CENTRIFUGAL WAVES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peralta, J.; López-Valverde, M. A. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía, 18008 Granada (Spain); Imamura, T. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 3-1-1, Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Read, P. L. [Clarendon Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford (United Kingdom); Luz, D. [Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa (CAAUL), Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa (Portugal); Piccialli, A., E-mail: peralta@iaa.es [LATMOS, UVSQ, 11 bd dAlembert, 78280 Guyancourt (France)

    2014-07-01

    This paper is the second in a two-part study devoted to developing tools for a systematic classification of the wide variety of atmospheric waves expected on slowly rotating planets with atmospheric superrotation. Starting with the primitive equations for a cyclostrophic regime, we have deduced the analytical solution for the possible waves, simultaneously including the effect of the metric terms for the centrifugal force and the meridional shear of the background wind. In those cases where the conditions for the method of the multiple scales in height are met, these wave solutions are also valid when vertical shear of the background wind is present. A total of six types of waves have been found and their properties were characterized in terms of the corresponding dispersion relations and wave structures. In this second part, we study the waves' solutions when several atmospheric approximations are applied: Lamb, surface, and centrifugal waves. Lamb and surface waves are found to be quite similar to those in a geostrophic regime. By contrast, centrifugal waves turn out to be a special case of Rossby waves that arise in atmospheres in cyclostrophic balance. Finally, we use our results to identify the nature of the waves behind atmospheric periodicities found in polar and lower latitudes of Venus's atmosphere.

  18. A terrestrial planet candidate in a temperate orbit around Proxima Centauri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglada-Escudé, Guillem; Amado, Pedro J; Barnes, John; Berdiñas, Zaira M; Butler, R Paul; Coleman, Gavin A L; de la Cueva, Ignacio; Dreizler, Stefan; Endl, Michael; Giesers, Benjamin; Jeffers, Sandra V; Jenkins, James S; Jones, Hugh R A; Kiraga, Marcin; Kürster, Martin; López-González, Marίa J; Marvin, Christopher J; Morales, Nicolás; Morin, Julien; Nelson, Richard P; Ortiz, José L; Ofir, Aviv; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Reiners, Ansgar; Rodríguez, Eloy; Rodrίguez-López, Cristina; Sarmiento, Luis F; Strachan, John P; Tsapras, Yiannis; Tuomi, Mikko; Zechmeister, Mathias

    2016-08-25

    At a distance of 1.295 parsecs, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri (α Centauri C, GL 551, HIP 70890 or simply Proxima) is the Sun's closest stellar neighbour and one of the best-studied low-mass stars. It has an effective temperature of only around 3,050 kelvin, a luminosity of 0.15 per cent of that of the Sun, a measured radius of 14 per cent of the radius of the Sun and a mass of about 12 per cent of the mass of the Sun. Although Proxima is considered a moderately active star, its rotation period is about 83 days (ref. 3) and its quiescent activity levels and X-ray luminosity are comparable to those of the Sun. Here we report observations that reveal the presence of a small planet with a minimum mass of about 1.3 Earth masses orbiting Proxima with a period of approximately 11.2 days at a semi-major-axis distance of around 0.05 astronomical units. Its equilibrium temperature is within the range where water could be liquid on its surface.

  19. The Effects of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baron, J.S.; Barber, M.; Adams, M.; Dobben, van H.F.

    2014-01-01

    This chapter reports the findings of a Working Group on how atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition affects both terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. Regional and global scale impacts on biodiversity are addressed, together with potential indicators. Key conclusions are that: the rates of loss in

  20. Seven years of recent European net terrestrial carbon dioxide exchange constrained by atmospheric observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, W.; Krol, M. C.; van der Werf, G. R.; Houweling, S.; Jones, C. D.; Hughes, J.; Schaefer, K.; Masarie, K. A.; Jacobson, A. R.; Miller, J. B.; Cho, C. H.; Ramonet, M.; Schmidt, M.; Ciattaglia, L.; Apadula, F.; Heltai, D.; Meinhardt, F.; di Sarra, A. G.; Piacentino, S.; Sferlazzo, D.; Aalto, T.; Hatakka, J.; StröM, J.; Haszpra, L.; Meijer, H. A J; van Der Laan, S.; Neubert, R. E M; Jordan, A.; Rodó, X.; Morguí, J. A.; Vermeulen, A. T.; Popa, Maria Elena; Rozanski, K.; Zimnoch, M.; Manning, A. C.; Leuenberger, M.; Uglietti, C.; Dolman, A. J.; Ciais, P.; Heimann, M.; Tans, P.

    2010-01-01

    We present an estimate of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in Europe for the years 2001-2007. It is derived with a data assimilation that uses a large set of atmospheric CO2 mole fraction observations (∼70 000) to guide relatively simple descriptions of terrestrial and oceanic net exchange, while

  1. Seven years of recent European net terrestrial carbon dioxide exchange constrained by atmospheric observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, W.; Krol, M.C.; Werf, van der G.R.; Houweling, S.; Jones, C.D.; Hughes, J.; Schaefer, K.; Masarie, K.A.

    2010-01-01

    We present an estimate of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in Europe for the years 2001–2007. It is derived with a data assimilation that uses a large set of atmospheric CO2 mole fraction observations (~70 000) to guide relatively simple descriptions of terrestrial and oceanic net exchange, while

  2. Seven years of recent European net terrestrial carbon dioxide exchange constrained by atmospheric observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peters, W.; Krol, M; van der Werf, G. R.; Houweling, S.; Jones, C. D.; Hughes, J.; Schaefer, K.; Masarie, K. A.; Jacobson, A. R.; Miller, J. B.; Cho, C. H.; Ramonet, M.; Schmidt, M.; Ciattaglia, L.; Apadula, F.; Helta, D.; Meinhardt, F.; di Sarra, A. G.; Piacentino, S.; Sferlazzo, D.; Aalto, T.; Hatakka, J.; Strom, J.; Haszpra, L.; Meijer, H. A. J.; van der Laan, S.; Neubert, R. E. M.; Jordan, A.; Rodo, X.; Morgui, J. -A.; Vermeulen, A. T.; Popa, E.; Rozanski, K.; Zimnoch, M.; Manning, A. C.; Leuenberger, M.; Uglietti, C.; Dolman, A. J.; Ciais, P.; Heimann, M.; Tans, P. P.; Heltai, D.; Ström, J.

    We present an estimate of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO(2) in Europe for the years 2001-2007. It is derived with a data assimilation that uses a large set of atmospheric CO(2) mole fraction observations (similar to 70 000) to guide relatively simple descriptions of terrestrial and oceanic net

  3. Estimating Terrestrial Wood Biomass from Observed Concentrations of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaefer, K. M.; Peters, W.; Carvalhais, N.; van der Werf, G.; Miller, J.

    2008-01-01

    We estimate terrestrial disequilibrium state and wood biomass from observed concentrations of atmospheric CO2 using the CarbonTracker system coupled to the SiBCASA biophysical model. Starting with a priori estimates of carbon flux from the land, ocean, and fossil fuels, CarbonTracker estimates net

  4. The Martian atmospheric water cycle as viewed from a terrestrial perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zurek, Richard W.

    1988-01-01

    It is noted that the conditions of temperature and pressure that characterize the atmosphere of Mars are similar to those found in the Earth's stratosphere. Of particular significance is the fact that liquid water is unstable in both environments. Thus, it is expected that terrestrial studies of the dynamical behavior of stratospheric water should benefit the understanding of water transport on Mars as well.

  5. Modulation of Terrestrial Convection by Tropospheric Humidity, and Implications for Other Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genio, Anthony Del

    2013-01-01

    For decades, deep cumulus convection was viewed as consisting partly of undilute plumes that do not interact with their surrounding environment in order to explain their observed tendency to reach or penetrate the tropical tropopause. This behavior was built into all cumulus parameterizations used in terrestrial global climate and numerical weather prediction models, and it still persists in some models today. In the past decade, though, some embarrassing failures of global models have come to light, notably their tendency to rain over land near noon rather than in late afternoon or evening as observed, and the absence in the models of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the major source of intraseasonal (30-90 day) precipitation variability in the Indian Ocean, West Pacific, and surrounding continental regions. In the past decade it has become clear that an important missing component of parameterizations is strong turbulent entrainment of drier environmental air into cumulus updrafts, which reduces the buoyancy of the updrafts and thus limits their vertical development. Tropospheric humidity thus serves as a throttle on convective penetration to high altitudes and delays the convective response to large-scale destabilizing influences in the environment.

  6. Atmospheres and surfaces of small bodies and dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaller E.L.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs are icy relics orbiting the sun beyond Neptune left over from the planetary accretion disk. These bodies act as unique tracers of the chemical, thermal, and dynamical history of our solar system. Over 1000 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs and centaurs (objects with perihelia between the giant planets have been discovered over the past two decades. While the vast majority of these objects are small ( 6-meter telescopes, have allowed for the first detailed studies of their surfaces and atmospheres. Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of KBOs and centaurs has revealed a great diversity of surface compositions. Only the largest and coldest objects are capable of retaining volatile ices and atmospheres. Knowledge of the dynamics, physical properties, and collisional history of objects in the Kuiper belt is important for understanding solar system formation and evolution.

  7. Effect of ''outer'' sources and dissipative processes on abundance of inert gases in atmospheres of the Earth group planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pavlov, A.K.

    1981-01-01

    The problem of abundance of inert gases in atmospheres of the Earth group planets is discussed. It is shown that introduction of He, Ne and 36 Ar into the Mars and Mercury atmospheres with interplanetary dust and from other external sources require the presence of special mechanisms of losses for these gases. For the Mars atmosphere dissipation on atmosphere interaction with solar wind during the periods of anomalously low temperatures is a probable mechanisms of Ne and 36 Ar losses. For the Mercury thermal dissipation for He and polar wind for other inert gases are possible. For all the planets of the Earth group dissipation on interaction with solar wind and introduction with interplanetary dust could play an important role at the early stages of evolution of planets [ru

  8. Ammonium hydrosulfide and clouds in the atmospheres of the giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibragimov, K. Yu.; Solodovnik, A. A.

    The physicochemical properties of two possible compounds - ammonium hydrosulfide (NH4SH) and ammonium sulfide (NH4)2S - that may be formed in a reaction of ammonia NH3 with hydrogen sulfide H2S are discussed, and the probability of their formation is analyzed on the basis of the Le Chatelier principle. It is shown that the conditions of their formation on the basis of available data on the concentration ratio of the reagents (NH3 and H2S) in the atmospheres of giant planets make the appearance of enough NH4SH for cloud formation highly problematic. Accordingly, the authors propose as an alternative candidate for a cloud-forming role ammonium sulfide (NH4)2S, for whose formation the conditions in the atmospheres of the giant planets are more favorable. The possible spatial localization of (NH4)2S clouds is estimated, and the result is used in an attempt to identify this compound as one of the chromophores.

  9. A cyclostrophic transformed Eulerian zonal mean model for the middle atmosphere of slowly rotating planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, K. F.; Yao, K.; Taketa, C.; Zhang, X.; Liang, M. C.; Jiang, X.; Newman, C. E.; Tung, K. K.; Yung, Y. L.

    2015-12-01

    With the advance of modern computers, studies of planetary atmospheres have heavily relied on general circulation models (GCMs). Because these GCMs are usually very complicated, the simulations are sometimes difficult to understand. Here we develop a semi-analytic zonally averaged, cyclostrophic residual Eulerian model to illustrate how some of the large-scale structures of the middle atmospheric circulation can be explained qualitatively in terms of simple thermal (e.g. solar heating) and mechanical (the Eliassen-Palm flux divergence) forcings. This model is a generalization of that for fast rotating planets such as the Earth, where geostrophy dominates (Andrews and McIntyre 1987). The solution to this semi-analytic model consists of a set of modified Hough functions of the generalized Laplace's tidal equation with the cyclostrohpic terms. As examples, we apply this model to Titan and Venus. We show that the seasonal variations of the temperature and the circulation of these slowly-rotating planets can be well reproduced by adjusting only three parameters in the model: the Brunt-Väisälä bouyancy frequency, the Newtonian radiative cooling rate, and the Rayleigh friction damping rate. We will also discuss the application of this model to study the meridional transport of photochemically produced tracers that can be observed by space instruments.

  10. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution: Introduction. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    The relative ages of various geologic units and structures place tight constraints on the origin of the Moon and the planet Mercury, and thus provide a better understanding of the geologic histories of these bodies. Crater statistics, a reexamination of lunar geologic maps, and the compilation of a geologic map of a quarter of Mercury's surface based on plains units dated relative to crater degradation classes were used to determine relative ages. This provided the basis for deducing the origin of intercrater plains and their role in terrestrial planet evolution.

  11. Isca, v1.0: a framework for the global modelling of the atmospheres of Earth and other planets at varying levels of complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Colyer, Greg; Geen, Ruth; Gerber, Edwin; Jucker, Martin; Maher, Penelope; Paterson, Alexander; Pietschnig, Marianne; Penn, James; Thomson, Stephen I.

    2018-03-01

    Isca is a framework for the idealized modelling of the global circulation of planetary atmospheres at varying levels of complexity and realism. The framework is an outgrowth of models from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, USA, designed for Earth's atmosphere, but it may readily be extended into other planetary regimes. Various forcing and radiation options are available, from dry, time invariant, Newtonian thermal relaxation to moist dynamics with radiative transfer. Options are available in the dry thermal relaxation scheme to account for the effects of obliquity and eccentricity (and so seasonality), different atmospheric optical depths and a surface mixed layer. An idealized grey radiation scheme, a two-band scheme, and a multiband scheme are also available, all with simple moist effects and astronomically based solar forcing. At the complex end of the spectrum the framework provides a direct connection to comprehensive atmospheric general circulation models. For Earth modelling, options include an aquaplanet and configurable continental outlines and topography. Continents may be defined by changing albedo, heat capacity, and evaporative parameters and/or by using a simple bucket hydrology model. Oceanic Q fluxes may be added to reproduce specified sea surface temperatures, with arbitrary continental distributions. Planetary atmospheres may be configured by changing planetary size and mass, solar forcing, atmospheric mass, radiation, and other parameters. Examples are given of various Earth configurations as well as a giant planet simulation, a slowly rotating terrestrial planet simulation, and tidally locked and other orbitally resonant exoplanet simulations. The underlying model is written in Fortran and may largely be configured with Python scripts. Python scripts are also used to run the model on different architectures, to archive the output, and for diagnostics, graphics, and post-processing. All of these features are publicly

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Observations of continuous radio and sporadic X-ray emission from low-mass objects suggest they harbor localized plasmas in their atmospheric environments. For low-mass objects, the degree of thermal ionization is insufficient to qualify the ionized component as a plasma, posing the question: what ionization processes can efficiently produce the required plasma that is the source of the radiation? We propose Alfvén ionization as a mechanism for producing localized pockets of ionized gas in the atmosphere, having sufficient degrees of ionization (≥10 –7 ) that they constitute plasmas. We outline the criteria required for Alfvén ionization and demonstrate its applicability in the atmospheres of low-mass objects such as giant gas planets, brown dwarfs, and M dwarfs with both solar and sub-solar metallicities. We find that Alfvén ionization is most efficient at mid to low atmospheric pressures where a seed plasma is easier to magnetize and the pressure gradients needed to drive the required neutral flows are the smallest. For the model atmospheres considered, our results show that degrees of ionization of 10 –6 -1 can be obtained as a result of Alfvén ionization. Observable consequences include continuum bremsstrahlung emission, superimposed with spectral lines from the plasma ion species (e.g., He, Mg, H 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 O 2 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 O 2 in early Earth's atmosphere near the Great Oxidation Event. Complicated oxidation pathways play a key role in destroying O 2 , whereas in the upper atmosphere, most O 2 is formed abiotically via CO 2 photolysis. The O 2 bistability found by Goldblatt et al. ( 2006 ) is not observed in our calculations likely due to our detailed CH 4 oxidation scheme. We calculate increased CH 4 with increasing O 2 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 O 2 is unique. Mixing, CH 4 fluxes, ocean solubility, and mantle/crust properties strongly affect net primary productivity and surface O 2 fluxes. Regarding exoplanets, different "states" of O 2 could exist for similar biomass output. Strong geological activity could lead to false negatives for life (since our analysis suggests that reducing gases

  14. PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ATMOSPHERES. II. H{sub 2}S AND SO{sub 2} PHOTOCHEMISTRY IN ANOXIC ATMOSPHERES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu Renyu; Seager, Sara; Bains, William, E-mail: hury@mit.edu [Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)

    2013-05-20

    Sulfur gases are common components in the volcanic and biological emission on Earth, and are expected to be important input gases for atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets. We study the atmospheric composition and the spectra of terrestrial exoplanets with sulfur compounds (i.e., H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2}) emitted from their surfaces. We use a comprehensive one-dimensional photochemistry model and radiative transfer model to investigate the sulfur chemistry in atmospheres ranging from reducing to oxidizing. The most important finding is that both H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2} are chemically short-lived in virtually all types of atmospheres on terrestrial exoplanets, based on models of H{sub 2}, N{sub 2}, and CO{sub 2} atmospheres. This implies that direct detection of surface sulfur emission is unlikely, as their surface emission rates need to be extremely high (>1000 times Earth's volcanic sulfur emission) for these gases to build up to a detectable level. We also find that sulfur compounds emitted from the surface lead to photochemical formation of elemental sulfur and sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, which would condense to form aerosols if saturated. For terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars or M stars, Earth-like sulfur emission rates result in optically thick haze composed of elemental sulfur in reducing H{sub 2}-dominated atmospheres for a wide range of particle diameters (0.1-1 {mu}m), which is assumed as a free parameter in our simulations. In oxidized atmospheres composed of N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}, optically thick haze, composed of elemental sulfur aerosols (S{sub 8}) or sulfuric acid aerosols (H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}), will form if the surface sulfur emission is two orders of magnitude more than the volcanic sulfur emission of Earth. Although direct detection of H{sub 2}S and SO{sub 2} by their spectral features is unlikely, their emission might be inferred by observing aerosol-related features in reflected light with future generation

  15. CARBON-RICH GIANT PLANETS: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY, THERMAL INVERSIONS, SPECTRA, AND FORMATION CONDITIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madhusudhan, Nikku [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Mousis, Olivier [Institut UTINAM, CNRS-UMR 6213, Observatoire de Besancon, BP 1615, F-25010 Besancon Cedex (France); Johnson, Torrence V. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Lunine, Jonathan I., E-mail: nmadhu@astro.princeton.edu [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)

    2011-12-20

    The recent inference of a carbon-rich atmosphere, with C/O {>=} 1, in the hot Jupiter WASP-12b motivates the exotic new class of carbon-rich planets (CRPs). We report a detailed study of the atmospheric chemistry and spectroscopic signatures of carbon-rich giant (CRG) planets, the possibility of thermal inversions in their atmospheres, the compositions of icy planetesimals required for their formation via core accretion, and the apportionment of ices, rock, and volatiles in their envelopes. Our results show that CRG atmospheres probe a unique region in composition space, especially at high temperature (T). For atmospheres with C/O {>=} 1, and T {approx}> 1400 K in the observable atmosphere, most of the oxygen is bound up in CO, while H{sub 2}O is depleted and CH{sub 4} is enhanced by up to two or three orders of magnitude each, compared to equilibrium compositions with solar abundances (C/O = 0.54). These differences in the spectroscopically dominant species for the different C/O ratios cause equally distinct observable signatures in the spectra. As such, highly irradiated transiting giant exoplanets form ideal candidates to estimate atmospheric C/O ratios and to search for CRPs. We also find that the C/O ratio strongly affects the abundances of TiO and VO, which have been suggested to cause thermal inversions in highly irradiated hot Jupiter atmospheres. A C/O = 1 yields TiO and VO abundances of {approx}100 times lower than those obtained with equilibrium chemistry assuming solar abundances, at P {approx} 1 bar. Such a depletion is adequate to rule out thermal inversions due to TiO/VO even in the most highly irradiated hot Jupiters, such as WASP-12b. We estimate the compositions of the protoplanetary disk, the planetesimals, and the envelope of WASP-12b, and the mass of ices dissolved in the envelope, based on the observed atmospheric abundances. Adopting stellar abundances (C/O = 0.44) for the primordial disk composition and low-temperature formation conditions

  16. The Atmospheres of Directly Imaged Planets: Where Has All the Methane Gone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark S.; Zahnle, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Methane and ammonia both first appear at lower effective temperatures in brown dwarf atmospheres than equilibrium chemistry models would suggest. This has traditionally been understood as a consequence of vertical mixing timescales being shorter than chemical equilibration timescales in brown dwarf photospheres. Indeed the eddy diffusivity, a variable accounting for the vigor of vertical mixing, has become a standard part of the description of brown dwarf atmosphere models, along with Teff and log g. While some models have suggested that methane is less favored at lower gravity, the almost complete absence of methane in the atmospheres of directly imaged planets, such as those orbiting HR 8799, even at effective temperatures where methane is readily apparent in brown dwarf spectra, has been puzzling. To better understand the paucity of methane in low gravity atmospheres we have revisited the problem of methane chemistry and mixing. We employed a 1-D atmospheric chemistry code augmented with an updated and complete network of the chemical reactions that link CO to CH4. We find the methane abundance at altitudes at or above the effective photosphere is a strong function of surface gravity because higher g shifts the p-T structure to higher pressures (i.e., a given optical depth is proportional to p/g, a relation mitigated somewhat by pressure broadening). Thus quenching in more massive brown dwarfs occurs at a lower temperature and higher pressure, both favoring CH4. We predict that in the lowest mass young giant planets, methane will appear very late, at effective temperatures as low as 600 K rather than the 1200 K seen among field brown dwarfs. This methane deficiency has important implications for the interpretation of spectra as well as methane-based planetary companion searches, such as the NICI survey. The GPI and SPHERE surveys will test these ideas and probe atmospheric chemistry and composition in an entire new range of parameter space. A caveat is that

  17. Hydrodynamics of embedded planets' first atmospheres - III. The role of radiation transport for super-Earth planets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cimerman, N.P.; Kuiper, R.; Ormel, Chris W.

    2017-01-01

    The population of close-in super-Earths, with gas mass fractions of up to 10 per cent represents a challenge for planet formation theory: how did they avoid runaway gas accretion and collapsing to hot Jupiters despite their core masses being in the critical range of Mc ≃ 10 M⊕? Previous

  18. Polyamorphic Transformations in Fe-Ni-C Liquids: Implications for Chemical Evolution of Terrestrial Planets: Fe-Ni-C liquid structural change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lai, Xiaojing [Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Chen, Bin [Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu HI USA; Wang, Jianwei [Department of Geology and Geophysics, Center for Computation and Technology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA USA; Kono, Yoshio [HPCAT, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Argonne IL USA; Zhu, Feng [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI USA

    2017-12-01

    During the formation of the Earth's core, the segregation of metallic liquids from silicate mantle should have left behind evident geochemical imprints on both the mantle and the core. Some distinctive geochemical signatures of the mantle-derived rocks likely own their origin to the metal-silicate differentiation of the primitive Earth, setting our planet apart from undifferentiated meteorites as well as terrestrial planets or moons isotopically and compositionally. Understanding the chemical evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies requires knowledge on properties of both liquid iron alloys and silicates equilibrating under physicochemical conditions pertinent to the deep magma ocean. Here we report experimental and computational results on the pressure-induced structural evolution of iron-nickel liquids alloyed with carbon. Our X-ray diffraction experiments up to 7.3 gigapascals (GPa) demonstrate that Fe-Ni (Fe90Ni10) liquids alloyed with 3 and 5 wt % carbon undergo a polyamorphic liquid structure transition at approximately 5 GPa. Corroborating the experimental observations, our first-principles molecular dynamic calculations reveal that the structural transitions result from the marked prevalence of three-atom face-sharing polyhedral connections in the liquids at >5 GPa. The structure and polyamorphic transitions of liquid iron-nickel-carbon alloys govern their physical and chemical properties and may thus cast fresh light on the chemical evolution of terrestrial planets and moons.

  19. Evolution of the terrestrial atmosphere and its relationship to sediments and life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Junge, C

    1981-05-01

    The formation of the atmosphere - together with that of the oceans and sediments - was determined by three important processes: the loss of noble gases and volatiles in the solar nebula, the enrichment of these substances at the Earth's surface by exhalation from the Earth's mantle, and finally the formation of the hydrosphere, enabled by - in contrast to our neighboring planets - a suitable distance from the sun. In this way the development of the atmospheric gases N/sub 2/, H/sub 2/O and CO/sub 2/ was largely fixed. Oxygen, on the other hand, appeared late in the atmosphere. It originated from biological photosynthesis which apparently developed rather early in the Earth's history but lead at first only to oxidation of iron and sulfur. The subsequently occurring accumulation of free oxygen in the atmosphere resulted in interesting interrelations with the development of life.

  20. Prospects for Detecting Thermal Emission from Terrestrial Exoplanets with JWST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura

    2018-01-01

    A plethora of nearby, terrestrial exoplanets has been discovered recently by ground-based surveys. Excitingly, some of these are in the habitable zones of their host stars, and may be hospitable for life. However, all the planets orbit small, cool stars and have considerably different irradiation environments from the Earth, making them vulnerable to atmospheric escape, erosion and collapse. Atmosphere characterization is therefore critical to assessing the planets' habitability. I will discuss possible JWST thermal emission measurements to determine the atmospheric properties of nearby terrestrial planets. I will focus on prospects for detecting physically motivated atmospheres for planets orbiting LHS 1140, GJ 1132, and TRAPPIST-1. I will also discuss the potential for using phase curve observations to determine whether an atmosphere has survived on the non-transiting planet Proxima b.

  1. CLOUDLESS ATMOSPHERES FOR L/T DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tremblin, P.; Amundsen, D. S.; Chabrier, G.; Baraffe, I.; Drummond, B.; Hinkley, S. [Astrophysics Group, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QL (United Kingdom); Mourier, P. [Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, CRAL, UMR CNRS 5574, F-69364 Lyon Cedex 07 (France); Venot, O., E-mail: tremblin@astro.ex.ac.uk, E-mail: pascal.tremblin@cea.fr [Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven (Belgium)

    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/CH{sub 4} and N{sub 2}/NH{sub 3} 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/CH{sub 4} 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. CLOUDLESS ATMOSPHERES FOR L/T DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR GIANT PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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/CH 4 and N 2 /NH 3 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/CH 4 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

  4. Long-life mission reliability for outer planet atmospheric entry probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccall, M. T.; Rouch, L.; Maycock, J. N.

    1976-01-01

    The results of a literature analysis on the effects of prolonged exposure to deep space environment on the properties of outer planet atmospheric entry probe components are presented. Materials considered included elastomers and plastics, pyrotechnic devices, thermal control components, metal springs and electronic components. The rates of degradation of each component were determined and extrapolation techniques were used to predict the effects of exposure for up to eight years to deep space. Pyrotechnic devices were aged under accelerated conditions to an equivalent of eight years in space and functionally tested. Results of the literature analysis of the selected components and testing of the devices indicated that no severe degradation should be expected during an eight year space mission.

  5. Na, Rb and Cs partitioning between metal, silicate and sulfide: Implications for volatile depletion in terrestrial planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boujibar, A.; Fei, Y.; Du, Z.; Righter, K.; Bullock, E. S.

    2017-12-01

    Inner Solar System materials are known for their depletion in volatile elements, including the moderately volatile alkalis: Na, K, Rb, and Cs. The origin of this depletion is still uncertain, as several processes could have been involved, during the nebular condensation or planetary accretion. Volatile depletion is commonly estimated through comparison of alkali concentrations relatively to those of chondrites, assuming they remain in planetary mantles during core segregation. However, experimental studies show that substantial K can partition into metals that are enriched in sulfur and oxygen. Several models have also suggested that sulfides may have played an important role during episodes of sulfide segregation from a crystallizing magma ocean (sulfide matte) or accretion of S-rich planetary embryos. For Mercury, a sulfide layer could be present between core and mantle, due to immiscibility between Si-rich and S-rich metals. Therefore, here we investigate whether alkali elements (Na, Cs and Rb) could be partly sequestered in planetary cores during their differentiation. We conducted experiments at high pressure and temperature (1 to 5 GPa and up to 1900 °C) to determine partition coefficients of Na, Rb and Cs between metal and silicate. Our results show that pressure, temperature, sulfur and oxygen in metals enhance the partitioning of Na, Rb and Cs into metals, as previously found for K. For all three investigated alkalis (Na, Rb and Cs), we found a maximum partition coefficient of 1 between sulfides containing 13 wt% O and silicate melt. Therefore, S-rich cores or sulfide layers formed due to immiscibility in Fe-S-O systems could have acted as important geochemical reservoirs for alkali elements. Using our experimental data and different assumptions on initial bulk abundances, we evaluate volatile depletion in terrestrial planets, by comparing resulting mantle alkali concentrations after core segregation, with actual concentrations in the Earth's mantle.

  6. Evaluation of atmospheric aerosol and tropospheric ozone effects on global terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Min

    The increasing human activities have produced large amounts of air pollutants ejected into the atmosphere, in which atmospheric aerosols and tropospheric ozone are considered to be especially important because of their negative impacts on human health and their impacts on global climate through either their direct radiative effect or indirect effect on land-atmosphere CO2 exchange. This dissertation dedicates to quantifying and evaluating the aerosol and tropospheric ozone effects on global terrestrial ecosystem dynamics using a modeling approach. An ecosystem model, the integrated Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (iTem), is developed to simulate biophysical and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial ecosystems. A two-broad-band atmospheric radiative transfer model together with the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) measured atmospheric parameters are used to well estimate global downward solar radiation and the direct and diffuse components in comparison with observations. The atmospheric radiative transfer modeling framework were used to quantify the aerosol direct radiative effect, showing that aerosol loadings cause 18.7 and 12.8 W m -2 decrease of direct-beam Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) and Near Infrared Radiation (NIR) respectively, and 5.2 and 4.4 W m -2 increase of diffuse PAR and NIR, respectively, leading to a total 21.9 W m-2 decrease of total downward solar radiation over the global land surface during the period of 2003-2010. The results also suggested that the aerosol effect may be overwhelmed by clouds because of the stronger extinction and scattering ability of clouds. Applications of the iTem with solar radiation data and with or without considering the aerosol loadings shows that aerosol loading enhances the terrestrial productions [Gross Primary Production (GPP), Net Primary Production (NPP) and Net Ecosystem Production (NEP)] and carbon emissions through plant respiration (RA) in global terrestrial ecosystems over the

  7. DYNAMICAL ACCRETION OF PRIMORDIAL ATMOSPHERES AROUND PLANETS WITH MASSES BETWEEN 0.1 AND 5 M {sub ⊕} IN THE HABITABLE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stökl, Alexander; Dorfi, Ernst A.; Johnstone, Colin P. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Lammer, Helmut, E-mail: alexander.stoekl@astro.univie.ac.at [Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstr. 6, A-8042, Graz (Austria)

    2016-07-10

    In the early, disk-embedded phase of evolution of terrestrial planets, a protoplanetary core can accumulate gas from the circumstellar disk into a planetary envelope. In order to relate the accumulation and structure of this primordial atmosphere to the thermal evolution of the planetary core, we calculated atmosphere models characterized by the surface temperature of the core. We considered cores with masses between 0.1 and 5 M {sub ⊕} situated in the habitable zone around a solar-like star. The time-dependent simulations in 1D-spherical symmetry include the hydrodynamics equations, gray radiative transport, and convective energy transport. Using an implicit time integration scheme, we can use large time steps and and thus efficiently cover evolutionary timescales. Our results show that planetary atmospheres, when considered with reference to a fixed core temperature, are not necessarily stable, and multiple solutions may exist for one core temperature. As the structure and properties of nebula-embedded planetary atmospheres are an inherently time-dependent problem, we calculated estimates for the amount of primordial atmosphere by simulating the accretion process of disk gas onto planetary cores and the subsequent evolution of the embedded atmospheres. The temperature of the planetary core is thereby determined from the computation of the internal energy budget of the core. For cores more massive than about one Earth mass, we obtain that a comparatively short duration of the disk-embedded phase (∼10{sup 5} years) is sufficient for the accumulation of significant amounts of hydrogen atmosphere that are unlikely to be removed by later atmospheric escape processes.

  8. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Discussion of the nature, origin and role of the intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    The nature and origin of the intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon as determined through geologic mapping, crater statistics, and remotely sensed data are summarized. Implications of these results regarding scarp formation, absolute ages, and terrestrial planet surfaces are included. The role of the intercrater plains is defined and future work which might lead to a better understanding of these units and terrestrial planet evolution is outlined.

  9. WATER-PLANETS IN THE HABITABLE ZONE: ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY, OBSERVABLE FEATURES, AND THE CASE OF KEPLER-62e AND -62f

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaltenegger, L.; Sasselov, D.; Rugheimer, S.

    2013-01-01

    Planets composed of large quantities of water that reside in the habitable zone are expected to have distinct geophysics and geochemistry of their surfaces and atmospheres. We explore these properties motivated by two key questions: whether such planets could provide habitable conditions and whether they exhibit discernable spectral features that distinguish a water-planet from a rocky Earth-like planet. We show that the recently discovered planets Kepler-62e and -62f are the first viable candidates for habitable zone water-planets. We use these planets as test cases for discussing those differences in detail. We generate atmospheric spectral models and find that potentially habitable water-planets show a distinctive spectral fingerprint in transit depending on their position in the habitable zone

  10. ANALYTICAL SOLUTION FOR WAVES IN PLANETS WITH ATMOSPHERIC SUPERROTATION. I. ACOUSTIC AND INERTIA-GRAVITY WAVES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peralta, J.; López-Valverde, M. A. [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía, 18008 Granada (Spain); Imamura, T. [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency 3-1-1, Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Read, P. L. [Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford (United Kingdom); Luz, D. [Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa (CAAUL), Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa (Portugal); Piccialli, A., E-mail: peralta@iaa.es [LATMOS, UVSQ, 11 bd dAlembert, 78280 Guyancourt (France)

    2014-07-01

    This paper is the first of a two-part study devoted to developing tools for a systematic classification of the wide variety of atmospheric waves expected on slowly rotating planets with atmospheric superrotation. Starting with the primitive equations for a cyclostrophic regime, we have deduced the analytical solution for the possible waves, simultaneously including the effect of the metric terms for the centrifugal force and the meridional shear of the background wind. In those cases when the conditions for the method of the multiple scales in height are met, these wave solutions are also valid when vertical shear of the background wind is present. A total of six types of waves have been found and their properties were characterized in terms of the corresponding dispersion relations and wave structures. In this first part, only waves that are direct solutions of the generic dispersion relation are studied—acoustic and inertia-gravity waves. Concerning inertia-gravity waves, we found that in the cases of short horizontal wavelengths, null background wind, or propagation in the equatorial region, only pure gravity waves are possible, while for the limit of large horizontal wavelengths and/or null static stability, the waves are inertial. The correspondence between classical atmospheric approximations and wave filtering has been examined too, and we carried out a classification of the mesoscale waves found in the clouds of Venus at different vertical levels of its atmosphere. Finally, the classification of waves in exoplanets is discussed and we provide a list of possible candidates with cyclostrophic regimes.

  11. Using dimers to measure biosignatures and atmospheric pressure for terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Amit; Meadows, Victoria; Claire, Mark; Crisp, Dave

    2014-02-01

    We present a new method to probe atmospheric pressure on Earth-like planets using (O2-O2) dimers in the near-infrared. We also show that dimer features could be the most readily detectable biosignatures for Earth-like atmospheres and may even be detectable in transit transmission with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The absorption by dimers changes more rapidly with pressure and density than that of monomers and can therefore provide additional information about atmospheric pressures. By comparing the absorption strengths of rotational and vibrational features to the absorption strengths of dimer features, we show that in some cases it may be possible to estimate the pressure at the reflecting surface of a planet. This method is demonstrated by using the O2 A band and the 1.06 μm dimer feature, either in transmission or reflected spectra. It works best for planets around M dwarfs with atmospheric pressures between 0.1 and 10 bar and for O2 volume mixing ratios above 50% of Earth's present-day level. Furthermore, unlike observations of Rayleigh scattering, this method can be used at wavelengths longer than 0.6 μm and is therefore potentially applicable, although challenging, to near-term planet characterization missions such as JWST. We also performed detectability studies for JWST transit transmission spectroscopy and found that the 1.06 and 1.27 μm dimer features could be detectable (SNR>3) for an Earth analogue orbiting an M5V star at a distance of 5 pc. The detection of these features could provide a constraint on the atmospheric pressure of an exoplanet and serve as biosignatures for oxygenic photosynthesis. We calculated the required signal-to-noise ratios to detect and characterize O2 monomer and dimer features in direct imaging-reflected spectra and found that signal-to-noise ratios greater than 10 at a spectral resolving power of R=100 would be required.

  12. The lonely life of a double planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-01-01

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.)

  13. Lonely life of a double planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pearson, Jerome

    1988-08-25

    The paper concerns extraterrestrial intelligence, and the requirements for a terrestrial planet and life. The effect of the Moon on the Earth, the presence of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, the Earth's magnetic field, and the Earth's molten core, the distance between the sun and Earth where life is possible, and estimates of the number of habitable planets in the galaxies, are all discussed. (U.K.).

  14. Secondary components, integral multiplicity factor and coupling coefficients of cosmic rays in the Earth atmosphere and other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dorman, L.I.; Yanke, V.G.

    1979-01-01

    Integral multiples of cosmic rays in Earth and other planets atmospheres have been determined. Kinetic equations describing the evolution of hadronic cascade in atmosphere using modern accelerating data have been solved with that end in view. Bond coefficients for nucleonic, muonic and electronic components of secondary cosmic radiation have been built using integral multiples. Normalized bond coefficients for three components obtained for maximum solar activity are presented. Integral muon and nucleon generation and bond coefficients have also been given for Mars

  15. The atmospheric signal of terrestrial carbon isotopic discrimination and its implication for partitioning carbon fluxes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, John B.; Tans, Pieter P.; Conway, Thomas J.; White, James W.C.; Vaughn, Bruce W.

    2003-01-01

    The 13 C/ 12 C ratio in atmospheric carbon dioxide has been measured in samples taken in the NOAA/CMDL network since 1991. By examining the relationship between weekly anomalies in 13 C and CO 2 at continental sites in the network, we infer temporal and spatial values for the isotopic signature of terrestrial CO 2 fluxes. We can convert these isotopic signatures to values of discrimination if we assume the atmospheric starting point for photosynthesis. The average discrimination in the Northern Hemisphere between 30 and 50 deg N is calculated to be 16.6 ± 0.2 per mil. In contrast to some earlier modeling studies, we find no strong latitudinal gradient in discrimination. However, we do observe that discrimination in Eurasia is larger than in North America, which is consistent with two modeling studies. We also observe a possible trend in the North American average of discrimination toward less discrimination. There is no apparent trend in the Eurasian average or at any individual sites. However, there is interannual variability on the order of 2 per mil at several sites and regions. Finally, we calculate the northern temperate terrestrial CO 2 flux replacing our previous discrimination values of about 18 per mil with the average value of 16.6 calculated in this study. We find this enhances the terrestrial sink by about 0.4 GtC/yr

  16. Trends in land surface phenology and atmospheric CO2 seasonality in the Northern Hemisphere terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonsamo, A.; Chen, J. M.

    2017-12-01

    Northern terrestrial ecosystems have shown global warming-induced advances in start, delays in end, and thus increased lengths of growing season and gross photosynthesis in recent decades. The tradeoffs between seasonal dynamics of two opposing fluxes, CO2 uptake through photosynthesis and release through respiration, determine the influence of the terrestrial ecosystems on the atmospheric CO2 concentration and 13C/12C isotope ratio seasonality. Atmospheric CO2 and 13C/12C seasonality is controlled by vegetation phenology, but is not identical because growth will typically commence some time before and terminate some time after the net carbon exchange changes sign in spring and autumn, respectively. Here, we use 34-year satellite normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) observations to determine how changes in vegetation productivity and phenology affect both the atmospheric CO2 and 13C/12C seasonality. Differences and similarities in recent trends of CO2 and 13C/12C seasonality and vegetation phenology will be discussed. Furthermore, we use the NDVI observations, and atmospheric CO2 and 13C/12C data to show the trends and variability of the timing of peak season plant activity. Preliminary results show that the peak season plant activity of the Northern Hemisphere extra-tropical terrestrial ecosystems is shifting towards spring, largely in response to the warming-induced advance of the start of growing season. Besides, the spring-ward shift of the peak plant activity is contributing the most to the increasing peak season productivity. In other words, earlier start of growing season is highly linked to earlier arrival of peak of season and higher NDVI. Changes in the timing of peak season plant activity are expected to disrupt the synchrony of biotic interaction and exert strong biophysical feedbacks on climate by modifying the surface albedo and energy budget.

  17. Development of atmosphere-soil-vegetation model for investigation of radioactive materials transport in terrestrial biosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katata, Genki; Nagai, Haruyasu; Zhang, Leiming; Held, Andreas; Serca, Dominique; Klemm, Otto

    2010-01-01

    In order to investigate the transport of radionuclides in the terrestrial biosphere we have developed a one-dimensional numerical model named SOLVEG that predicts the transfer of water, heat, and gaseous and particulate matters in atmosphere-soil-vegetation system. The SOLVEG represents atmosphere, soil, and vegetation as an aggregation of several layers. Basic equations used in the model are solved using the finite difference method. Most of predicted variables are interrelated with the source/sink terms of momentum, water, heat, gases, and particles based on mathematically described biophysical processes in atmosphere, soil and vegetation. The SOLVEG can estimate dry, wet and fog deposition of gaseous and particulate matters at each canopy layer. Performance tests of the SOLVEG with several observational sites were carried out. The SOLVEG predicted the observed temporal changes in water vapor, CO 2 , and ozone fluxes over vegetated surfaces. The SOLVEG also reproduced measured fluxes of fog droplets and of fine aerosols over the forest. (author)

  18. Nested atmospheric inversion for the terrestrial carbon sources and sinks in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Jiang

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we establish a nested atmospheric inversion system with a focus on China using the Bayesian method. The global surface is separated into 43 regions based on the 22 TransCom large regions, with 13 small regions in China. Monthly CO2 concentrations from 130 GlobalView sites and 3 additional China sites are used in this system. The core component of this system is an atmospheric transport matrix, which is created using the TM5 model with a horizontal resolution of 3° × 2°. The net carbon fluxes over the 43 global land and ocean regions are inverted for the period from 2002 to 2008. The inverted global terrestrial carbon sinks mainly occur in boreal Asia, South and Southeast Asia, eastern America and southern South America. Most China areas appear to be carbon sinks, with strongest carbon sinks located in Northeast China. From 2002 to 2008, the global terrestrial carbon sink has an increasing trend, with the lowest carbon sink in 2002. The inter-annual variation (IAV of the land sinks shows remarkable correlation with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO. The terrestrial carbon sinks in China also show an increasing trend. However, the IAV in China is not the same as that of the globe. There is relatively stronger land sink in 2002, lowest sink in 2006, and strongest sink in 2007 in China. This IAV could be reasonably explained with the IAVs of temperature and precipitation in China. The mean global and China terrestrial carbon sinks over the period 2002–2008 are −3.20 ± 0.63 and −0.28 ± 0.18 PgC yr−1, respectively. Considering the carbon emissions in the form of reactive biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs and from the import of wood and food, we further estimate that China's land sink is about −0.31 PgC yr−1.

  19. Volatile components and continental material of planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Florenskiy, K.P.; Nikolayeva, O.V.

    1984-01-01

    It is shown that the continental material of the terrestrial planets varies in composition from planet to planet according to the abundances and composition of true volatiles (H 2 0, CO 2 , etc.) in the outer shells of the planets. The formation of these shells occurs very early in a planet's evolution when the role of endogenous processes is indistinct and continental materials are subject to melting and vaporizing in the absence of an atmosphere. As a result, the chemical properties of continental materials are related not only to fractionation processes but also to meltability and volatility. For planets retaining a certain quantity of true volatile components, the chemical transformation of continental material is characterized by a close interaction between impact melting vaporization and endogeneous geological processes

  20. Planets, stars and stellar systems

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Howard; McLean, Ian; Barstow, Martin; Gilmore, Gerard; Keel, William; French, Linda

    2013-01-01

    This is volume 3 of Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, a six-volume compendium of modern astronomical research covering subjects of key interest to the main fields of contemporary astronomy. This volume on “Solar and Stellar Planetary Systems” edited by Linda French and Paul Kalas presents accessible review chapters From Disks to Planets, Dynamical Evolution of Planetary Systems, The Terrestrial Planets, Gas and Ice Giant Interiors, Atmospheres of Jovian Planets, Planetary Magnetospheres, Planetary Rings, An Overview of the Asteroids and Meteorites, Dusty Planetary Systems and Exoplanet Detection Methods. All chapters of the handbook were written by practicing professionals. They include sufficient background material and references to the current literature to allow readers to learn enough about a specialty within astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology to get started on their own practical research projects. In the spirit of the series Stars and Stellar Systems published by Chicago University Press in...

  1. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, A. W.; Andres, R. J.; Davis, K. J.; Hafer, M.; Hayes, D. J.; Huntzinger, D. N.; de Jong, B.; Kurz, W. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Vargas, R.; Wei, Y.; West, T. O.; Woodall, C. W.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net land-atmosphere CO2 exchange for North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) over the period 1990-2009. Only CO2 is considered, not methane or other greenhouse gases. This synthesis is based on results from three different methods: atmospheric inversion, inventory-based methods and terrestrial biosphere modeling. All methods indicate that the North American land surface was a sink for atmospheric CO2, with a net transfer from atmosphere to land. Estimates ranged from -890 to -280 Tg C yr-1, where the mean of atmospheric inversion estimates forms the lower bound of that range (a larger land sink) and the inventory-based estimate using the production approach the upper (a smaller land sink). This relatively large range is due in part to differences in how the approaches represent trade, fire and other disturbances and which ecosystems they include. Integrating across estimates, "best" estimates (i.e., measures of central tendency) are -472 ± 281 Tg C yr-1 based on the mean and standard deviation of the distribution and -360 Tg C yr-1 (with an interquartile range of -496 to -337) based on the median. Considering both the fossil fuel emissions source and the land sink, our analysis shows that North America was, however, a net contributor to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 20th and early 21st century. With North America's mean annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the period 1990-2009 equal to 1720 Tg C yr-1 and assuming the estimate of -472 Tg C yr-1 as an approximation of the true terrestrial CO2 sink, the continent's source : sink ratio for this time period was 1720:472, or nearly 4:1.

  2. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990–2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, A.W.; Andres, R.J.; Davis, K.J.; Hafer, M.; Hayes, D.J.; Huntzinger, Deborah N.; de Jong, Bernardus; Kurz, W.A.; McGuire, A. David; Vargas, Rodrigo I.; Wei, Y.; West, Tristram O.; Woodall, Christopher W.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net land–atmosphere CO2 exchange for North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) over the period 1990–2009. Only CO2 is considered, not methane or other greenhouse gases. This synthesis is based on results from three different methods: atmospheric inversion, inventory-based methods and terrestrial biosphere modeling. All methods indicate that the North American land surface was a sink for atmospheric CO2, with a net transfer from atmosphere to land. Estimates ranged from −890 to −280 Tg C yr−1, where the mean of atmospheric inversion estimates forms the lower bound of that range (a larger land sink) and the inventory-based estimate using the production approach the upper (a smaller land sink). This relatively large range is due in part to differences in how the approaches represent trade, fire and other disturbances and which ecosystems they include. Integrating across estimates, "best" estimates (i.e., measures of central tendency) are −472 ± 281 Tg C yr−1 based on the mean and standard deviation of the distribution and −360 Tg C yr−1 (with an interquartile range of −496 to −337) based on the median. Considering both the fossil fuel emissions source and the land sink, our analysis shows that North America was, however, a net contributor to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere in the late 20th and early 21st century. With North America's mean annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions for the period 1990–2009 equal to 1720 Tg C yr−1 and assuming the estimate of −472 Tg C yr−1 as an approximation of the true terrestrial CO2 sink, the continent's source : sink ratio for this time period was

  3. Laboratory Studies of Low Temperature Rate Coefficients: The Atmospheric Chemistry of the Outer Planets and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogan, Denis

    1999-01-01

    Laboratory measurements have been carried out to determine low temperature chemical rate coefficients of ethynyl radical (C2H) for the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites. This effort is directly related to the Cassini mission which will explore Saturn and Titan. A laser-based photolysis/infrared laser probe setup was used to measure the temperature dependence of kinetic rate coefficients from approx. equal to 150 to 350 K for C2H radicals with H2, C2H2, CH4, CD4, C2H4, C2H6, C3H8, n-C4H10, i-C4H10, neo-C5H12, C3H4 (methylacetylene and allene), HCN, and CH3CN. The results revealed discrepancies of an order of magnitude or more compared with the low temperature rate coefficients used in present models. A new Laval nozzle, low Mach number supersonic expansion kinetics apparatus has been constructed, resulting in the first measurements of neutral C2H radical kinetics at 90 K and permitting studies on condensable gases with insufficient vapor pressure at low temperatures. New studies of C 2H with acetylene have been completed.

  4. Laboratory studies of low temperature rate coefficients: The atmospheric chemistry of the outer planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Stephen R.

    1995-01-01

    The objectives of the research are to measure low temperature laboratory rate coefficients for key reactions relevant to the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn. These reactions are, for example, C2H + H2, CH4, C2H2, and other hydrocarbons which need to be measured at low temperatures, down to approximately 150 K. The results of this work are provided to NASA specialists who study modeling of the hydrocarbon chemistry of the outer planets. The apparatus for this work consists of a pulsed laser photolysis system and a tunable F-center probe laser to monitor the disappearance of C2H. A low temperature cell with a cryogenic circulating fluid in the outer jacket provides the gas handling system for this work. These elements have been described in detail in previous reports. Several new results are completed and the publications are just being prepared. The reaction of C2H with C2H2 has been measured with an improved apparatus down to 154 K. An Arrhenius plot indicates a clear increase in the rate coefficient at the lowest temperatures, most likely because of the long-lived (C4H3) intermediate. The capability to achieve the lowest temperatures in this work was made possible by construction of a new cell and addition of a multipass arrangement for the probe laser, as well as improvements to the laser system.

  5. Mars: Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    The atmosphere of MARS is much thinner than the terrestrial one. However, even the simplest visual telescopic observations show a set of atmospheric events such as seasonal exchange of material between polar caps, temporal appearance of clouds and changes of visibility of dark regions on the disk of the planet. In 1947 the prominent CO2 bands in the near-infrared part of the Martian spectrum were...

  6. GASEOUS MEAN OPACITIES FOR GIANT PLANET AND ULTRACOOL DWARF ATMOSPHERES OVER A RANGE OF METALLICITIES AND TEMPERATURES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freedman, Richard S. [SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA (United States); Lustig-Yaeger, Jacob [Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J. [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Lupu, Roxana E.; Marley, Mark S. [Space Science and Astrobiology Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (United States); Lodders, Katharina, E-mail: Richard.S.Freedman@nasa.gov [Planetary Chemistry Laboratory, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (United States)

    2014-10-01

    We present new calculations of Rosseland and Planck gaseous mean opacities relevant to the atmospheres of giant planets and ultracool dwarfs. Such calculations are used in modeling the atmospheres, interiors, formation, and evolution of these objects. Our calculations are an expansion of those presented in Freedman et al. to include lower pressures, finer temperature resolution, and also the higher metallicities most relevant for giant planet atmospheres. Calculations span 1 μbar to 300 bar, and 75-4000 K, in a nearly square grid. Opacities at metallicities from solar to 50 times solar abundances are calculated. We also provide an analytic fit to the Rosseland mean opacities over the grid in pressure, temperature, and metallicity. In addition to computing mean opacities at these local temperatures, we also calculate them with weighting functions up to 7000 K, to simulate the mean opacities for incident stellar intensities, rather than locally thermally emitted intensities. The chemical equilibrium calculations account for the settling of condensates in a gravitational field and are applicable to cloud-free giant planet and ultracool dwarf atmospheres, but not circumstellar disks. We provide our extensive opacity tables for public use.

  7. Isotopic composition of terrestrial atmospheric xenon and the chain reactions of fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shukolyukov, Yu.A.; Meshick, A.P.

    1990-01-01

    From the comparison of terrestrial atmospheric Xe with the primordial Xe (solar, AVCC), a strange component with a fine structure at 132 Xe and 131 Xe have been found. It was shown that the isotopic composition of this component can be explained neither by mass fractionation of primordial Xe, nor by an admixture of fission products of known nuclei. An analogous Xe was extracted at a low temperature from substances of the natural nuclear reactor, fine-grain samples from Colorado type deposits, ordinary pitchblendes and samples from the epicenter of a A-bomb explosion. It was proved that the strange Xe is a result of different migration rates of β-radioactive Xe precursors which are fission fragments. It is quite possible that the strange component of atmospheric Xe originated as a result of global neutron-induced fission processes during early stages of geological history of the Earth. (orig.) [de

  8. Deep thermal infrared imaging of HR 8799 bcde: new atmospheric constraints and limits on a fifth planet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Currie, Thayne; Cloutier, Ryan; Jayawardhana, Ray [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Science, Princeton University, 4 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Girard, Julien H. [European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, Casilla 19001, Santiago (Chile); Fukagawa, Misato [Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, 1-1 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Sorahana, Satoko [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Kuchner, Marc [Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 667, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Kenyon, Scott J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA (United Kingdom); Itoh, Yoichi [Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory, Center for Astronomy, University of Hyago, 407-2 Nishigaichi, Sayo, Hyogo 679-5313 (Japan); Matsumura, Soko [School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN (United Kingdom); Pyo, Tae-Soo [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)

    2014-11-10

    We present new L' (3.8 μm) and Brα (4.05 μm) data and reprocessed archival L' data for the young, planet-hosting star HR 8799 obtained with Keck/NIRC2, VLT/NaCo, and Subaru/IRCS. We detect all four HR 8799 planets in each data set at a moderate to high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ≳ 6-15). We fail to identify a fifth planet, 'HR 8799 f', at r < 15 AU at a 5σ confidence level: one suggestive, marginally significant residual at 0.''2 is most likely a point-spread function artifact. Assuming companion ages of 30 Myr and the Baraffe planet cooling models, we rule out an HR 8799 f with a mass of 5 M{sub J} (7 M{sub J} ), 7 M{sub J} (10 M{sub J} ), or 12 M{sub J} (13 M{sub J} ) at r {sub proj} ∼ 12 AU, 9 AU, and 5 AU, respectively. All four HR 8799 planets have red early T dwarf-like L' – [4.05] colors, suggesting that their spectral energy distributions peak in between the L' and M' broadband filters. We find no statistically significant difference in HR 8799 cde's color. Atmosphere models assuming thick, patchy clouds appear to better match HR 8799 bcde's photometry than models assuming a uniform cloud layer. While non-equilibrium carbon chemistry is required to explain HR 8799 b and c's photometry/spectra, evidence for it from HR 8799 d and e's photometry is weaker. Future, deep-IR spectroscopy/spectrophotometry with the Gemini Planet Imager, SCExAO/CHARIS, and other facilities may clarify whether the planets are chemically similar or heterogeneous.

  9. Deep thermal infrared imaging of HR 8799 bcde: new atmospheric constraints and limits on a fifth planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Currie, Thayne; Cloutier, Ryan; Jayawardhana, Ray; Burrows, Adam; Girard, Julien H.; Fukagawa, Misato; Sorahana, Satoko; Kuchner, Marc; Kenyon, Scott J.; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Itoh, Yoichi; Matsumura, Soko; Pyo, Tae-Soo

    2014-01-01

    We present new L' (3.8 μm) and Brα (4.05 μm) data and reprocessed archival L' data for the young, planet-hosting star HR 8799 obtained with Keck/NIRC2, VLT/NaCo, and Subaru/IRCS. We detect all four HR 8799 planets in each data set at a moderate to high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ≳ 6-15). We fail to identify a fifth planet, 'HR 8799 f', at r < 15 AU at a 5σ confidence level: one suggestive, marginally significant residual at 0.''2 is most likely a point-spread function artifact. Assuming companion ages of 30 Myr and the Baraffe planet cooling models, we rule out an HR 8799 f with a mass of 5 M J (7 M J ), 7 M J (10 M J ), or 12 M J (13 M J ) at r proj ∼ 12 AU, 9 AU, and 5 AU, respectively. All four HR 8799 planets have red early T dwarf-like L' – [4.05] colors, suggesting that their spectral energy distributions peak in between the L' and M' broadband filters. We find no statistically significant difference in HR 8799 cde's color. Atmosphere models assuming thick, patchy clouds appear to better match HR 8799 bcde's photometry than models assuming a uniform cloud layer. While non-equilibrium carbon chemistry is required to explain HR 8799 b and c's photometry/spectra, evidence for it from HR 8799 d and e's photometry is weaker. Future, deep-IR spectroscopy/spectrophotometry with the Gemini Planet Imager, SCExAO/CHARIS, and other facilities may clarify whether the planets are chemically similar or heterogeneous.

  10. The terrestrial biosphere as a net source of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Hanqin; Lu, Chaoqun; Ciais, Philippe; Michalak, Anna M; Canadell, Josep G; Saikawa, Eri; Huntzinger, Deborah N; Gurney, Kevin R; Sitch, Stephen; Zhang, Bowen; Yang, Jia; Bousquet, Philippe; Bruhwiler, Lori; Chen, Guangsheng; Dlugokencky, Edward; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Melillo, Jerry; Pan, Shufen; Poulter, Benjamin; Prinn, Ronald; Saunois, Marielle; Schwalm, Christopher R; Wofsy, Steven C

    2016-03-10

    The terrestrial biosphere can release or absorb the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), and therefore has an important role in regulating atmospheric composition and climate. Anthropogenic activities such as land-use change, agriculture and waste management have altered terrestrial biogenic greenhouse gas fluxes, and the resulting increases in methane and nitrous oxide emissions in particular can contribute to climate change. The terrestrial biogenic fluxes of individual greenhouse gases have been studied extensively, but the net biogenic greenhouse gas balance resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system remains uncertain. Here we use bottom-up (inventory, statistical extrapolation of local flux measurements, and process-based modelling) and top-down (atmospheric inversions) approaches to quantify the global net biogenic greenhouse gas balance between 1981 and 2010 resulting from anthropogenic activities and its effect on the climate system. We find that the cumulative warming capacity of concurrent biogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions is a factor of about two larger than the cooling effect resulting from the global land carbon dioxide uptake from 2001 to 2010. This results in a net positive cumulative impact of the three greenhouse gases on the planetary energy budget, with a best estimate (in petagrams of CO2 equivalent per year) of 3.9 ± 3.8 (top down) and 5.4 ± 4.8 (bottom up) based on the GWP100 metric (global warming potential on a 100-year time horizon). Our findings suggest that a reduction in agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions, particularly in Southern Asia, may help mitigate climate change.

  11. Radiative transfer modeling through terrestrial atmosphere and ocean accounting for inelastic processes: Software package SCIATRAN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozanov, V. V.; Dinter, T.; Rozanov, A. V.; Wolanin, A.; Bracher, A.; Burrows, J. P.

    2017-06-01

    SCIATRAN is a comprehensive software package which is designed to model radiative transfer processes in the terrestrial atmosphere and ocean in the spectral range from the ultraviolet to the thermal infrared (0.18-40 μm). It accounts for multiple scattering processes, polarization, thermal emission and ocean-atmosphere coupling. The main goal of this paper is to present a recently developed version of SCIATRAN which takes into account accurately inelastic radiative processes in both the atmosphere and the ocean. In the scalar version of the coupled ocean-atmosphere radiative transfer solver presented by Rozanov et al. [61] we have implemented the simulation of the rotational Raman scattering, vibrational Raman scattering, chlorophyll and colored dissolved organic matter fluorescence. In this paper we discuss and explain the numerical methods used in SCIATRAN to solve the scalar radiative transfer equation including trans-spectral processes, and demonstrate how some selected radiative transfer problems are solved using the SCIATRAN package. In addition we present selected comparisons of SCIATRAN simulations with those published benchmark results, independent radiative transfer models, and various measurements from satellite, ground-based, and ship-borne instruments. The extended SCIATRAN software package along with a detailed User's Guide is made available for scientists and students, who are undertaking their own research typically at universities, via the web page of the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen: http://www.iup.physik.uni-bremen.de.

  12. Lucifer's Planet: Photolytic Hazes in the Atmosphere of 51 Eri b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    We use a 1D model to address photochemistry and possible haze formation in the irradiated atmosphere of 51 Eri b (2016arXiv160407388Z). The intended focus was to have been on carbon and organic hazes, but sulfur photochemistry turns out to be interesting and possibly more important. The case for organic photochemical hazes is intriguing but falls short of being compelling. If organic hazes form abundantly, they are likeliest to do so if vertical mixing in 51 Eri b is weaker than in Jupiter, and they would be found below the altitudes where methane and water are photolyzed. The more novel result is that photochemistry turns H2S into elemental sulfur, here treated as S8. In the cooler models, S8 is predicted to condense in optically significant clouds of solid sulfur particles, whilst in the warmer models S8 remains a vapor along with several other sulfur allotropes that are both visually striking and potentially observable. For 51 Eri b, the division between models with and without condensed sulfur is at an effective temperature of 700 K, which is within error its actual effective temperature; the local temperature where sulfur condenses is between 280 and 320 K. The sulfur photochemistry we discuss is quite general and ought to be found in a wide variety of worlds over a broad temperature range, both colder and hotter than the 650-750 K range studied here, and we show that products of sulfur photochemistry will be nearly as abundant on planets where the UV irradiation is orders of magnitude weaker than it is on 51 Eri b.

  13. ATMOSPHERE AND SPECTRAL MODELS OF THE KEPLER-FIELD PLANETS HAT-P-7b AND TrES-2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Burrows, Adam

    2010-01-01

    We develop atmosphere models of two of the three Kepler-field planets that were known prior to the start of the Kepler mission (HAT-P-7b and TrES-2). We find that published Kepler and Spitzer data for HAT-P-7b appear to require an extremely hot upper atmosphere on the dayside, with a strong thermal inversion and little day-night redistribution. The Spitzer data for TrES-2 suggest a mild thermal inversion with moderate day-night redistribution. We examine the effect of nonequilibrium chemistry on TrES-2 model atmospheres and find that methane levels must be adjusted by extreme amounts in order to cause even mild changes in atmospheric structure and emergent spectra. Our best-fit models to the Spitzer data for TrES-2 lead us to predict a low secondary eclipse planet-star flux ratio (∼ -5 ) in the Kepler bandpass, which is consistent with what very recent observations have found. Finally, we consider how the Kepler-band optical flux from a hot exoplanet depends on the strength of a possible extra optical absorber in the upper atmosphere. We find that the optical flux is not monotonic in optical opacity, and the non-monotonicity is greater for brighter, hotter stars.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia's response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit. Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres. A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than approx.1.6 Earth radii.

  16. Limits to Creation of Oxygen-Rich Atmospheres on Planets in the Outer Reaches of the Conventional Habitable Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, Kevin

    2017-10-01

    Abundant free oxygen appears to be a requirement for macroflora and macrofauna. To the best of our knowledge, a general discussion of which habitable planets are conducive to oxygen has not taken place. Theories for the rise of oxygen fall into 4 categories: (i) It is governed by an intrinsic rate of biological innovation, independent of environmental factors. (ii) It is caused by mantle evolution, probably consequent to secular cooling. (iii) It is caused by hydrogen escape, which irreversibly oxidizes the Earth. (iv) It is Gaia’s response to the brightening Sun, its rise prevented until reduced greenhouse gases were no longer needed to maintain a clement climate. All but the first of these make implicit astronomical predictions that can be quantified and made explicit.Here we address the third hypothesis. In this hypothesis hydrogen escape acts like an hourglass that continues until all relevant reduced mineral buffers have been oxidized (titrated, as it were) and the surface made safe for O2. The hypothesis predicts that abundant free O2 will be absent from habitable planets that have not experienced significant hydrogen escape. Where hydrogen escape is modest or insignificant, the atmosphere can be approximated as hydrostatic, which makes assessing radiative cooling by embedded molecules, atoms, and ions such as CO2 and H3+ straightforward. In particular, H2 is efficient at exciting non-LTE CO2 15 micron emission, which makes radiative cooling very effective when H2 is abundant. We can therefore map out the region of phase space in which habitable planets do not lose hydrogen, and therefore do not develop O2 atmospheres.A related matter is the power of radiative cooling by embedded molecules to enforce the diffusion limit to hydrogen escape. This matter in particular is relevant to addressing the empirical observation that rocky planets with thin or negligible atmospheres are rarely or never bigger than ~1.6 Earth radii.

  17. A Combined Very Large Telescope and Gemini Study of the Atmosphere of the Directly Imaged Planet, Beta Pictoris b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Fukagawa, Misato; Girard, Julien H.; Dawson, Rebekah; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Kenyon, Scott; Kuchner, Marc J.; Matsumura, Soko; hide

    2013-01-01

    We analyze new/archival VLT/NaCo and Gemini/NICI high-contrast imaging of the young, self-luminous planet Beta Pictoris b in seven near-to-mid IR photometric filters, using advanced image processing methods to achieve high signal-to-noise, high precision measurements. While Beta Pic b's near-IR colors mimic those of a standard, cloudy early-to-mid L dwarf, it is overluminous in the mid-infrared compared to the field L/T dwarf sequence. Few substellar/planet-mass objects-i.e., ? And b and 1RXJ 1609B-match Beta Pic b's JHKsL photometry and its 3.1 micron and 5 micron photometry are particularly difficult to reproduce. Atmosphere models adopting cloud prescriptions and large (approx. 60 micron)dust grains fail to reproduce the Beta Pic b spectrum. However, models incorporating thick clouds similar to those found forHR8799 bcde, but also with small (a fewmicrons) modal particle sizes, yield fits consistent with the data within the uncertainties. Assuming solar abundance models, thick clouds, and small dust particles (a = 4 micron), we derive atmosphere parameters of log(g) = 3.8 +/- 0.2 and Teff = 1575-1650 K, an inferred mass of 7+4 -3 MJ, and a luminosity of log(L/L) approx. -3.80 +/- 0.02. The best-estimated planet radius, is approx. equal to 1.65 +/- 0.06 RJ, is near the upper end of allowable planet radii for hot-start models given the host star's age and likely reflects challenges constructing accurate atmospheric models. Alternatively, these radii are comfortably consistent with hot-start model predictions if Beta Pic b is younger than is approx. equal to 7 Myr, consistent with a late formation well after its host star's birth approx. 12+8 -4 Myr ago.

  18. A COMBINED VERY LARGE TELESCOPE AND GEMINI STUDY OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE DIRECTLY IMAGED PLANET, β PICTORIS b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Currie, Thayne; Jayawardhana, Ray; Burrows, Adam; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Fukagawa, Misato; Girard, Julien H.; Dawson, Rebekah; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Kenyon, Scott; Kuchner, Marc; Matsumura, Soko; Chambers, John; Bromley, Ben

    2013-01-01

    We analyze new/archival VLT/NaCo and Gemini/NICI high-contrast imaging of the young, self-luminous planet β Pictoris b in seven near-to-mid IR photometric filters, using advanced image processing methods to achieve high signal-to-noise, high precision measurements. While β Pic b's near-IR colors mimic those of a standard, cloudy early-to-mid L dwarf, it is overluminous in the mid-infrared compared to the field L/T dwarf sequence. Few substellar/planet-mass objects—i.e., κ And b and 1RXJ 1609B—match β Pic b's JHK s L' photometry and its 3.1 μm and 5 μm photometry are particularly difficult to reproduce. Atmosphere models adopting cloud prescriptions and large (∼60 μm) dust grains fail to reproduce the β Pic b spectrum. However, models incorporating thick clouds similar to those found for HR 8799 bcde, but also with small (a few microns) modal particle sizes, yield fits consistent with the data within the uncertainties. Assuming solar abundance models, thick clouds, and small dust particles ((a) = 4 μm), we derive atmosphere parameters of log (g) = 3.8 ± 0.2 and T eff = 1575-1650 K, an inferred mass of 7 +4 -3 M J , and a luminosity of log(L/L ☉ ) ∼–3.80 ± 0.02. The best-estimated planet radius, ≈1.65 ± 0.06 R J , is near the upper end of allowable planet radii for hot-start models given the host star's age and likely reflects challenges constructing accurate atmospheric models. Alternatively, these radii are comfortably consistent with hot-start model predictions if β Pic b is younger than ≈7 Myr, consistent with a late formation well after its host star's birth ∼12 +8 -4 Myr ago

  19. Inter-annual variabilities in biogeophysical feedback of terrestrial ecosystem to atmosphere using a land surface model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, C.; Hong, S.; Jeong, H. M.; Jeon, J.

    2017-12-01

    Biogeophysical processes of terrestrial ecosystem such as water vapor and energy flux are the key features to understand ecological feedback to atmospheric processes and thus role of terrestrial ecosystem in climate system. For example, it has been recently known that the ecological feedback through water vapor and energy flux results in regulating regional weathers and climates which is one of the fundamental functions of terrestrial ecosystem. In regional scale, water vapor flux has been known to give negative feedback to atmospheric warming, while energy flux from the surface has been known to positive feedback. In this study, we explored the inter-annual variabilities in these two biogeophysical features to see how the climate regulating functions of terrestrial ecosystem have been changed with climate change. We selected a land surface model involving vegetation dynamics that is forced by atmospheric data from NASA including precipitation, temperature, wind, surface pressure, humidity, and incoming radiations. From the land surface model, we simulated 60-year water vapor and energy fluxes from 1961 to 2010, and calculates feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystem as in radiation amount into atmosphere. Then, we analyzed the inter-annual variabilities in the feedbacks. The results showed that some mid-latitude areas showing very high variabilities in precipitation showed higher positive feedback and/or lower negative feedback. These results suggest deterioration of the biogeophyisical factor of climate regulating function over those regions.

  20. Radiative transfer modeling through terrestrial atmosphere and ocean accounting for inelastic processes: Software package SCIATRAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozanov, V.V.; Dinter, T.; Rozanov, A.V.; Wolanin, A.; Bracher, A.; Burrows, J.P.

    2017-01-01

    SCIATRAN is a comprehensive software package which is designed to model radiative transfer processes in the terrestrial atmosphere and ocean in the spectral range from the ultraviolet to the thermal infrared (0.18–40 μm). It accounts for multiple scattering processes, polarization, thermal emission and ocean–atmosphere coupling. The main goal of this paper is to present a recently developed version of SCIATRAN which takes into account accurately inelastic radiative processes in both the atmosphere and the ocean. In the scalar version of the coupled ocean–atmosphere radiative transfer solver presented by Rozanov et al. we have implemented the simulation of the rotational Raman scattering, vibrational Raman scattering, chlorophyll and colored dissolved organic matter fluorescence. In this paper we discuss and explain the numerical methods used in SCIATRAN to solve the scalar radiative transfer equation including trans-spectral processes, and demonstrate how some selected radiative transfer problems are solved using the SCIATRAN package. In addition we present selected comparisons of SCIATRAN simulations with those published benchmark results, independent radiative transfer models, and various measurements from satellite, ground-based, and ship-borne instruments. The extended SCIATRAN software package along with a detailed User's Guide is made available for scientists and students, who are undertaking their own research typically at universities, via the web page of the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen: (http://www.iup.physik.uni-bremen.de). - Highlights: • A new version of the software package SCIATRAN is presented. • Inelastic scattering in water and atmosphere is implemented in SCIATRAN. • Raman scattering and fluorescence can be included in radiative transfer calculations. • Comparisons to other radiative transfer models show excellent agreement. • Comparisons to observations show consistent results.

  1. Optimization of a prognostic biosphere model for terrestrial biomass and atmospheric CO2 variability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saito, M.; Ito, A.; Maksyutov, S.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the capacity of a prognostic biosphere model to simulate global variability in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations and vegetation carbon dynamics under current environmental conditions. Global data sets of atmospheric CO 2 concentrations, above-ground biomass (AGB), and net primary productivity (NPP) in terrestrial vegetation were assimilated into the biosphere model using an inverse modeling method combined with an atmospheric transport model. In this process, the optimal physiological parameters of the biosphere model were estimated by minimizing the misfit between observed and modeled values, and parameters were generated to characterize various biome types. Results obtained using the model with the optimized parameters correspond to the observed seasonal variations in CO 2 concentration and their annual amplitudes in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In simulating the mean annual AGB and NPP, the model shows improvements in estimating the mean magnitudes and probability distributions for each biome, as compared with results obtained using prior simulation parameters. However, the model is less efficient in its simulation of AGB for forest type biomes. This misfit suggests that more accurate values of input parameters, specifically, grid mean AGB values and seasonal variabilities in physiological parameters, are required to improve the performance of the simulation model. (authors)

  2. Enhanced transfer of terrestrially derived carbon to the atmosphere in a flooding event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Thomas S.; Garcia-Tigreros, Fenix; Yvon-Lewis, Shari A.; Shields, Michael; Mills, Heath J.; Butman, David; Osburn, Christopher; Raymond, Peter A.; Shank, G. Christopher; DiMarco, Steven F.; Walker, Nan; Kiel Reese, Brandi; Mullins-Perry, Ruth; Quigg, Antonietta; Aiken, George R.; Grossman, Ethan L.

    2013-01-01

    Rising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, global climate change, and the sustainability of the Earth's biosphere are great societal concerns for the 21st century. Global climate change has, in part, resulted in a higher frequency of flooding events, which allow for greater exchange between soil/plant litter and aquatic carbon pools. Here we demonstrate that the summer 2011 flood in the Mississippi River basin, caused by extreme precipitation events, resulted in a “flushing” of terrestrially derived dissolved organic carbon (TDOC) to the northern Gulf of Mexico. Data from the lower Atchafalaya and Mississippi rivers showed that the DOC flux to the northern Gulf of Mexico during this flood was significantly higher than in previous years. We also show that consumption of radiocarbon-modern TDOC by bacteria in floodwaters in the lower Atchafalaya River and along the adjacent shelf contributed to northern Gulf shelf waters changing from a net sink to a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere in June and August 2011. This work shows that enhanced flooding, which may or may not be caused by climate change, can result in rapid losses of stored carbon in soils to the atmosphere via processes in aquatic ecosystems.

  3. The effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; Barber, Mary C.; Adams, Mark; Agboola, Julius I.; Allen, Edith B.; Bealey, William J.; Bobbink, Roland; Bobrovsky, Maxim V.; Bowman, William D.; Branquinho, Cristina; Bustamente, Mercedes M. C.; Clark, Christopher M.; Cocking, Edward C.; Cruz, Cristina; Davidson, Eric A.; Denmead, O. Tom; Dias, Teresa; Dise, Nancy B.; Feest, Alan; Galloway, James N.; Geiser, Linda H.; Gilliam, Frank S.; Harrison, Ian J.; Khanina, Larisa G.; Lu, Xiankai; Manrique, Esteban; Ochoa-Hueso, Raul; Ometto, Jean P. H. B.; Payne, Richard; Scheuschner, Thomas; Sheppard, Lucy J.; Simpson, Gavin L.; Singh, Y. V.; Stevens, Carly J.; Strachan, Ian; Sverdrup, Harald; Tokuchi, Naoko; van Dobben, Hans; Woodin, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    This chapter reports the findings of a Working Group on how atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition affects both terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. Regional and global scale impacts on biodiversity are addressed, together with potential indicators. Key conclusions are that: the rates of loss in biodiversity are greatest at the lowest and initial stages of N deposition increase; changes in species compositions are related to the relative amounts of N, carbon (C) and phosphorus (P) in the plant soil system; enhanced N inputs have implications for C cycling; N deposition is known to be having adverse effects on European and North American vegetation composition; very little is known about tropical ecosystem responses, while tropical ecosystems are major biodiversity hotspots and are increasingly recipients of very high N deposition rates; N deposition alters forest fungi and mycorrhyzal relations with plants; the rapid response of forest fungi and arthropods makes them good indicators of change; predictive tools (models) that address ecosystem scale processes are necessary to address complex drivers and responses, including the integration of N deposition, climate change and land use effects; criteria can be identified for projecting sensitivity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems to N deposition. Future research and policy-relevant recommendations are identified.

  4. Terrestrial microorganisms at an altitude of 20,000 m in Earth's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.

    2004-01-01

    A joint effort between the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Global Desert Dust and NASA's Stratospheric and Cosmic Dust Programs identified culturable microbes from an air sample collected at an altitude of 20,000 m. A total of 4 fungal (Penicillium sp.) and 71 bacteria colonyforming units (70 colonies of Bacillus luciferensis believed to have originated from a single cell collected at altitude and one colony of Bacillus sphaericus) were enumerated, isolated and identified using a morphological key and 16S rDNA sequencing respectively. All of the isolates identified were sporeforming pigmented fungi or bacteria of terrestrial origin and demonstrate that the presence of viable microorganisms in Earth's upper atmosphere may not be uncommon.

  5. CHANGING PHASES OF ALIEN WORLDS: PROBING ATMOSPHERES OF KEPLER PLANETS WITH HIGH-PRECISION PHOTOMETRY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esteves, Lisa J.; Mooij, Ernst J. W. De [Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada); Jayawardhana, Ray, E-mail: esteves@astro.utoronto.ca, E-mail: demooij@astro.utoronto.ca, E-mail: rayjay@yorku.ca [Physics and Astronomy, York University, Toronto, Ontario L3T 3R1 (Canada)

    2015-05-10

    We present a comprehensive analysis of planetary phase variations, including possible planetary light offsets, using eighteen quarters of data from the Kepler space telescope. Our analysis found fourteen systems with significant detections in each of the phase curve components: planet’s phase function, secondary eclipse, Doppler boosting, and ellipsoidal variations. We model the full phase curve simultaneously, including primary and secondary transits, and derive albedos, day- and night-side temperatures and planet masses. Most planets manifest low optical geometric albedos (< 0.25), with the exception of Kepler-10b, Kepler-91b, and KOI-13b. We find that KOI-13b, with a small eccentricity of 0.0006 ± 0.0001, is the only planet for which an eccentric orbit is favored. We detect a third harmonic for HAT-P-7b for the first time, and confirm the third harmonic for KOI-13b reported in Esteves et al.: both could be due to their spin–orbit misalignments. For six planets, we report a planetary brightness peak offset from the substellar point: of those, the hottest two (Kepler-76b and HAT-P-7b) exhibit pre-eclipse shifts or on the evening-side, while the cooler four (Kepler-7b, Kepler-8b, Kepler-12b, and Kepler-41b) peak post-eclipse or on the morning-side. Our findings dramatically increase the number of Kepler planets with detected planetary light offsets, and provide the first evidence in the Kepler data for a correlation between the peak offset direction and the planet’s temperature. Such a correlation could arise if thermal emission dominates light from hotter planets that harbor hot spots shifted toward the evening-side, as theoretically predicted, while reflected light dominates cooler planets with clouds on the planet’s morning-side.

  6. A terrestrial biosphere model optimized to atmospheric CO2 concentration and above ground woody biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saito, M.; Ito, A.; Maksyutov, S. S.

    2013-12-01

    This study documents an optimization of a prognostic biosphere model (VISIT; Vegetation Integrative Similator for Trace gases) to observations of atmospheric CO2 concentration and above ground woody biomass by using a Bayesian inversion method combined with an atmospheric tracer transport model (NIES-TM; National Institute for Environmental Studies / Frontier Research Center for Global Change (NIES/FRCGC) off-line global atmospheric tracer transport model). The assimilated observations include 74 station records of surface atmospheric CO2 concentration and aggregated grid data sets of above ground woody biomass (AGB) and net primary productivity (NPP) over the globe. Both the biosphere model and the atmospheric transport model are used at a horizontal resolution of 2.5 deg x 2.5 deg grid with temporal resolutions of a day and an hour, respectively. The atmospheric transport model simulates atmospheric CO2 concentration with nine vertical levels using daily net ecosystem CO2 exchange rate (NEE) from the biosphere model, oceanic CO2 flux, and fossil fuel emission inventory. The models are driven by meteorological data from JRA-25 (Japanese 25-year ReAnalysis) and JCDAS (JMA Climate Data Assimilation System). Statistically optimum physiological parameters in the biosphere model are found by iterative minimization of the corresponding Bayesian cost function. We select thirteen physiological parameter with high sensitivity to NEE, NPP, and AGB for the minimization. Given the optimized physiological parameters, the model shows error reductions in seasonal variation of the CO2 concentrations especially in the northern hemisphere due to abundant observation stations, while errors remain at a few stations that are located in coastal coastal area and stations in the southern hemisphere. The model also produces moderate estimates of the mean magnitudes and probability distributions in AGB and NPP for each biome. However, the model fails in the simulation of the terrestrial

  7. New Constraints on Terrestrial Surface-Atmosphere Fluxes of Gaseous Elemental Mercury Using a Global Database.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnan, Yannick; Le Dantec, Théo; Moore, Christopher W; Edwards, Grant C; Obrist, Daniel

    2016-01-19

    Despite 30 years of study, gaseous elemental mercury (Hg(0)) exchange magnitude and controls between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere still remain uncertain. We compiled data from 132 studies, including 1290 reported fluxes from more than 200,000 individual measurements, into a database to statistically examine flux magnitudes and controls. We found that fluxes were unevenly distributed, both spatially and temporally, with strong biases toward Hg-enriched sites, daytime and summertime measurements. Fluxes at Hg-enriched sites were positively correlated with substrate concentrations, but this was absent at background sites. Median fluxes over litter- and snow-covered soils were lower than over bare soils, and chamber measurements showed higher emission compared to micrometeorological measurements. Due to low spatial extent, estimated emissions from Hg-enriched areas (217 Mg·a(-1)) were lower than previous estimates. Globally, areas with enhanced atmospheric Hg(0) levels (particularly East Asia) showed an emerging importance of Hg(0) emissions accounting for half of the total global emissions estimated at 607 Mg·a(-1), although with a large uncertainty range (-513 to 1353 Mg·a(-1) [range of 37.5th and 62.5th percentiles]). The largest uncertainties in Hg(0) fluxes stem from forests (-513 to 1353 Mg·a(-1) [range of 37.5th and 62.5th percentiles]), largely driven by a shortage of whole-ecosystem fluxes and uncertain contributions of leaf-atmosphere exchanges, questioning to what degree ecosystems are net sinks or sources of atmospheric Hg(0).

  8. A Direct Path to Finding Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heap, Sara R.; Linder, Don J.

    2009-01-01

    As envisaged by the 2000 astrophysics decadal survey panel: The main goal of Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) is nothing less than to search for evidence of life on terrestrial planets around nearby stars . Here, we consider how an optical telescope paired with a free-flying occulter blocking light from the star can reach this goal directly, without knowledge of results from prior astrometric, doppler, or transit exoplanet observations. Using design reference missions and other simulations, we explore the potential of TPF-O to find planets in the habitable zone around their central stars, to spectrally characterize the atmospheres of detected planets, and to obtain rudimentary information about their orbits. We emphasize the importance of ozone absorption in the UV spectrum of a planet as a marker of photosynthesis by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria.

  9. Remote Sensing of Aerosol in the Terrestrial Atmosphere from Space: New Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milinevsky, G.; Yatskiv, Ya.; Degtyaryov, O.; Syniavskyi, I.; Ivanov, Yu.; Bovchaliuk, A.; Mishchenko, M.; Danylevsky, V.; Sosonkin, M.; Bovchaliuk, V.

    2015-01-01

    The distribution and properties of atmospheric aerosols on a global scale are not well known in terms of determination of their effects on climate. This mostly is due to extreme variability of aerosol concentrations, properties, sources, and types. Aerosol climate impact is comparable to the effect of greenhouse gases, but its influence is more difficult to measure, especially with respect to aerosol microphysical properties and the evaluation of anthropogenic aerosol effect. There are many satellite missions studying aerosol distribution in the terrestrial atmosphere, such as MISR/Terra, OMI/Aura, AVHHR, MODIS/Terra and Aqua, CALIOP/CALIPSO. To improve the quality of data and climate models, and to reduce aerosol climate forcing uncertainties, several new missions are planned. The gap in orbital instruments for studying aerosol microphysics has arisen after the Glory mission failed during launch in 2011. In this review paper, we describe several planned aerosol space missions, including the Ukrainian project Aerosol-UA that obtains data using a multi-channel scanning polarimeter and wide-angle polarimetric camera. The project is designed for remote sensing of the aerosol microphysics and cloud properties on a global scale.

  10. Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meadows, V. S.; Lustig-Yaeger, J.; Lincowski, A.; Arney, G. N.; Robinson, T. D.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Deming, L. D.; Tovar, G.

    2017-11-01

    We will provide an overview of the measurements, techniques, and upcoming missions required to characterize terrestrial planet environments and evolution, and search for signs of habitability and life.

  11. Effects of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) on terrestrial vegetation: a review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krupa, S.V.

    2003-01-01

    A review of atmospheric ammonia (NH 3 ) and ammonium (NH 4 + ) deposition and their effects on plants. - At the global scale, among all N (nitrogen) species in the atmosphere and their deposition on to terrestrial vegetation and other receptors, NH 3 (ammonia) is considered to be the foremost. The major sources for atmospheric NH 3 are agricultural activities and animal feedlot operations, followed by biomass burning (including forest fires) and to a lesser extent fossil fuel combustion. Close to its sources, acute exposures to NH 3 can result in visible foliar injury on vegetation. NH 3 is deposited rapidly within the first 4-5 km from its source. However, NH 3 is also converted in the atmosphere to fine particle NH 4 + (ammonium) aerosols that are a regional scale problem. Much of our current knowledge of the effects of NH 3 on higher plants is predominantly derived from studies conducted in Europe. Adverse effects on vegetation occur when the rate of foliar uptake of NH 3 is greater than the rate and capacity for in vivo detoxification by the plants. Most to least sensitive plant species to NH 3 are native vegetation > forests > agricultural crops. There are also a number of studies on N deposition and lichens, mosses and green algae. Direct cause and effect relationships in most of those cases (exceptions being those locations very close to point sources) are confounded by other environmental factors, particularly changes in the ambient SO 2 (sulfur dioxide) concentrations. In addition to direct foliar injury, adverse effects of NH 3 on higher plants include alterations in: growth and productivity, tissue content of nutrients and toxic elements, drought and frost tolerance, responses to insect pests and disease causing microorganisms (pathogens), development of beneficial root symbiotic or mycorrhizal associations and inter species competition or biodiversity. In all these cases, the joint effects of NH 3 with other air pollutants such as all-pervasive O 3 or

  12. Effects of atmospheric ammonia (NH{sub 3}) on terrestrial vegetation: a review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krupa, S.V

    2003-07-01

    A review of atmospheric ammonia (NH{sub 3}) and ammonium (NH{sub 4}{sup +}) deposition and their effects on plants. - At the global scale, among all N (nitrogen) species in the atmosphere and their deposition on to terrestrial vegetation and other receptors, NH{sub 3} (ammonia) is considered to be the foremost. The major sources for atmospheric NH{sub 3} are agricultural activities and animal feedlot operations, followed by biomass burning (including forest fires) and to a lesser extent fossil fuel combustion. Close to its sources, acute exposures to NH{sub 3} can result in visible foliar injury on vegetation. NH{sub 3} is deposited rapidly within the first 4-5 km from its source. However, NH{sub 3} is also converted in the atmosphere to fine particle NH{sub 4}{sup +} (ammonium) aerosols that are a regional scale problem. Much of our current knowledge of the effects of NH{sub 3} on higher plants is predominantly derived from studies conducted in Europe. Adverse effects on vegetation occur when the rate of foliar uptake of NH{sub 3} is greater than the rate and capacity for in vivo detoxification by the plants. Most to least sensitive plant species to NH{sub 3} are native vegetation > forests > agricultural crops. There are also a number of studies on N deposition and lichens, mosses and green algae. Direct cause and effect relationships in most of those cases (exceptions being those locations very close to point sources) are confounded by other environmental factors, particularly changes in the ambient SO{sub 2} (sulfur dioxide) concentrations. In addition to direct foliar injury, adverse effects of NH{sub 3} on higher plants include alterations in: growth and productivity, tissue content of nutrients and toxic elements, drought and frost tolerance, responses to insect pests and disease causing microorganisms (pathogens), development of beneficial root symbiotic or mycorrhizal associations and inter species competition or biodiversity. In all these cases, the joint

  13. Some studies relating to solar-terrestrial physics and the middle atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Theobald, A.G.

    1977-12-01

    A review is given of observed variations in the Earth's rotation rate, and mechanisms by which the Sun might affect the length of day are discussed. Solar activity and means by which the planets might influence this activity are considered. Observed solar activity - weather correlations, in particular in relation to the sun-based, interplanetary magnetic sector structure and some of the suggested mechanisms for producing these correlations are discussed. The simple photochemical production of ozone in the middle atmosphere and the manner in which cosmic rays, through the production of nitrogen compounds, alter the ozone concentration at high altitudes is described. A computer model is developed which calculates ozone concentrations and energy absorption at any altitude, latitude, longitude and time of year and used to predict ozone and temperature change profiles over a 14-day cycle of ultra-violet changes. The existence of a solar magnetic sector linked variation of the high latitude, high altitude NO concentration is postulated and this is incorporated into the computer model to predict a temperature oscillation over a 14-day cycle which varies with geographic latitude and longitude. This effect is investigated in detail. (UK)

  14. A COMBINED VERY LARGE TELESCOPE AND GEMINI STUDY OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE DIRECTLY IMAGED PLANET, β PICTORIS b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Currie, Thayne; Jayawardhana, Ray [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4 (Canada); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, 4 Ivy Lane, Peyton Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Department of Astronomy, Yale University, 260 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Fukagawa, Misato [Osaka University, Machikaneyama 1-1, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043 (Japan); Girard, Julien H. [European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Cassilla 19001, Santiago (Chile); Dawson, Rebekah; Murray-Clay, Ruth; Kenyon, Scott [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 10, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kuchner, Marc [NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory Code 667, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Matsumura, Soko [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Chambers, John [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road, NW Washington, DC 20015-1305 (United States); Bromley, Ben [Department of Physics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2013-10-10

    We analyze new/archival VLT/NaCo and Gemini/NICI high-contrast imaging of the young, self-luminous planet β Pictoris b in seven near-to-mid IR photometric filters, using advanced image processing methods to achieve high signal-to-noise, high precision measurements. While β Pic b's near-IR colors mimic those of a standard, cloudy early-to-mid L dwarf, it is overluminous in the mid-infrared compared to the field L/T dwarf sequence. Few substellar/planet-mass objects—i.e., κ And b and 1RXJ 1609B—match β Pic b's JHK{sub s}L' photometry and its 3.1 μm and 5 μm photometry are particularly difficult to reproduce. Atmosphere models adopting cloud prescriptions and large (∼60 μm) dust grains fail to reproduce the β Pic b spectrum. However, models incorporating thick clouds similar to those found for HR 8799 bcde, but also with small (a few microns) modal particle sizes, yield fits consistent with the data within the uncertainties. Assuming solar abundance models, thick clouds, and small dust particles ((a) = 4 μm), we derive atmosphere parameters of log (g) = 3.8 ± 0.2 and T{sub eff} = 1575-1650 K, an inferred mass of 7{sup +4}{sub -3} M{sub J} , and a luminosity of log(L/L{sub ☉}) ∼–3.80 ± 0.02. The best-estimated planet radius, ≈1.65 ± 0.06 R{sub J} , is near the upper end of allowable planet radii for hot-start models given the host star's age and likely reflects challenges constructing accurate atmospheric models. Alternatively, these radii are comfortably consistent with hot-start model predictions if β Pic b is younger than ≈7 Myr, consistent with a late formation well after its host star's birth ∼12{sup +8}{sub -4} Myr ago.

  15. The sensitivity of terrestrial carbon storage to historical climate variability and atmospheric CO2 in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, H.; Melillo, J. M.; Kicklighter, D. W.; McGuire, A. D.; Helfrich, J.

    1999-04-01

    We use the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM, Version 4.1) and the land cover data set of the international geosphere biosphere program to investigate how increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate variability during 1900 1994 affect the carbon storage of terrestrial ecosystems in the conterminous USA, and how carbon storage has been affected by land-use change. The estimates of TEM indicate that over the past 95years a combination of increasing atmospheric CO2 with historical temperature and precipitation variability causes a 4.2% (4.3Pg C) decrease in total carbon storage of potential vegetation in the conterminous US, with vegetation carbon decreasing by 7.2% (3.2Pg C) and soil organic carbon decreasing by 1.9% (1.1Pg C). Several dry periods including the 1930s and 1950s are responsible for the loss of carbon storage. Our factorial experiments indicate that precipitation variability alone decreases total carbon storage by 9.5%. Temperature variability alone does not significantly affect carbon storage. The effect of CO2 fertilization alone increases total carbon storage by 4.4%. The effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate variability are not additive. Interactions among CO2, temperature and precipitation increase total carbon storage by 1.1%. Our study also shows substantial year-to-year variations in net carbon exchange between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems due to climate variability. Since the 1960s, we estimate these terrestrial ecosystems have acted primarily as a sink of atmospheric CO2 as a result of wetter weather and higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For the 1980s, we estimate the natural terrestrial ecosystems, excluding cropland and urban areas, of the conterminous US have accumulated 78.2 Tg C yr1 because of the combined effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 and climate variability. For the conterminous US, we estimate that the conversion of natural ecosystems to cropland and urban areas has caused a 18.2% (17.7Pg C

  16. Effects of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) on terrestrial vegetation: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupa, S V

    2003-01-01

    At the global scale, among all N (nitrogen) species in the atmosphere and their deposition on to terrestrial vegetation and other receptors, NH3 (ammonia) is considered to be the foremost. The major sources for atmospheric NH3 are agricultural activities and animal feedlot operations, followed by biomass burning (including forest fires) and to a lesser extent fossil fuel combustion. Close to its sources, acute exposures to NH3 can result in visible foliar injury on vegetation. NH3 is deposited rapidly within the first 4-5 km from its source. However, NH3 is also converted in the atmosphere to fine particle NH4+ (ammonium) aerosols that are a regional scale problem. Much of our current knowledge of the effects of NH3 on higher plants is predominantly derived from studies conducted in Europe. Adverse effects on vegetation occur when the rate of foliar uptake of NH3 is greater than the rate and capacity for in vivo detoxification by the plants. Most to least sensitive plant species to NH3 are native vegetation > forests > agricultural crops. There are also a number of studies on N deposition and lichens, mosses and green algae. Direct cause and effect relationships in most of those cases (exceptions being those locations very close to point sources) are confounded by other environmental factors, particularly changes in the ambient SO2 (sulfur dioxide) concentrations. In addition to direct foliar injury, adverse effects of NH3 on higher plants include alterations in: growth and productivity, tissue content of nutrients and toxic elements, drought and frost tolerance, responses to insect pests and disease causing microorganisms (pathogens), development of beneficial root symbiotic or mycorrhizal associations and inter species competition or biodiversity. In all these cases, the joint effects of NH3 with other air pollutants such as all-pervasive O3 or increasing CO2 concentrations are poorly understood. While NH3 uptake in higher plants occurs through the shoots, NH4

  17. 3D-radiative transfer in terrestrial atmosphere: An efficient parallel numerical procedure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, L. P.; Germogenova, T. A.; Nikolaeva, O. V.; Kokhanovsky, A. A.; Kuznetsov, V. S.

    2003-04-01

    Light propagation and scattering in terrestrial atmosphere is usually studied in the framework of the 1D radiative transfer theory [1]. However, in reality particles (e.g., ice crystals, solid and liquid aerosols, cloud droplets) are randomly distributed in 3D space. In particular, their concentrations vary both in vertical and horizontal directions. Therefore, 3D effects influence modern cloud and aerosol retrieval procedures, which are currently based on the 1D radiative transfer theory. It should be pointed out that the standard radiative transfer equation allows to study these more complex situations as well [2]. In recent year the parallel version of the 2D and 3D RADUGA code has been developed. This version is successfully used in gammas and neutrons transport problems [3]. Applications of this code to radiative transfer in atmosphere problems are contained in [4]. Possibilities of code RADUGA are presented in [5]. The RADUGA code system is an universal solver of radiative transfer problems for complicated models, including 2D and 3D aerosol and cloud fields with arbitrary scattering anisotropy, light absorption, inhomogeneous underlying surface and topography. Both delta type and distributed light sources can be accounted for in the framework of the algorithm developed. The accurate numerical procedure is based on the new discrete ordinate SWDD scheme [6]. The algorithm is specifically designed for parallel supercomputers. The version RADUGA 5.1(P) can run on MBC1000M [7] (768 processors with 10 Gb of hard disc memory for each processor). The peak productivity is equal 1 Tfl. Corresponding scalar version RADUGA 5.1 is working on PC. As a first example of application of the algorithm developed, we have studied the shadowing effects of clouds on neighboring cloudless atmosphere, depending on the cloud optical thickness, surface albedo, and illumination conditions. This is of importance for modern satellite aerosol retrieval algorithms development. [1] Sobolev

  18. Coupled evolution of the atmospheres and interiors of planets and satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schubert, G.; Turcotte, D.L.; Solomon, S.C.; Sleep, N.H.

    1989-01-01

    The evolution of a planetary atmosphere can be powerfully influenced by the planetary interior's function as both a source and a sink of atmospheric constituents; the interior can in turn be strongly influenced by the atmosphere because the mechanism of interior heat loss depends on a volatile content for which the atmosphere can serve both as sink and source. The dependence of mantle rheology on volatile content could furnish a feedback mechanism tending to keep regassing/degassing in balance, thereby maintaining a relatively constant atmospheric mass. Consideration of the abundances of radiogenic and nonradiogenic noble gases in the earth's atmosphere, and of the fluxes of these gases from the mantle, support a large degassing event early on, followed by a decrease in degassing efficiency with time and relatively inefficient outgassing over most of geologic time

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailey, R. L.; Helling, Ch.; Hodosán, G.; Bilger, C.; Stark, C. R., E-mail: ch@leap2010.eu [SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)

    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.

  20. The origin of methane and biomolecules from a CO.sub.2./sub. cycle on terrestrial planets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Civiš, S.; Knížek, A.; Ivanek, O.; Kubelík, Petr; Zukalova, M.; Kavan, L.; Ferus, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 10 (2017), s. 721-726 E-ISSN 2397-3366 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LG15013 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : high-energy chemistry * nucleobase formation * martian atmosphere * carbon-dioxide * early earth * Mars * formamide * surfaces * exchange * TiO 2 Subject RIV: BL - Plasma and Gas Discharge Physics OBOR OECD: Fluids and plasma physics (including surface physics)

  1. Planets a very short introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Rothery, David A

    2010-01-01

    Planets: A Very Short Introduction demonstrates the excitement, uncertainties, and challenges faced by planetary scientists, and provides an overview of our Solar System and its origins, nature, and evolution. Terrestrial planets, giant planets, dwarf planets and various other objects such as satellites (moons), asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, and exoplanets are discussed. Our knowledge about planets has advanced over the centuries, and has expanded at a rapidly growing rate in recent years. Controversial issues are outlined, such as What qualifies as a planet? What conditions are required for a planetary body to be potentially inhabited by life? Why does Pluto no longer have planet status? And Is there life on other planets?

  2. H-atmospheres of Icy Super-Earths Formed In Situ in the Outer Solar System: An Application to a Possible Planet Nine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levi, A.; Kenyon, S. J.; Podolak, M.; Prialnik, D.

    2017-04-01

    We examine the possibility that icy super-Earth mass planets, formed over long timescales (0.1-1 Gyr) at large distances (˜200-1000 au) from their host stars, will develop massive H-rich atmospheres. Within the interior of these planets, high pressure converts CH4 into ethane, butane, or diamond and releases H2. Using simplified models that capture the basic physics of the internal structure, we show that the physical properties of the atmosphere depend on the outflux of H2 from the mantle. When this outflux is ≲ {10}10 molec cm-2 s-1, the outgassed atmosphere has a base pressure of ≲1 bar. Larger outflows result in a substantial atmosphere where the base pressure may approach 103-104 bar. For any pressure, the mean density of these planets, 2.4-3 g cm-3, is much larger than the mean density of Uranus and Neptune, 1.3-1.6 g cm-3. Thus, observations can distinguish between a Planet Nine with a primordial H/He-rich atmosphere accreted from the protosolar nebula and one with an atmosphere outgassed from the core.

  3. STRATOSPHERIC TEMPERATURES AND WATER LOSS FROM MOIST GREENHOUSE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravi K. [Department of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16801 (United States); Chen, Howard, E-mail: jfk4@psu.edu, E-mail: hwchen@bu.edu [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215 (United States)

    2015-11-01

    A radiative-convective climate model is used to calculate stratospheric temperatures and water vapor concentrations for ozone-free atmospheres warmer than that of modern Earth. Cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at low surface temperatures, in agreement with recent 3D calculations. However, at surface temperatures above 350 K, the stratosphere warms and water vapor becomes a major upper atmospheric constituent, allowing water to be lost by photodissociation and hydrogen escape. Hence, a moist greenhouse explanation for loss of water from Venus, or some exoplanet receiving a comparable amount of stellar radiation, remains a viable hypothesis. Temperatures in the upper parts of such atmospheres are well below those estimated for a gray atmosphere, and this factor should be taken into account when performing inverse climate calculations to determine habitable zone boundaries using 1D models.

  4. STRATOSPHERIC TEMPERATURES AND WATER LOSS FROM MOIST GREENHOUSE ATMOSPHERES OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kasting, James F.; Kopparapu, Ravi K.; Chen, Howard

    2015-01-01

    A radiative-convective climate model is used to calculate stratospheric temperatures and water vapor concentrations for ozone-free atmospheres warmer than that of modern Earth. Cold, dry stratospheres are predicted at low surface temperatures, in agreement with recent 3D calculations. However, at surface temperatures above 350 K, the stratosphere warms and water vapor becomes a major upper atmospheric constituent, allowing water to be lost by photodissociation and hydrogen escape. Hence, a moist greenhouse explanation for loss of water from Venus, or some exoplanet receiving a comparable amount of stellar radiation, remains a viable hypothesis. Temperatures in the upper parts of such atmospheres are well below those estimated for a gray atmosphere, and this factor should be taken into account when performing inverse climate calculations to determine habitable zone boundaries using 1D models

  5. Exoplanet dynamics. Asynchronous rotation of Earth-mass planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leconte, Jérémy; Wu, Hanbo; Menou, Kristen; Murray, Norman

    2015-02-06

    Planets in the habitable zone of lower-mass stars are often assumed to be in a state of tidally synchronized rotation, which would considerably affect their putative habitability. Although thermal tides cause Venus to rotate retrogradely, simple scaling arguments tend to attribute this peculiarity to the massive Venusian atmosphere. Using a global climate model, we show that even a relatively thin atmosphere can drive terrestrial planets' rotation away from synchronicity. We derive a more realistic atmospheric tide model that predicts four asynchronous equilibrium spin states, two being stable, when the amplitude of the thermal tide exceeds a threshold that is met for habitable Earth-like planets with a 1-bar atmosphere around stars more massive than ~0.5 to 0.7 solar mass. Thus, many recently discovered terrestrial planets could exhibit asynchronous spin-orbit rotation, even with a thin atmosphere. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. A Statistical Characterization of Reflection and Refraction in the Atmospheres of sub-Saturn Kepler Planet Candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheets, Holly A.; Deming, Drake; Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    We present the results of our method to detect small atmospheric signals in Kepler's close-in, sub-Saturn planet candidate light curves. We detect an average secondary eclipse for groups of super-Earth, Neptune-like, and other sub-Saturn-sized candidates by scaling and combining photometric data of the groups of candidates such that the eclipses add constructively. This greatly increases the signal-to-noise compared to combining eclipses for individual planets. We have modified our method for averaging short cadence light curves of multiple planet candidates (2014, ApJ, 794, 133), and have applied it to long cadence data, accounting for the broadening of the eclipse due to the 30 minute cadence. We then use the secondary eclipse depth to determine the average albedo for the group. In the short cadence data, we found that a group of close-in sub-Saturn candidates (1 to 6 Earth radii) was more reflective (geometric A ~ 0.22) than typical hot Jupiters (geometric A ~ 0.06 to 0.11: Demory 2014, ApJL, 789, L20). With the larger number of candidates available in long cadence, we improve the resolution in radius and consider groups of candidates with radii between 1 and 2, 2 and 4, and 4 and 6 Earth radii. We also modify our averaging technique to search for refracted light just before and after transit in the Kepler candidate light curves, as modelled by Misra and Meadows (2014, ApJL, 795, L14).

  7. Watershed-scale changes in terrestrial nitrogen cycling during a period of decreased atmospheric nitrate and sulfur deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabo, Robert D.; Scanga, Sara E.; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Nelson, David M.; Eshleman, Keith N.; Zabala, Gabriel A.; Alinea, Alexandria A.; Schirmer, Charles D.

    2016-01-01

    Recent reports suggest that decreases in atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition throughout Europe and North America may have resulted in declining nitrate export in surface waters in recent decades, yet it is unknown if and how terrestrial N cycling was affected. During a period of decreased atmospheric N deposition, we assessed changes in forest N cycling by evaluating trends in tree-ring δ15N values (between 1980 and 2010; n = 20 trees per watershed), stream nitrate yields (between 2000 and 2011), and retention of atmospherically-deposited N (between 2000 and 2011) in the North and South Tributaries (North and South, respectively) of Buck Creek in the Adirondack Mountains, USA. We hypothesized that tree-ring δ15N values would decline following decreases in atmospheric N deposition (after approximately 1995), and that trends in stream nitrate export and retention of atmospherically deposited N would mirror changes in tree-ring δ15N values. Three of the six sampled tree species and the majority of individual trees showed declining linear trends in δ15N for the period 1980–2010; only two individual trees showed increasing trends in δ15N values. From 1980 to 2010, trees in the watersheds of both tributaries displayed long-term declines in tree-ring δ15N values at the watershed scale (R = −0.35 and p = 0.001 in the North and R = −0.37 and p <0.001 in the South). The decreasing δ15N trend in the North was associated with declining stream nitrate concentrations (−0.009 mg N L−1 yr−1, p = 0.02), but no change in the retention of atmospherically deposited N was observed. In contrast, nitrate yields in the South did not exhibit a trend, and the watershed became less retentive of atmospherically deposited N (−7.3% yr−1, p < 0.001). Our δ15N results indicate a change in terrestrial N availability in both watersheds prior to decreases in atmospheric N deposition, suggesting that decreased atmospheric N deposition was not the sole driver of

  8. Venus: The Atmosphere, Climate, Surface, Interior and Near-Space Environment of an Earth-Like Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Fredric W.; Svedhem, Håkan; Head, James W.

    2018-02-01

    This is a review of current knowledge about Earth's nearest planetary neighbour and near twin, Venus. Such knowledge has recently been extended by the European Venus Express and the Japanese Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit around the planet; these missions and their achievements are concisely described in the first part of the review, along with a summary of previous Venus observations. The scientific discussions which follow are divided into three main sections: on the surface and interior; the atmosphere and climate; and the thermosphere, exosphere and magnetosphere. These reports are intended to provide an overview for the general reader, and also an introduction to the more detailed topical surveys in the following articles in this issue, where full references to original material may be found.

  9. Magnetospheric energy inputs into the upper atmospheres of the giant planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. G. A. Smith

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available We revisit the effects of Joule heating upon the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. We show that in addition to direct Joule heating there is an additional input of kinetic energy – ion drag energy – which we quantify relative to the Joule heating. We also show that fluctuations about the mean electric field, as observed in the Earth's ionosphere, may significantly increase the Joule heating itself. For physically plausible parameters these effects may increase previous estimates of the upper atmospheric energy input at Saturn from ~10 TW to ~20 TW.

    Keywords. Ionosphere (Electric fields and currents; Planetary ionosphere – Magnetospheric physics (Auroral phenomena

  10. The Potential Impact of Mars' Atmospheric Dust on Future Human Exploration of the Red Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhalter, D.; Levine, J. S.; Kerschmann, R.; Beaty, D. W.; Carrier, B. L.; Ashley, J. W.

    2017-12-01

    With the increasing focus by NASA and other space agencies on a crewed mission to Mars in the 2039 time-frame, many Mars-specific environmental factors are now starting to be considered by NASA and other engineering teams. Learning from NASA's Apollo Missions to the Moon, where lunar dust turned out to be a significant challenge to mission and crew safety, attention is now turning to the dust in Mars' atmosphere and regolith. To start the process of identifying possible dust-caused challenges to the human presence on Mars, and thus aid early engineering and mission design efforts, the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Robotic Spacecraft Technical Discipline Team organized and conducted a Workshop on the "Dust in Mars' Atmosphere and Its Impact on the Human Exploration of Mars", held at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), Houston, TX, June 13-15, 2017. The workshop addressed the following general areas: 1. What is known about Mars' dust in terms of its physical and chemical properties, its local and global abundance and composition, and its variability.2. What is the impact of Mars atmospheric dust on human health.3. What is the impact of Mars atmospheric dust on surface mechanical systems (e.g., spacesuits, habitats, mobility systems, etc.). We present the top priority issues identified in the workshop.

  11. Redox States of Initial Atmospheres Outgassed on Rocky Planets and Planetesimals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, Laura [Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States); Fegley, Bruce Jr., E-mail: lschaefer@asu.edu [Planetary Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States)

    2017-07-10

    The Earth and other rocky planets and planetesimals in the solar system formed through the mixing of materials from various radial locations in the solar nebula. This primordial material likely had a range of oxidation states as well as bulk compositions and volatile abundances. We investigate the oxygen fugacity produced by the outgassing of mixtures of solid meteoritic material, which approximate the primitive nebular materials. We find that the gas composition and oxygen fugacity of binary and ternary mixtures of meteoritic materials vary depending on the proportion of reduced versus oxidized material, and also find that mixtures using differentiated materials do not show the same oxygen fugacity trends as those using similarly reduced but undifferentiated materials. We also find that simply mixing the gases produced by individual meteoritic materials together does not correctly reproduce the gas composition or oxygen fugacity of the binary and ternary mixtures. We provide tabulated fits for the oxygen fugacities of all of the individual materials and binary mixtures that we investigate. These values may be useful in planetary formation models, models of volatile transport on planetesimals or meteorite parent bodies, or models of trace element partitioning during metal-silicate fractionation.

  12. Study on characteristics of the aperture-averaging factor of atmospheric scintillation in terrestrial optical wireless communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Hong; Liu, Wen-xing; Zhou, Xue-yun; Zhou, Li-ling; Yu, Long-Kun

    2018-02-01

    In order to thoroughly understand the characteristics of the aperture-averaging effect of atmospheric scintillation in terrestrial optical wireless communication and provide references for engineering design and performance evaluation of the optics system employed in the atmosphere, we have theoretically deduced the generally analytic expression of the aperture-averaging factor of atmospheric scintillation, and numerically investigated characteristics of the apertureaveraging factor under different propagation conditions. The limitations of the current commonly used approximate calculation formula of aperture-averaging factor have been discussed, and the results showed that the current calculation formula is not applicable for the small receiving aperture under non-uniform turbulence link. Numerical calculation has showed that aperture-averaging factor of atmospheric scintillation presented an exponential decline model for the small receiving aperture under non-uniform turbulent link, and the general expression of the model was given. This model has certain guiding significance for evaluating the aperture-averaging effect in the terrestrial optical wireless communication.

  13. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet Orbital Transfer and Lander Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) mining factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. For analyses of round trip OTV flights from Uranus to Miranda or Titania, a 10- Megawatt electric (MWe) OTV power level and a 200 metricton (MT) lander payload were selected based on a relative short OTV trip time and minimization of the number of lander flights. A similar optimum power level is suggested for OTVs flying from low orbit around Neptune to Thalassa or Triton. Several moon base sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  14. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  15. On the nature of obstacles braking solar wind near Mars and Venera planets and on specific features of the interaction between solar wind and atmospheres of these planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breus, T.K.; Gringauz, K.I.

    1980-01-01

    Discussed is the nature of obstacles braking solar wind near Mars and Venera according to the data of soviet measurements at ''Mars'' and ''Venera'' series automatic interplanetary stations. It is shown that alongside with essential similarity there exist differences among the zones of flow-around of Venera and Mars by solar wind. Such differences include, particularly, smaller dimensions of the obstacle of Venera as compared with Mars, and correspondingly less remote position of the shock wave front from the planet, different peculiarities of property changes of day-time ionosphere depending on the Sun zenith angle and other. The analysis of the experimental data permits to conclude that ionosphere and correspondingly the induced magnetic field of Venera play a determining role in the formation of the shock wave and the picture of planet flow-around by solar wind, while the determining role in the obstacle formation braking solar wind of Mars is played by the eigen planet field

  16. Possible climates on terrestrial exoplanets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F; Leconte, J

    2014-04-28

    What kind of environment may exist on terrestrial planets around other stars? In spite of the lack of direct observations, it may not be premature to speculate on exoplanetary climates, for instance, to optimize future telescopic observations or to assess the probability of habitable worlds. To begin with, climate primarily depends on (i) the atmospheric composition and the volatile inventory; (ii) the incident stellar flux; and (iii) the tidal evolution of the planetary spin, which can notably lock a planet with a permanent night side. The atmospheric composition and mass depends on complex processes, which are difficult to model: origins of volatiles, atmospheric escape, geochemistry, photochemistry, etc. We discuss physical constraints, which can help us to speculate on the possible type of atmosphere, depending on the planet size, its final distance for its star and the star type. Assuming that the atmosphere is known, the possible climates can be explored using global climate models analogous to the ones developed to simulate the Earth as well as the other telluric atmospheres in the solar system. Our experience with Mars, Titan and Venus suggests that realistic climate simulators can be developed by combining components, such as a 'dynamical core', a radiative transfer solver, a parametrization of subgrid-scale turbulence and convection, a thermal ground model and a volatile phase change code. On this basis, we can aspire to build reliable climate predictors for exoplanets. However, whatever the accuracy of the models, predicting the actual climate regime on a specific planet will remain challenging because climate systems are affected by strong positive feedbacks. They can drive planets with very similar forcing and volatile inventory to completely different states. For instance, the coupling among temperature, volatile phase changes and radiative properties results in instabilities, such as runaway glaciations and runaway greenhouse effect.

  17. Young planets under extreme UV irradiation. I. Upper atmosphere modelling of the young exoplanet K2-33b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubyshkina, D.; Lendl, M.; Fossati, L.; Cubillos, P. E.; Lammer, H.; Erkaev, N. V.; Johnstone, C. P.

    2018-04-01

    The K2-33 planetary system hosts one transiting 5 R⊕ planet orbiting the young M-type host star. The planet's mass is still unknown, with an estimated upper limit of 5.4 MJ. The extreme youth of the system (age of the system indicates that the planet is more massive than 10 M⊕.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Hydrothermal simulation experiments as a tool for studies of the origin of life on Earth and other terrestrial planets: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Nils G; Andersson, Eva

    2005-08-01

    life on Earth and probably also to the other terrestrial planets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Regional pattern and interannual variations in global terrestrial carbon uptake in response to changes in climate and atmospheric CO2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao, Mingkui; Tao, B.; Li, Kerang; Prince, Stephen D.; Small, J.

    2005-01-01

    Atmospheric measurements indicate that the terrestrial carbon sink increased substantially from the 1980s to the 1990s, but which factors and regions were responsible for the increase are not well identified yet. Using process- and remote sensing-based ecosystem models, we show that changes in climate and atmospheric CO 2 in the period 1981-2000 enhanced net ecosystem production (NEP) and caused major geographical changes in the global distribution of NEP. In the 1980s the Americas accounted for almost all of the global NEP, but in the 1990s NEP in Eurasia and Africa became higher than that of the Americas. The year-to-year variation in global NEP was up to 2.5 Pg C (1 Pg = 10 15 g), in which 1.4 Pg C was attributable to the El Nino Southern Oscillation cycle (ENSO). NEP clearly decreased in El Nino and increased in La Nina in South America and Africa, but the response in North America and Eurasia was mixed. The estimated NEP increases accounted for only 30% of the global terrestrial carbon sink but can explain almost all of the increase from the 1980s to the 1990s. Because a large part of the increase in NEP was driven by the long-term trend of climate and atmospheric CO 2 , the increase in the global terrestrial carbon sink from the 1980s to the 1990s was a continuation of the trend since the middle of the twentieth century, rather than merely a consequence of short-time climate variability

  2. Problems of simulation of large, long-lived vortices in the atmospheres of the giant planets (jupiter, saturn, neptune)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nezlin, Michael V.; Sutyrin, Georgi G.

    1994-01-01

    Large, long-lived vortices are abundant in the atmospheres of the giant planets. Some of them survive a few orders of magnitude longer than the dispersive linear Rossby wave packets, e.g. the Great Red Spot (GRS), Little Red Spot (LRS) and White Ovals (WO) of Jupiter, Big Bertha, Brown Spot and Anne's Spot of Saturn, the Great Dark Spot (GDS) of Neptune, etc. Nonlinear effects which prevent their dispersion spreading are the main subject of our consideration. Particular emphasis is placed on determining the dynamical processes which may explain the remarkable properties of observed vortices such as anticyclonic rotation in preference to cyclonic one and the uniqueness of the GRS, the largest coherent vortex, along the perimeter of Jupiter at corresponding latitude. We review recent experimental and theoretical studies of steadily translating solitary Rossby vortices (anticyclones) in a rotating shallow fluid. Two-dimensional monopolar solitary vortices trap fluid which is transported westward. These dualistic structures appear to be vortices, on the one hand, and solitary “waves”, on the other hand. Owing to the presence of the trapped fluid, such solitary structures collide inelastically and have a memory of the initial disturbance which is responsible for the formation of the structure. As a consequence, they have no definite relationship between the amplitude and characteristic size. Their vortical properties are connected with geostrophic advection of local vorticity. Their solitary properties (nonspreading and stationary translation) are due to a balance between Rossby wave dispersion and nonlinear effects which allow the anticyclones, with an elevation of a free surface, to propagate faster than the linear waves, without a resonance with linear waves, i.e. without wave radiation. On the other hand, cyclones, with a depression of a free surface, are dispersive and nonstationary features. This asymmetry in dispersion-nonlinear properties of cyclones and

  3. North America's net terrestrial CO2 exchange with the atmosphere 1990-2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    A.W. King; R.J. Andres; K J. Davis; M. Hafer; D.J. Hayes; D.N. Huntzinger; B. de Jong; W.A. Kurz; A.D. McGuire; R. Vargas; Y. Wei; T.O. West; C.W. Woodall

    2015-01-01

    Scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle is required for developing national and international policy to mitigate fossil fuel CO2 emissions by managing terrestrial carbon uptake. Toward that understanding and as a contribution to the REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes (RECCAP) project, this paper provides a synthesis of net...

  4. Absorption of solar energy heats up our planet's surface and the atmosphere and makes life for us po

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Credit: Image courtesy Barbara Summey, NASA Goddard Visualization Analysis Lab, based upon data processed by Takmeng Wong, CERES Science Team, NASA Langley Research Center Satellite: Terra Sensor: CERES Image Date: 09-30-2001 VE Record ID: 11546 Description: Absorption of solar energy heats up our planet's surface and the atmosphere and makes life for us possible. But the energy cannot stay bound up in the Earth's environment forever. If it did then the Earth would be as hot as the Sun. Instead, as the surface and the atmosphere warm, they emit thermal longwave radiation, some of which escapes into space and allows the Earth to cool. This false-color image of the Earth was produced on September 30, 2001, by the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument flying aboard NASA's Terra spacecraft. The image shows where more or less heat, in the form of longwave radiation, is emanating from the top of Earth's atmosphere. As one can see in the image, the thermal radiation leaving the oceans is fairly uniform. The blue swaths across the central Pacific represent thick clouds, the tops of which are so high they are among the coldest places on Earth. In the American Southwest, which can be seen in the upper righthand corner of the globe, there is often little cloud cover to block outgoing radiation and relatively little water to absorb solar energy. Consequently, the amount of outgoing radiation in the American Southwest exceeds that of the oceans. Also, that region was experiencing an extreme heatwave when these data were acquired. Recently, NASA researchers discovered that incoming solar radiation and outgoing thermal radiation increased in the tropics from the 1980s to the 1990s. (Click to read the press release .) They believe that the reason for the unexpected increase has to do with an apparent change in circulation patterns around the globe, which effectively reduced the amount of water vapor and cloud cover in the upper reaches of the atmosphere

  5. Classifying Planets: Nature vs. Nurture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beichman, Charles A.

    2009-05-01

    The idea of a planet was so simple when we learned about the solar system in elementary school. Now students and professional s alike are faced with confusing array of definitions --- from "Brown Dwarfs” to "Super Jupiters", from "Super Earths” to "Terrestrial Planets", and from "Planets” to "Small, Sort-of Round Things That Aren't Really Planets". I will discuss how planets might be defined by how they formed, where they are found, or by the life they might support.

  6. Taking the Temperature of a Lava Planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreidberg, Laura; Lopez, Eric; Cowan, Nick; Lupu, Roxana; Stevenson, Kevin; Louden, Tom; Malavolta, Luca

    2018-05-01

    Ultra-short period rocky planets (USPs) are an exotic class of planet found around less than 1% of stars. With orbital periods shorter than 24 hours, these worlds are blasted with stellar radiation that is expected to obliterate any traces of a primordial atmosphere and melt the dayside surface into a magma ocean. Observations of USPs have yielded several surprising results, including the measurement of an offset hotspot in the thermal phase curve of 55 Cancri e (which may indicate a thick atmosphere has survived), and a high Bond albedo for Kepler-10b, which suggests the presence of unusually reflective lava on its surface. To further explore the properties of USPs and put these results in context, we propose to observe a thermal phase curve of the newly discovered USP K2- 141b. This planet is a rocky world in a 6.7 hour orbit around a bright, nearby star. When combined with optical phase curve measured by K2, our observations will uniquely determine the planet's Bond albedo, precisely measure the offset of the thermal curve, and determine the temperature of the dayside surface. These results will cement Spitzer's role as a pioneer in the study of terrestrial planets beyond the Solar System, and provide a critical foundation for pursuing the optimal follow-up strategy for K2-141b with JWST.

  7. Direct Imaging of Warm Extrasolar Planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Macintosh, B

    2005-01-01

    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

  8. Atmospheric Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aplin, Karen; Fischer, Georg

    2018-02-01

    Electricity occurs in atmospheres across the Solar System planets and beyond, spanning spectacular lightning displays in clouds of water or dust, to more subtle effects of charge and electric fields. On Earth, lightning is likely to have existed for a long time, based on evidence from fossilized lightning strikes in ancient rocks, but observations of planetary lightning are necessarily much more recent. The generation and observations of lightning and other atmospheric electrical processes, both from within-atmosphere measurements, and spacecraft remote sensing, can be readily studied using a comparative planetology approach, with Earth as a model. All atmospheres contain charged molecules, electrons, and/or molecular clusters created by ionization from cosmic rays and other processes, which may affect an atmosphere's energy balance both through aerosol and cloud formation, and direct absorption of radiation. Several planets are anticipated to host a "global electric circuit" by analogy with the circuit occurring on Earth, where thunderstorms drive current of ions or electrons through weakly conductive parts of the atmosphere. This current flow may further modulate an atmosphere's radiative properties through cloud and aerosol effects. Lightning could potentially have implications for life through its effects on atmospheric chemistry and particle transport. It has been observed on many of the Solar System planets (Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and it may also be present on Venus and Mars. On Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, lightning is thought to be generated in deep water and ice clouds, but discharges can be generated in dust, as for terrestrial volcanic lightning, and on Mars. Other, less well-understood mechanisms causing discharges in non-water clouds also seem likely. The discovery of thousands of exoplanets has recently led to a range of further exotic possibilities for atmospheric electricity, though lightning detection beyond our Solar System

  9. Chaos in Kepler's Multiple Planet Systems and K2s Observations of the Atmospheres of Uranus Neptune

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, Jack J.

    2016-01-01

    More than one-third of the 4700 planet candidates found by NASA's Kepler spacecraft during its prime mission are associated with target stars that have more than one planet candidate, and such "multis" account for the vast majority of candidates that have been verified as true planets. The large number of multis tells us that flat multiplanet systems like our Solar System are common. Virtually all of the candidate planetary systems are stable, as tested by numerical integrations that assume a physically motivated mass-radius relationship, but some of the systems lie in chaotic regions close to instability. The characteristics of some of the most interesting confirmed Kepler multi-planet systems will be discussed. The Kepler spacecraft's 'second life' in theK2 mission has allowed it to obtain long time-series observations of Solar System targets, including the giant planets Uranus & Neptune. These observations show variability caused by the chaotic weather patterns on Uranus & Neptune.

  10. An instrument to measure turbulent eddy fluxes in the atmosphere of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. Rafkin; D. Banfield; R. Dissly; J. Silver; A. Stanton; E. Wilkinson; W. Massman; J. Ham

    2012-01-01

    Turbulent eddies in the planetary boundary layer of the terrestrial planet atmospheres are the primary mechanism by which energy, momentum, gasses, and aerosols are exchanged between the surface and the atmosphere [1]. The importance of eddies has long been recognized by the Earth atmospheric science community, and turbulent theory for Earth has a long history with a...

  11. Deep Thermal Infrared Imaging of HR 8799 bcde: New Atmospheric Constraints and Limits on a Fifth Planet

    OpenAIRE

    Currie, Thayne; Burrows, Adam; Girard, Julien H.; Cloutier, Ryan; Fukagawa, Misato; Sorahana, Satoko; Kuchner, Marc; Kenyon, Scott J.; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Itoh, Yoichi; Jayawardhana, Ray; Matsumura, Soko; Pyo, Tae-Soo

    2014-01-01

    We present new $L^\\prime$ (3.8 $\\mu m$) and Br-$\\alpha$ (4.05 $\\mu m$) data and reprocessed archival $L^\\prime$ data for the young, planet-hosting star HR 8799 obtained with Keck/NIRC2, VLT/NaCo and Subaru/IRCS. We detect all four HR 8799 planets in each dataset at a moderate to high signal-to-noise (SNR $\\gtrsim$ 6-15). We fail to identify a fifth planet, "HR 8799 f", at $r$ $

  12. Modeling coupled interactions of carbon, water, and ozone exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. I: Model description

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikolov, Ned; Zeller, Karl F.

    2003-01-01

    A new biophysical model (FORFLUX) is presented to link ozone deposition with carbon and water cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. - A new biophysical model (FORFLUX) is presented to study the simultaneous exchange of ozone, carbon dioxide, and water vapor between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. The model mechanistically couples all major processes controlling ecosystem flows trace gases and water implementing recent concepts in plant eco-physiology, micrometeorology, and soil hydrology. FORFLUX consists of four interconnected modules-a leaf photosynthesis model, a canopy flux model, a soil heat-, water- and CO 2 - transport model, and a snow pack model. Photosynthesis, water-vapor flux and ozone uptake at the leaf level are computed by the LEAFC3 sub-model. The canopy module scales leaf responses to a stand level by numerical integration of the LEAFC3 model over canopy leaf area index (LAI). The integration takes into account (1) radiative transfer inside the canopy, (2) variation of foliage photosynthetic capacity with canopy depth, (3) wind speed attenuation throughout the canopy, and (4) rainfall interception by foliage elements. The soil module uses principles of the diffusion theory to predict temperature and moisture dynamics within the soil column, evaporation, and CO 2 efflux from soil. The effect of soil heterogeneity on field-scale fluxes is simulated employing the Bresler-Dagan stochastic concept. The accumulation and melt of snow on the ground is predicted using an explicit energy balance approach. Ozone deposition is modeled as a sum of three fluxes- ozone uptake via plant stomata, deposition to non-transpiring plant surfaces, and ozone flux into the ground. All biophysical interactions are computed hourly while model projections are made at either hourly or daily time step. FORFLUX represents a comprehensive approach to studying ozone deposition and its link to carbon and water cycles in terrestrial ecosystems

  13. The effect of a strong stellar flare on the atmospheric chemistry of an earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segura, Antígona; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Meadows, Victoria; Kasting, James; Hawley, Suzanne

    2010-09-01

    Main sequence M stars pose an interesting problem for astrobiology: their abundance in our galaxy makes them likely targets in the hunt for habitable planets, but their strong chromospheric activity produces high-energy radiation and charged particles that may be detrimental to life. We studied the impact of the 1985 April 12 flare from the M dwarf AD Leonis (AD Leo), simulating the effects from both UV radiation and protons on the atmospheric chemistry of a hypothetical, Earth-like planet located within its habitable zone. Based on observations of solar proton events and the Neupert effect, we estimated a proton flux associated with the flare of 5.9 × 10⁸ protons cm⁻² sr⁻¹ s⁻¹ for particles with energies >10 MeV. Then we calculated the abundance of nitrogen oxides produced by the flare by scaling the production of these compounds during a large solar proton event called the Carrington event. The simulations were performed with a 1-D photochemical model coupled to a 1-D radiative/convective model. Our results indicate that the UV radiation emitted during the flare does not produce a significant change in the ozone column depth of the planet. When the action of protons is included, the ozone depletion reaches a maximum of 94% two years after the flare for a planet with no magnetic field. At the peak of the flare, the calculated UV fluxes that reach the surface, in the wavelength ranges that are damaging for life, exceed those received on Earth during less than 100 s. Therefore, flares may not present a direct hazard for life on the surface of an orbiting habitable planet. Given that AD Leo is one of the most magnetically active M dwarfs known, this conclusion should apply to planets around other M dwarfs with lower levels of chromospheric activity.

  14. The development of GPS TroWav tool for atmosphericterrestrial studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suparta, W

    2014-01-01

    We have developed an efficient tool to process dual-frequency Global Positioning System (GPS) signals and the surface meteorological data, called the Tropospheric Water Vapor (TroWav) program. TroWav is a stand-alone program to compute atmospheric precipitable water vapor (PWV). The source of the program is developed using Matlab TM and the graphical user interface for the system was developed using a Visual Basic. The algorithms of the program capable to compute satellite elevation angle, Zenith Tropospheric Delay (ZTD), Zenith Hydrostatic Delay (ZHD), Zenith Wet Delay (ZWD) and mapping function. The tool is very practical and useful for sustainable atmospheric management.

  15. Models for the evaluation of ingestion doses from the consumption of terrestrial foods following an atmospheric radioactive release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, S.

    1984-04-01

    Various methods are described which have been incorporated in the FOODWEB module of the CEGB's NECTAR environmental code and are currently being used within CEGB to assess ingestion doses from consumption of terrestrial foods following an atmospheric radioactive release. Four foodchain models which have been developed within CEGB are fully described and results of typical calculations presented. Also given are the results of a validation of the dynamic model against measured 90 Sr and 137 Cs levels in milk in the U.K. resulting from weapons fallout. Methods are also described for calculating individual and population doses from ingestion using the results of the model calculations. The population dose calculations utilise a data base describing the spatial distribution of production of a wide range of agricultural products. The development of such a data base for Great Britain is described, based on the 1972 land use and livestock census, and maps are presented for each agricultural product. (U.K.)

  16. A Carbon Flux Super Site. New Insights and Innovative Atmosphere-Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Measurements and Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leclerc, Monique Y. [The University of Georgia Research Foundation, Athens, GA (United States)

    2014-11-17

    This final report presents the main activities and results of the project “A Carbon Flux Super Site: New Insights and Innovative Atmosphere-Terrestrial Carbon Exchange Measurements and Modeling” from 10/1/2006 to 9/30/2014. It describes the new AmeriFlux tower site (Aiken) at Savanna River Site (SC) and instrumentation, long term eddy-covariance, sodar, microbarograph, soil and other measurements at the site, and intensive field campaigns of tracer experiment at the Carbon Flux Super Site, SC, in 2009 and at ARM-CF site, Lamont, OK, and experiments in Plains, GA. The main results on tracer experiment and modeling, on low-level jet characteristics and their impact on fluxes, on gravity waves and their influence on eddy fluxes, and other results are briefly described in the report.

  17. Planet Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podolak, Morris

    2018-04-01

    Modern observational techniques are still not powerful enough to directly view planet formation, and so it is necessary to rely on theory. However, observations do give two important clues to the formation process. The first is that the most primitive form of material in interstellar space exists as a dilute gas. Some of this gas is unstable against gravitational collapse, and begins to contract. Because the angular momentum of the gas is not zero, it contracts along the spin axis, but remains extended in the plane perpendicular to that axis, so that a disk is formed. Viscous processes in the disk carry most of the mass into the center where a star eventually forms. In the process, almost as a by-product, a planetary system is formed as well. The second clue is the time required. Young stars are indeed observed to have gas disks, composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, surrounding them, and observations tell us that these disks dissipate after about 5 to 10 million years. If planets like Jupiter and Saturn, which are very rich in hydrogen and helium, are to form in such a disk, they must accrete their gas within 5 million years of the time of the formation of the disk. Any formation scenario one proposes must produce Jupiter in that time, although the terrestrial planets, which don't contain significant amounts of hydrogen and helium, could have taken longer to build. Modern estimates for the formation time of the Earth are of the order of 100 million years. To date there are two main candidate theories for producing Jupiter-like planets. The core accretion (CA) scenario supposes that any solid materials in the disk slowly coagulate into protoplanetary cores with progressively larger masses. If the core remains small enough it won't have a strong enough gravitational force to attract gas from the surrounding disk, and the result will be a terrestrial planet. If the core grows large enough (of the order of ten Earth masses), and the disk has not yet dissipated, then

  18. The upper atmosphere and solar-terrestrial relations - An introduction to the aerospace environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hargreaves, J.K.

    1979-01-01

    A theoretical and observational overview of earth's aerospace environment is presented in this book. Emphasis is placed on the principles and observed phenomena of the neutral upper atmosphere, particularly in relation to solar activity. Topics include the structure of the ionosphere and magnetosphere, waves in the magnetosphere, solar flares and solar protons, and storms and other disturbance phenomena, while applications to communications, navigation and space technology are also discussed

  19. Spectral fingerprints of Earth-like planets around FGK stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugheimer, Sarah; Kaltenegger, Lisa; Zsom, Andras; Segura, Antígona; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2013-03-01

    We present model atmospheres for an Earth-like planet orbiting the entire grid of main sequence FGK stars with effective temperatures ranging from Teff=4250 K to Teff=7000 K in 250 K intervals. We have modeled the remotely detectable spectra of Earth-like planets for clear and cloudy atmospheres at the 1 AU equivalent distance from the VIS to IR (0.4 to 20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges in accordance with the James Webb Space Telescope and future design concepts to characterize exo-Earths. We have also explored the effect of the stellar UV levels as well as spectral energy distribution on a terrestrial atmosphere, concentrating on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl. The increase in UV dominates changes of O3, OH, CH4, N2O, and CH3Cl, whereas the increase in stellar temperature dominates changes in H2O. The overall effect as stellar effective temperatures and corresponding UV increase is a lower surface temperature of the planet due to a bigger part of the stellar flux being reflected at short wavelengths, as well as increased photolysis. Earth-like atmosphere models show more O3 and OH but less stratospheric CH4, N2O, CH3Cl, and tropospheric H2O (but more stratospheric H2O) with increasing effective temperature of main sequence stars. The corresponding detectable spectral features, on the other hand, show different detectability depending on the wavelength observed. We concentrate on directly imaged planets here as a framework to interpret future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone at varying orbital positions.

  20. Observed and Modeled Tritium Concentrations in the Terrestrial Food Chain near a Continuous Atmospheric Source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, P.A.; Kim, S.B.; Chouhan, S.L.; Workman, W.J.G.

    2005-01-01

    Tritium concentrations were measured in a large number of environmental and biological samples collected during 2002 at two dairy farms and a hobby farm near Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario, Canada. The data cover most compartments of the terrestrial food chain in an agricultural setting and include detailed information on the diets of the local farm animals. Ratios of plant OBT concentration to air moisture HTO varied between 0.12 and 0.56, and were generally higher for the forage crops collected at the dairy farms than for the garden vegetables sampled at the hobby farm. Animal OBT to air HTO ratios were more uniform, ranging from 0.18 to 0.45, and were generally higher for the milk and beef samples from the dairy farms than for the chicken products from the hobby farm. The observed OBT concentrations in plants and animals were compared with predictions of IMPACT, the model used by the Canadian nuclear industry to calculate annual average doses due to routine releases. The model performed well on average for the animal endpoints but overestimated concentrations in plants by a factor of 2

  1. Response of atmospheric biomarkers to NO(x)-induced photochemistry generated by stellar cosmic rays for earth-like planets in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenfell, John Lee; Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A Beate C; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-12-01

    Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N(2)), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O(3)). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NO(x) production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O(3) formation proceeds via the reaction O+O(2)+M→O(3)+M. At high NO(x) abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO(2) photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O(2)). For the flaring case, O(3) is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O(3)→NO(2)+O(2), and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O(3), Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O(2), N(2), and CO(2)) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O(3) survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong

  2. Response of Atmospheric Biomarkers to NOx-Induced Photochemistry Generated by Stellar Cosmic Rays for Earth-like Planets in the Habitable Zone of M Dwarf Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grießmeier, Jean-Mathias; von Paris, Philip; Patzer, A. Beate C.; Lammer, Helmut; Stracke, Barbara; Gebauer, Stefanie; Schreier, Franz; Rauer, Heike

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Understanding whether M dwarf stars may host habitable planets with Earth-like atmospheres and biospheres is a major goal in exoplanet research. If such planets exist, the question remains as to whether they could be identified via spectral signatures of biomarkers. Such planets may be exposed to extreme intensities of cosmic rays that could perturb their atmospheric photochemistry. Here, we consider stellar activity of M dwarfs ranging from quiet up to strong flaring conditions and investigate one particular effect upon biomarkers, namely, the ability of secondary electrons caused by stellar cosmic rays to break up atmospheric molecular nitrogen (N2), which leads to production of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the planetary atmosphere, hence affecting biomarkers such as ozone (O3). We apply a stationary model, that is, without a time dependence; hence we are calculating the limiting case where the atmospheric chemistry response time of the biomarkers is assumed to be slow and remains constant compared with rapid forcing by the impinging stellar flares. This point should be further explored in future work with time-dependent models. We estimate the NOx production using an air shower approach and evaluate the implications using a climate-chemical model of the planetary atmosphere. O3 formation proceeds via the reaction O+O2+M→O3+M. At high NOx abundances, the O atoms arise mainly from NO2 photolysis, whereas on Earth this occurs via the photolysis of molecular oxygen (O2). For the flaring case, O3 is mainly destroyed via direct titration, NO+O3→NO2+O2, and not via the familiar catalytic cycle photochemistry, which occurs on Earth. For scenarios with low O3, Rayleigh scattering by the main atmospheric gases (O2, N2, and CO2) became more important for shielding the planetary surface from UV radiation. A major result of this work is that the biomarker O3 survived all the stellar-activity scenarios considered except for the strong case, whereas the biomarker

  3. Oxidation of atmospheric methane in Northern European soils, comparison with other ecosystems, and uncertainties in the global terrestrial sink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smith, K.A.; Dobbie, K.E.; Ball, B.C.

    2000-01-01

    to the oxidation. The effect of temperature was small, attributed to substrate limitation and low atmospheric concentration. Analysis of all available data for CH4 oxidation rates in situ showed similar log-normal distributions to those obtained for our results, with generally little difference between different......This paper reports the range and statistical distribution of oxidation rates of atmospheric CH4 in soils found in Northern Europe in an international study, and compares them with published data for various other ecosystems. It reassesses the size, and the uncertainty in, the global terrestrial CH4...... sink, and examines the effect of land-use change and other factors on the oxidation rate. Only soils with a very high water table were sources of CH4; all others were sinks. Oxidation rates varied from 1 to nearly 200 µg CH4 m-2 h-1; annual rates for sites measured for =1 y were 0.1-9.1 kg CH4 ha-1 y-1...

  4. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R. [Department of Physical Sciences, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Bagnulo, S. [Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh BT61 9DG (United Kingdom); Kowalski, P. M. [GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, D-14473 Potsdam (Germany); Shulyak, D. V. [Institute of Astrophysics, Georg-August-University, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, D-37077 Goettingen (Germany); Sterzik, M. F., E-mail: l.fossati@open.ac.uk, E-mail: C.A.Haswell@open.ac.uk, E-mail: M.R.Patel@open.ac.uk, E-mail: r.busuttil@open.ac.uk, E-mail: sba@arm.ac.uk, E-mail: kowalski@gfz-potsdam.de, E-mail: denis.shulyak@gmail.com, E-mail: msterzik@eso.org [European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19 (Chile)

    2012-09-20

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for {approx}8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10{sup 2} (10{sup 4}) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M{sub Sun} white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  5. THE HABITABILITY AND DETECTION OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING COOL WHITE DWARFS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossati, L.; Haswell, C. A.; Patel, M. R.; Busuttil, R.; Bagnulo, S.; Kowalski, P. M.; Shulyak, D. V.; Sterzik, M. F.

    2012-01-01

    Since there are several ways planets can survive the giant phase of the host star, we examine the habitability and detection of planets orbiting white dwarfs. As a white dwarf cools from 6000 K to 4000 K, a planet orbiting at 0.01 AU would remain in the continuous habitable zone (CHZ) for ∼8 Gyr. We show that photosynthetic processes can be sustained on such planets. The DNA-weighted UV radiation dose for an Earth-like planet in the CHZ is less than the maxima encountered on Earth, and hence non-magnetic white dwarfs are compatible with the persistence of complex life. Polarization due to a terrestrial planet in the CHZ of a cool white dwarf (CWD) is 10 2 (10 4 ) times larger than it would be in the habitable zone of a typical M-dwarf (Sun-like star). Polarimetry is thus a viable way to detect close-in rocky planets around white dwarfs. Multi-band polarimetry would also allow us to reveal the presence of a planet atmosphere, providing a first characterization. Planets in the CHZ of a 0.6 M ☉ white dwarf will be distorted by Roche geometry, and a Kepler-11d analog would overfill its Roche lobe. With current facilities a super-Earth-sized atmosphereless planet is detectable with polarimetry around the brightest known CWD. Planned future facilities render smaller planets detectable, in particular by increasing the instrumental sensitivity in the blue.

  6. Jupiter: as a planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The planet Jupiter, its planetary mass and atmosphere, radio waves emitted from Jupiter, thermal radiation, internal structure of Jupiter, and the possibility of life on Jupiter are discussed. Educational study projects are included

  7. Jupiter and planet Earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1975-01-01

    The evolution of Jupiter and Earth are discussed along with their atmospheres, the radiation belts around both planets, natural satellites, the evolution of life, and the Pioneer 10. Educational study projects are also included

  8. Inter-annual variability of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as simulated with global terrestrial biosphere models and an atmospheric transport model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujita, Daisuke; Saeki, Tazu; Nakazawa, Takakiyo [Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies; Ishizawa, Misa; Maksyutov, Shamil [Inst. for Global Change Research, Yokohama (Japan). Frontier Research System for Global Change; Thornton, Peter E. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States). Climate and Global Dynamics Div.

    2003-04-01

    Seasonal and inter-annual variations of atmospheric CO{sub 2} for the period from 1961 to 1997 have been simulated using a global tracer transport model driven by a new version of the Biome BioGeochemical Cycle model (Biome-BGC). Biome-BGC was forced by daily temperature and precipitation from the NCEP reanalysis dataset, and the calculated monthly-averaged CO{sub 2} fluxes were used as input to the global transport model. Results from an inter-comparison with the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach model (CASA) and the Simulation model of Carbon CYCLE in Land Ecosystems (Sim-CYCLE) model are also reported. The phase of the seasonal cycle in the Northern Hemisphere was reproduced generally well by Biome-BGC, although the amplitude was smaller compared to the observations and to the other biosphere models. The CO{sub 2} time series simulated by Biome-BGC were compared to the global CO{sub 2} concentration anomalies from the observations at Mauna Loa and the South Pole. The modeled concentration anomalies matched the phase of the inter-annual variations in the atmospheric CO{sub 2} observations; however, the modeled amplitude was lower than the observed value in several cases. The result suggests that a significant part of the inter-annual variability in the global carbon cycle can be accounted for by the terrestrial biosphere models. Simulations performed with another climate-based model, Sim-CYCLE, produced a larger amplitude of inter-annual variability in atmospheric CO{sub 2}, making the amplitude closer to the observed range, but with a more visible phase mismatch in a number of time periods. This may indicate the need to increase the Biome-BGC model sensitivity to seasonal and inter-annual changes in temperature and precipitation.

  9. Inter-annual variability of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations as simulated with global terrestrial biosphere models and an atmospheric transport model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujita, Daisuke; Saeki, Tazu; Nakazawa, Takakiyo; Ishizawa, Misa; Maksyutov, Shamil; Thornton, Peter E.

    2003-01-01

    Seasonal and inter-annual variations of atmospheric CO 2 for the period from 1961 to 1997 have been simulated using a global tracer transport model driven by a new version of the Biome BioGeochemical Cycle model (Biome-BGC). Biome-BGC was forced by daily temperature and precipitation from the NCEP reanalysis dataset, and the calculated monthly-averaged CO 2 fluxes were used as input to the global transport model. Results from an inter-comparison with the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach model (CASA) and the Simulation model of Carbon CYCLE in Land Ecosystems (Sim-CYCLE) model are also reported. The phase of the seasonal cycle in the Northern Hemisphere was reproduced generally well by Biome-BGC, although the amplitude was smaller compared to the observations and to the other biosphere models. The CO 2 time series simulated by Biome-BGC were compared to the global CO 2 concentration anomalies from the observations at Mauna Loa and the South Pole. The modeled concentration anomalies matched the phase of the inter-annual variations in the atmospheric CO 2 observations; however, the modeled amplitude was lower than the observed value in several cases. The result suggests that a significant part of the inter-annual variability in the global carbon cycle can be accounted for by the terrestrial biosphere models. Simulations performed with another climate-based model, Sim-CYCLE, produced a larger amplitude of inter-annual variability in atmospheric CO 2 , making the amplitude closer to the observed range, but with a more visible phase mismatch in a number of time periods. This may indicate the need to increase the Biome-BGC model sensitivity to seasonal and inter-annual changes in temperature and precipitation

  10. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Thermal histories of Mercury and the Moon. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    To determine a planet's thermal history, a wide range of data is necessary. These data include remote sensing results, photogeologic evidence, magnetic field and remanent magnetization data, composition and ages of samples, and physical parameters of the planet and its orbit. Few of these data form unambiguous constraints for thermal models of Mercury. Igneous Chronology as the time history of the differentiation and igneous activity, is defined. Igneous Chronology is used here in the sense of the apparent igneous or relative chronology of geologic events, such as plains formation (through whatever mechanism) relative to the crater production and tectonic history (lineament and scarp formation).

  11. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Alternative thermal histories. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Interpretations supporting a differentiated, once active Mercury are listed. Alternative scenarios of the planet's thermal history involve: different distributions of accreted materials, including uranium and thorium-rich materials; variations of early melting; and different modes of plains and scarp formation. Arguments are advanced which strongly favor plains formation by volcanism, lack of a primordial surface, and possible identification of remnant tensional features. Studies of remotely sensed data which strongly suggest a modestly homogeneous surface of silicates imply core separation. Reasons for accepting or rejecting various hypotheses for thermal histories of the planet are mentioned.

  12. Equilibrium Temperatures and Albedos of Habitable Earth-Like Planets in a Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean GCM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Genio, Anthony; Way, Michael; Amundsen, David; Sohl, Linda; Fujii, Yuka; Ebihara, Yuka; Kiang, Nancy; Chandler, Mark; Aleinov, Igor; Kelley, Maxwell

    2017-01-01

    The potential habitability of detected exoplanets is typically assessed using the concept of equilibrium temperature (T[subscript] e) based on cloud-free 1-D models with assumed albedo equal to Earth's (0.3) to determine whether a planet lies in the habitable zone. Incident stellar flux appears to be a better metric for stars unlike the Sun. These estimates, however, ignore the effect of clouds on planetary albedo and the fact that the climates of synchronously rotating planets are not well predicted by 1-D models. Given that most planet candidates that will be detected in the next few years will be tidally locked and orbiting M stars, how might the habitable zone e tailored to better in-form characterization with scarce observing resources?

  13. The planet Mercury (1971)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The physical properties of the planet Mercury, its surface, and atmosphere are presented for space vehicle design criteria. The mass, dimensions, mean density, and orbital and rotational motions are described. The gravity field, magnetic field, electromagnetic radiation, and charged particles in the planet's orbit are discussed. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, and composition data are given along with the surface composition, soil mechanical properties, and topography, and the surface electromagnetic and temperature properties.

  14. Preface to the special issue of PSS on "Surfaces, atmospheres and magnetospheres of the outer planets, their satellites and ring systems: Part XII″

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, A.; Atreya, S.; Castillo-Rogez, J.; Mueller-Wodarg, I.; Spilker, L.; Strazzulla, G.

    2018-06-01

    This issue contains six articles on original research and review papers presented in the past year in sessions organized during several international meetings and congresses including the European Geosciences Union (EGU), European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) and others. The manuscripts cover recent observations and models of the atmospheres, magnetospheres and surfaces of the giant planets and their satellites based on ongoing and recent planetary missions. Concepts of architecture and payload for future space missions are also presented. The six articles in this special issue cover a variety of objects in the outer solar system ranging from Jupiter to Neptune and the possibilities for their exploration. A brief introductory summary of their findings follows.

  15. Very high-density planets: a possible remnant of gas giants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocquet, A; Grasset, O; Sotin, C

    2014-04-28

    Data extracted from the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia (see http://exoplanet.eu) show the existence of planets that are more massive than iron cores that would have the same size. After meticulous verification of the data, we conclude that the mass of the smallest of these planets is actually not known. However, the three largest planets, Kepler-52b, Kepler-52c and Kepler-57b, which are between 30 and 100 times the mass of the Earth, have indeed density larger than an iron planet of the same size. This observation triggers this study that investigates under which conditions these planets could represent the naked cores of gas giants that would have lost their atmospheres during their migration towards the star. This study shows that for moderate viscosity values (10(25) Pa s or lower), large values of escape rate and associated unloading stress rate during the atmospheric loss process lead to the explosion of extremely massive planets. However, for moderate escape rate, the bulk viscosity and finite-strain incompressibility of the cores of giant planets can be large enough to retain a very high density during geological time scales. This would make those a new kind of planet, which would help in understanding the interior structure of the gas giants. However, this new family of exoplanets adds some degeneracy for characterizing terrestrial exoplanets.

  16. Origin and Evolution of Planetary Atmospheres Implications for Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Lammer, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    Based on the author’s own work and results obtained by international teams he coordinated, this SpringerBrief offers a concise discussion of the origin and early evolution of atmospheres of terrestrial planets during the active phase of their host stars, as well as of the environmental conditions which are necessary in order for planets like the Earth to obtain N_2-rich atmospheres. Possible thermal and non-thermal atmospheric escape processes are discussed in a comparative way between the planets in the Solar System and exoplanets. Lastly, a hypothesis for how to test and study the discussed atmosphere evolution theories using future UV transit observations of terrestrial exoplanets within the orbits of dwarf stars is presented.

  17. Contribution of lateral terrestrial water flows to the regional hydrological cycle: A joint soil-atmospheric moisture tagging procedure with WRF-Hydro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnault, Joel; Wei, Jianhui; Zhang, Zhenyu; Wagner, Sven; Kunstmann, Harald

    2017-04-01

    Water resources management requires an accurate knowledge of the behavior of the regional hydrological cycle components, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, river discharge and soil water storage. Atmospheric models such as the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model provide a tool to evaluate these components. The main drawback of these atmospheric models, however, is that the terrestrial segment of the hydrological cycle is reduced to vertical infiltration, and that lateral terrestrial water flows are neglected. Recent model developments have focused on coupled atmospheric-hydrological modeling systems, such as WRF-hydro, in order to take into account subsurface, overland and river flow. The aim of this study is to investigate the contribution of lateral terrestrial water flows to the regional hydrological cycle, with the help of a joint soil-atmospheric moisture tagging procedure. This procedure is the extended version of an existing atmospheric moisture tagging method developed in WRF and WRF-Hydro (Arnault et al. 2017). It is used to quantify the partitioning of precipitation into water stored in the soil, runoff, evapotranspiration, and potentially subsequent precipitation through regional recycling. An application to a high precipitation event on 23 June 2009 in the upper Danube river basin, Germany and Austria, is presented. Precipitating water during this day is tagged for the period 2009-2011. Its contribution to runoff and evapotranspiration decreases with time, but is still not negligible in the summer 2011. At the end of the study period, less than 5 % of the precipitating water on 23 June 2009 remains in the soil. The additionally resolved lateral terrestrial water flows in WRF-Hydro modify the partitioning between surface and underground runoff, in association with a slight increase of evapotranspiration and recycled precipitation. Reference: Arnault, J., R. Knoche, J. Wei, and H. Kunstmann (2016), Evaporation tagging and atmospheric

  18. A Condensation–coalescence Cloud Model for Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Formulation and Test Applications to Terrestrial and Jovian Clouds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohno, Kazumasa; Okuzumi, Satoshi [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)

    2017-02-01

    A number of transiting exoplanets have featureless transmission spectra that might suggest the presence of clouds at high altitudes. A realistic cloud model is necessary to understand the atmospheric conditions under which such high-altitude clouds can form. In this study, we present a new cloud model that takes into account the microphysics of both condensation and coalescence. Our model provides the vertical profiles of the size and density of cloud and rain particles in an updraft for a given set of physical parameters, including the updraft velocity and the number density of cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs). We test our model by comparing with observations of trade-wind cumuli on Earth and ammonia ice clouds in Jupiter. For trade-wind cumuli, the model including both condensation and coalescence gives predictions that are consistent with observations, while the model including only condensation overestimates the mass density of cloud droplets by up to an order of magnitude. For Jovian ammonia clouds, the condensation–coalescence model simultaneously reproduces the effective particle radius, cloud optical thickness, and cloud geometric thickness inferred from Voyager observations if the updraft velocity and CCN number density are taken to be consistent with the results of moist convection simulations and Galileo probe measurements, respectively. These results suggest that the coalescence of condensate particles is important not only in terrestrial water clouds but also in Jovian ice clouds. Our model will be useful to understand how the dynamics, compositions, and nucleation processes in exoplanetary atmospheres affect the vertical extent and optical thickness of exoplanetary clouds via cloud microphysics.

  19. Optimization of Terrestrial Ecosystem Model Parameters Using Atmospheric CO2 Concentration Data With the Global Carbon Assimilation System (GCAS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhuoqi; Chen, Jing M.; Zhang, Shupeng; Zheng, Xiaogu; Ju, Weiming; Mo, Gang; Lu, Xiaoliang

    2017-12-01

    The Global Carbon Assimilation System that assimilates ground-based atmospheric CO2 data is used to estimate several key parameters in a terrestrial ecosystem model for the purpose of improving carbon cycle simulation. The optimized parameters are the leaf maximum carboxylation rate at 25°C (Vmax25), the temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration (Q10), and the soil carbon pool size. The optimization is performed at the global scale at 1° resolution for the period from 2002 to 2008. The results indicate that vegetation from tropical zones has lower Vmax25 values than vegetation in temperate regions. Relatively high values of Q10 are derived over high/midlatitude regions. Both Vmax25 and Q10 exhibit pronounced seasonal variations at middle-high latitudes. The maxima in Vmax25 occur during growing seasons, while the minima appear during nongrowing seasons. Q10 values decrease with increasing temperature. The seasonal variabilities of Vmax25 and Q10 are larger at higher latitudes. Optimized Vmax25 and Q10 show little seasonal variabilities at tropical regions. The seasonal variabilities of Vmax25 are consistent with the variabilities of LAI for evergreen conifers and broadleaf evergreen forests. Variations in leaf nitrogen and leaf chlorophyll contents may partly explain the variations in Vmax25. The spatial distribution of the total soil carbon pool size after optimization is compared favorably with the gridded Global Soil Data Set for Earth System. The results also suggest that atmospheric CO2 data are a source of information that can be tapped to gain spatially and temporally meaningful information for key ecosystem parameters that are representative at the regional and global scales.

  20. A Condensation–coalescence Cloud Model for Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Formulation and Test Applications to Terrestrial and Jovian Clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohno, Kazumasa; Okuzumi, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    A number of transiting exoplanets have featureless transmission spectra that might suggest the presence of clouds at high altitudes. A realistic cloud model is necessary to understand the atmospheric conditions under which such high-altitude clouds can form. In this study, we present a new cloud model that takes into account the microphysics of both condensation and coalescence. Our model provides the vertical profiles of the size and density of cloud and rain particles in an updraft for a given set of physical parameters, including the updraft velocity and the number density of cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs). We test our model by comparing with observations of trade-wind cumuli on Earth and ammonia ice clouds in Jupiter. For trade-wind cumuli, the model including both condensation and coalescence gives predictions that are consistent with observations, while the model including only condensation overestimates the mass density of cloud droplets by up to an order of magnitude. For Jovian ammonia clouds, the condensation–coalescence model simultaneously reproduces the effective particle radius, cloud optical thickness, and cloud geometric thickness inferred from Voyager observations if the updraft velocity and CCN number density are taken to be consistent with the results of moist convection simulations and Galileo probe measurements, respectively. These results suggest that the coalescence of condensate particles is important not only in terrestrial water clouds but also in Jovian ice clouds. Our model will be useful to understand how the dynamics, compositions, and nucleation processes in exoplanetary atmospheres affect the vertical extent and optical thickness of exoplanetary clouds via cloud microphysics.

  1. Chemical kinetics and modeling of planetary atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Dependence of the Onset of the Runaway Greenhouse Effect on the Latitudinal Surface Water Distribution of Earth-Like Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kodama, T.; Nitta, A.; Genda, H.; Takao, Y.; O'ishi, R.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Abe, Y.

    2018-02-01

    Liquid water is one of the most important materials affecting the climate and habitability of a terrestrial planet. Liquid water vaporizes entirely when planets receive insolation above a certain critical value, which is called the runaway greenhouse threshold. This threshold forms the inner most limit of the habitable zone. Here we investigate the effects of the distribution of surface water on the runaway greenhouse threshold for Earth-sized planets using a three-dimensional dynamic atmosphere model. We considered a 1 bar atmosphere whose composition is similar to the current Earth's atmosphere with a zonally uniform distribution of surface water. As previous studies have already showed, we also recognized two climate regimes: the land planet regime, which has dry low-latitude and wet high-latitude regions, and the aqua planet regime, which is globally wet. We showed that each regime is controlled by the width of the Hadley circulation, the amount of surface water, and the planetary topography. We found that the runaway greenhouse threshold varies continuously with the surface water distribution from about 130% (an aqua planet) to 180% (the extreme case of a land planet) of the present insolation at Earth's orbit. Our results indicate that the inner edge of the habitable zone is not a single sharp boundary, but a border whose location varies depending on planetary surface condition, such as the amount of surface water. Since land planets have wider habitable zones and less cloud cover, land planets would be good targets for future observations investigating planetary habitability.

  3. The Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library (PTAL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, S. C.; Dypvik, H.; Poulet, F.; Rull Perez, F.; Bibring, J.-P.; Bultel, B.; Casanova Roque, C.; Carter, J.; Cousin, A.; Guzman, A.; Hamm, V.; Hellevang, H.; Lantz, C.; Lopez-Reyes, G.; Manrique, J. A.; Maurice, S.; Medina Garcia, J.; Navarro, R.; Negro, J. I.; Neumann, E. R.; Pilorget, C.; Riu, L.; Sætre, C.; Sansano Caramazana, A.; Sanz Arranz, A.; Sobron Grañón, F.; Veneranda, M.; Viennet, J.-C.; PTAL Team

    2018-04-01

    The Planetary Terrestrial Analogues Library project aims to build and exploit a spectral data base for the characterisation of the mineralogical and geological evolution of terrestrial planets and small solar system bodies.

  4. Intrinsic luminosities of the Jovian planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hubbard, W.B.

    1980-01-01

    We review available data and theories on the size and nature of interior power sources in the Jovian planets. Broad band infrared measurements indicate that Jupiter and Saturn have interior heat fluxes about 150 and 50 times larger, respectively, than the terrestrial value. While Neptune has a modest heat flux (approx.5 times terrestrial), it is clearly detected by earth-based measurements. Only Uranus seems to lack a detectable interior heat flow. Various models, ranging from simple cooling to gravitational layering to radioactivity, are discussed. Current evidence seems to favor a cooling model in which the escape of heat is regulated by the atmosphere. This model seems capable of explaining phenomena such as the uniformity of effective temperature over Jupiter's surface and the different emission rates of Uranus and Neptune. In such a model the heat radiated from the atmosphere may derived from depletion of a thermal reservoir in the interior, or it may derive from separation of chemical elements during formation of a core. Calculations indicate that in the earlier stages of cooling, Jupiter and Saturn may have more homogeneous abundances of hydrogen and helium and radiate energy derived from simple cooling. At a subsequent phase (which may be later than the present time), hydrogen and helium will separate and supply grativational energy. Either model is consistent with a hot, high-luminosity origin for the Jovian Planets

  5. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Areal measurement of Mercury's first quadrant. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Various linear and areal measurements of Mercury's first quadrant which were used in geological map preparation, map analysis, and statistical surveys of crater densities are discussed. Accuracy of each method rests on the determination of the scale of the photograph, i.e., the conversion factor between distances on the planet (in km) and distances on the photograph (in cm). Measurement errors arise due to uncertainty in Mercury's radius, poor resolution, poor coverage, high Sun angle illumination in the limb regions, planetary curvature, limited precision in measuring instruments, and inaccuracies in the printed map scales. Estimates are given for these errors.

  6. A Study of the Abundance and 13C/12C Ratio of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide to Advance the Scientific Understanding of Terrestrial Processes Regulating the Global Carbon Cycle

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephen C. Piper

    2005-10-15

    The primary goal of our research program, consistent with the goals of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and funded by the terrestrial carbon processes (TCP) program of DOE, has been to improve understanding of changes in the distribution and cycling of carbon among the active land, ocean and atmosphere reservoirs, with particular emphasis on terrestrial ecosystems. Our approach is to systematically measure atmospheric CO2 to produce time series data essential to reveal temporal and spatial patterns. Additional measurements of the 13C/12C isotopic ratio of CO2 provide a basis for distinguishing organic and inorganic processes. To pursue the significance of these patterns further, our research also involved interpretations of the observations by models, measurements of inorganic carbon in sea water, and of CO2 in air near growing land plants.

  7. Mercury - Introduction to an end-member planet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chapman, C.R.

    1988-01-01

    This chapter introduces the major themes of this book. In many ways, Mercury is an extreme planet, and thus it provides a unique benchmark for testing our theories about the origin and evolution of other (particularly terrestrial) planets. Emphasis is given to synthesizing and critiquing the book's chapters on the planet's origin, its metal-rich composition, its thermal and geophysical evolution, and its cratering history; these topics are complex and controversial, and this book contains a variety of new perspectives on them. Mercury's geology, atmosphere and magnetosphere are discussed more briefly. The study of Mercury is placed in its historical context and in the context of the spacecraft exploration program, both past and future

  8. Planet Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, Isabel

    2014-05-01

    A more adequate name for Planet Earth could be Planet Ocean, seeing that ocean water covers more than seventy percent of the planet's surface and plays a fundamental role in the survival of almost all living species. Actually, oceans are aqueous solutions of extraordinary importance due to its direct implications in the current living conditions of our planet and its potential role on the continuity of life as well, as long as we know how to respect the limits of its immense but finite capacities. We may therefore state that natural aqueous solutions are excellent contexts for the approach and further understanding of many important chemical concepts, whether they be of chemical equilibrium, acid-base reactions, solubility and oxidation-reduction reactions. The topic of the 2014 edition of GIFT ('Our Changing Planet') will explore some of the recent complex changes of our environment, subjects that have been lately included in Chemistry teaching programs. This is particularly relevant on high school programs, with themes such as 'Earth Atmosphere: radiation, matter and structure', 'From Atmosphere to the Ocean: solutions on Earth and to Earth', 'Spring Waters and Public Water Supply: Water acidity and alkalinity'. These are the subjects that I want to develop on my school project with my pupils. Geographically, our school is located near the sea in a region where a stream flows into the sea. Besides that, our school water comes from a borehole which shows that the quality of the water we use is of significant importance. This project will establish and implement several procedures that, supported by physical and chemical analysis, will monitor the quality of water - not only the water used in our school, but also the surrounding waters (stream and beach water). The samples will be collected in the borehole of the school, in the stream near the school and in the beach of Carcavelos. Several physical-chemical characteristics related to the quality of the water will

  9. Observing terrestrial water storage and land-atmosphere dynamics from space: Implications for forecasting and climate projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneviratne, S. I.; Humphrey, V.; Nicolai-Shaw, N.; Gudmundsson, L.; Guillod, B.; Hirschi, M.; Michel, D.; Orth, R.; Zscheischler, J.

    2016-12-01

    In recent years, several new satellite products have been derived which allow an unprecendented assessment of terrestrial water storage and land-atmosphere dynamics. This presentation will review some of these new developments, with a focus on drought dynamics, plant-water interactions, and soil moisture-atmosphere feedbacks. Results derived based on the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE, Humphrey et al. 2016) and the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative (ESA CCI) Soil Moisture dataset (Nicolai-Shaw et al. 2015, 2016; Hirschi et al. 2014) will be highlighted, as well as assessments using satellite-based estimates of evapotranspiration (Mueller and Seneviratne 2014, Michel et al. 2016), vegetation activity (Zscheischler et al. 2015), and combined soil moisture and precipitation analyses (Guillod et al. 2015). These findings provide new insights on the development of prediction capabilities for droughts, precipitation events, and heat waves, and the reduction of uncertainties in climate model projections. References: Guillod, B.P., B. Orlowsky, D.G. Miralles, A.J. Teuling, and S.I. Seneviratne, 2015. Nature Communications, 6:6443, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7443 Hirschi, M., B. Mueller, W. Dorigo, and S.I. Seneviratne, 2014. Remote Sensing of Environment, 154, 246-252. Humphrey, V., L. Gudmundsson, and S.I. Seneviratne, 2016. Surv. Geophysics, 37, 357-395, DOI 10.1007/s10712-016-9367-1. Michel, D., et al. 2016. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 20, 803-822, doi:10.5194/hess-20-803-2016. Mueller, M., and S.I. Seneviratne, 2014. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 1-7, doi:10.1002/2013GL058055. Nicolai-Shaw, N., L. Gudmundsson, M. Hirschi, and S.I. Seneviratne, 2016. Geophys. Res. Lett., in review. Nicolai-Shaw, N., M. Hirschi, H. Mittelbach, and S.I. Seneviratne, 2015. Journal of Geophysical Research, 120, doi:10.1002/2015JD023305. Zscheischler, J., R. Orth, and S.I. Seneviratne, 2015. Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 9816-9824, doi:10.1002/2015GL066563.

  10. High-resolution Atmospheric pCO2 Reconstruction across the Paleogene Using Marine and Terrestrial δ13C records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Y.; Schubert, B.

    2016-02-01

    The early Paleogene (63 to 47 Ma) is considered to have a greenhouse climate1 with proxies suggesting atmospheric CO2 levels (pCO2) approximately 2× pre-industrial levels. However, the proxy based pCO2 reconstructions are limited and do not allow for assessment of changes in pCO2 at million to sub-million year time scales. It has recently been recognized that changes in C3 land plant carbon isotope fractionation can be used as a proxy for pCO2 with quantifiable uncertainty2. Here, we present a high-resolution pCO2 reconstruction (n = 597) across the early Paleogene using published carbon isotope data from both terrestrial organic matter and marine carbonates. The minimum and maximum pCO2 values reconstructed using this method are broad (i.e., 170 +60/-40 ppmv to 2000 +4480/-1060 ppmv) and reflective of the wide range of environments sampled. However, the large number of measurements allows for a robust estimate of average pCO2 during this time interval ( 400 +260/-120 ppmv), and indicates brief (sub-million-year) excursions to very high pCO2 during hyperthermal events (e.g., the PETM). By binning our high-resolution pCO2 data at 1 million year intervals, we can compare our dataset to the other available pCO2 proxies. Our result is broadly consistent with pCO2 levels reconstructed using other proxies, with the exception of paleosol-based pCO2 estimates spanning 53 to 50 Ma. At this timescale, no proxy suggests pCO2 higher than 2000 ppmv, whereas the global surface ocean temperature is considered to be >10 oC warmer than today. Recent climate modeling suggests that low atmospheric pressure during this time period could help reconcile the apparent disconnect between pCO2 and temperature and contribute to the greenhouse climate3. References1. Huber, M., Caballero, R., 2011. Climate of the Past 7, 603-633. 2. Schubert, B.A., Jahren, A.H., 2015. Geology 43, 435-438. 3. Poulsen, C.J., Tabor, C., White, J.D., 2015. Science 348, 1238-1241.

  11. The intercrater plains of Mercury and the Moon: Their nature, origin and role in terrestrial planet evolution. Chronology of surface history of Mercury. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leake, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    Phases in the history of the planet Mercury include: (1) condensation and accretion; (2) heating; (3) planetary expansion during heavy bombardment; (4) tidal spin-down and lineament formation; (5) P5 plains emplacement; (6) P4 plains emplacement; (7) peak planetary volume in P3 period; (8) scarp formation; (9) Caloris Basin formation, late class 3; (10) scarp formation and P2 plains formation; (11) smooth plains formation in and around large basins; (12) late or local tectonic stress; and (13) quiescent class 1 period. Although the cooling and contraction of the lithosphere are complete, the core remains molten as an active dynamo, producing the magnetic fields detected by Mariner 10. Plains produced since core formation (P3 to P-1) should record its magnetic activity. Cratering during the Class 2 and Class 1 periods is probably not enough to distribute ballistic materials and homogenize any color differences.

  12. Giant Planets: Good Neighbors for Habitable Worlds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgakarakos, Nikolaos; Eggl, Siegfried; Dobbs-Dixon, Ian

    2018-04-01

    The presence of giant planets influences potentially habitable worlds in numerous ways. Massive celestial neighbors can facilitate the formation of planetary cores and modify the influx of asteroids and comets toward Earth analogs later on. Furthermore, giant planets can indirectly change the climate of terrestrial worlds by gravitationally altering their orbits. Investigating 147 well-characterized exoplanetary systems known to date that host a main-sequence star and a giant planet, we show that the presence of “giant neighbors” can reduce a terrestrial planet’s chances to remain habitable, even if both planets have stable orbits. In a small fraction of systems, however, giant planets slightly increase the extent of habitable zones provided that the terrestrial world has a high climate inertia. In providing constraints on where giant planets cease to affect the habitable zone size in a detrimental fashion, we identify prime targets in the search for habitable worlds.

  13. A Synergistic Approach to Interpreting Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batalha, Natasha E.

    We will soon have the technological capability to measure the atmospheric composition of temperate Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars. Interpreting these atmospheric signals poses a new challenge to planetary science. In contrast to jovian-like atmospheres, whose bulk compositions consist of hydrogen and helium, terrestrial planet atmospheres are likely comprised of high mean molecular weight secondary atmospheres, which have gone through a high degree of evolution. For example, present-day Mars has a frozen surface with a thin tenuous atmosphere, but 4 billion years ago it may have been warmed by a thick greenhouse atmosphere. Several processes contribute to a planet's atmospheric evolution: stellar evolution, geological processes, atmospheric escape, biology, etc. Each of these individual processes affects the planetary system as a whole and therefore they all must be considered in the modeling of terrestrial planets. In order to demonstrate the intricacies in modeling terrestrial planets, I use early Mars as a case study. I leverage a combination of one-dimensional climate, photochemical and energy balance models in order to create one self-consistent model that closely matches currently available climate data. One-dimensional models can address several processes: the influence of greenhouse gases on heating, the effect of the planet's geological processes (i.e. volcanoes and the carbonatesilicate cycle) on the atmosphere, the effect of rainfall on atmospheric composition and the stellar irradiance. After demonstrating the number of assumptions required to build a model, I look towards what exactly we can learn from remote observations of temperate Earths and Super Earths. However, unlike in-situ observations from our own solar system, remote sensing techniques need to be developed and understood in order to accurately characterize exo-atmospheres. I describe the models used to create synthetic transit transmission observations, which includes models of

  14. The rise of fire: Fossil charcoal in late Devonian marine shales as an indicator of expanding terrestrial ecosystems, fire, and atmospheric change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimmer, Susan M.; Hawkins, Sarah J.; Scott, Andrew C.; Cressler, Walter L.

    2015-01-01

    Fossil charcoal provides direct evidence for fire events that, in turn, have implications for the evolution of both terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Most of the ancient charcoal record is known from terrestrial or nearshore environments and indicates the earliest occurrences of fire in the Late Silurian. However, despite the rise in available fuel through the Devonian as vascular land plants became larger and trees and forests evolved, charcoal occurrences are very sparse until the Early Mississippian where extensive charcoal suggests well-established fire systems. We present data from the latest Devonian and Early Mississippian of North America from terrestrial and marine rocks indicating that fire became more widespread and significant at this time. This increase may be a function of rising O2 levels and the occurrence of fire itself may have contributed to this rise through positive feedback. Recent atmospheric modeling suggests an O2 low during the Middle Devonian (around 17.5%), with O2 rising steadily through the Late Devonian and Early Mississippian (to 21–22%) that allowed for widespread burning for the first time. In Devonian-Mississippian marine black shales, fossil charcoal (inertinite) steadily increases up-section suggesting the rise of widespread fire systems. There is a concomitant increase in the amount of vitrinite (preserved woody and other plant tissues) that also suggests increased sources of terrestrial organic matter. Even as end Devonian glaciation was experienced, fossil charcoal continued to be a source of organic matter being introduced into the Devonian oceans. Scanning electron and reflectance microscopy of charcoal from Late Devonian terrestrial sites indicate that the fires were moderately hot (typically 500–600 °C) and burnt mainly surface vegetation dominated by herbaceous zygopterid ferns and lycopsids, rather than being produced by forest crown fires. The occurrence and relative abundance of fossil charcoal in

  15. Study of the gas contents of rocks: An approach to the evolution of atmospheres on the earth and planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, C.

    1972-01-01

    A high vacuum system was built for extracting volatiles from rocks either by heating or crushing, and preliminary analyses of the volatiles were made for selected terrestrial basalts and granites. The apparatus and experimental procedures are described, and the major problems associated with water measurement and choice of argon to replace neon as the internal standard are discussed. Preliminary analyses of granites and basalts indicate the following: All analyses lie in the H2O-CO2-CO triangle on a C-H-O ternary diagram. The compositions of the volatiles plot in distinct, but overlapping, areas of the C-H-O diagram. Pre-Cambrian granites have a higher volatile content than younger granites. Continental basalts have a higher volatile content than oceanic basalts.

  16. Stable hydrogen isotopic composition of n-alkanes in atmospheric aerosols as a tracer for the source region of terrestrial plant waxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, S.; Kawamura, K.

    2009-12-01

    Studies on molecular composition and compound-specific carbon isotopic ratio (δ13C) of leaf wax n-alkanes in atmospheric aerosols have revealed a long-range atmospheric transport of terrestrial higher plant materials over the south Atlantic and western Pacific oceans. However, molecular and δ13C compositions of terrestrial plant waxes in the eastern part of the Asian continent are relatively constant reflecting C3-dominated vegetation, which makes it difficult to specify the source regions of plant materials in the atmospheric aerosols over the East Asia and northwest Pacific regions. Recent observation displays a large (>100‰) spatial variation in hydrogen isotopic composition (δD) of rainwater in East Asia. Because δD values of terrestrial higher plants sensitively reflect those of precipitation waters, δD of leaf waxes are expected to provide information on their source region. In this study, we measured the δD of n-alkanes in atmospheric aerosols from Tokyo to better understand the origin of leaf wax n-alkanes in atmospheric aerosols. The δD values of fossil fuel n-alkanes (C21 to C24) in Tokyo aerosols range from -65 to -94‰, which are in a range of those reported in marine crude oils. In contrast, the δD of higher molecular weight (C29 and C31) n-alkanes (δDHMW) show much larger values by ~70‰ than those of fossil fuel n-alkanes. Their values were found to exhibit concomitant variations with carbon preference index (CPI), suggesting that the δDHMW reflect the δD of leaf wax n-alkanes with a variable contribution from fossil fuel n-alkanes. Nevertheless, good positive correlation (r = 0.89, p < 0.01) between the δDHMW and CPI values enable us to remove the contribution of fossil fuels using a mass balance approach by assuming that CPI of fossil fuel is 1 and CPI of plant waxes is 5-15. Calculated n-alkane δD values averaged from -170 to -185‰ for C29 and from -155 to -168‰ for C31. These values are consistent with those reported from

  17. 3.6 AND 4.5 μm PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

    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 μm bands using the Spitzer Space Telescope. When combined with previous phase curve observations at 8.0 and 24 μm, 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 μm band and 0.0982% ± 0.0089% in the 4.5 μm 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 μm, and we present new evidence indicating that the flux minimum observed in the 8 μm is likely caused by an overshooting effect in the 8 μm array. We obtain improved estimates for HD 189733b's dayside planet-star flux ratio of 0.1466% ± 0.0040% in the 3.6 μm band and 0.1787% ± 0.0038% in the 4.5 μm 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 Burrows et al. and conclude that fits to

  18. 3.6 AND 4.5 {mu}m PHASE CURVES AND EVIDENCE FOR NON-EQUILIBRIUM CHEMISTRY IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF EXTRASOLAR PLANET HD 189733b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knutson, Heather A. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Lewis, Nikole; Showman, Adam P. [Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Fortney, Jonathan J.; Laughlin, Gregory [Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States); Burrows, Adam [Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 (United States); Cowan, Nicolas B. [CIERA, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States); Agol, Eric [Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Aigrain, Suzanne [Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RH (United Kingdom); Charbonneau, David; Desert, Jean-Michel [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Deming, Drake [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Henry, Gregory W. [Center of Excellence in Information Systems, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9501, Nashville, TN 37209 (United States); Langton, Jonathan, E-mail: hknutson@caltech.edu [Department of Physics, Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028 (United States)

    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

  19. Atmospheric Mining in the Outer Solar System: Outer Planet In-Space Bases and Moon Bases for Resource Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2017-01-01

    Atmospheric mining in the outer solar system has been investigated as a means of fuel production for high energy propulsion and power. Fusion fuels such as Helium 3 (3He) and deuterium can be wrested from the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune and either returned to Earth or used in-situ for energy production. Helium 3 and deuterium were the primary gases of interest with hydrogen being the primary propellant for nuclear thermal solid core and gas core rocket-based atmospheric flight. A series of analyses were undertaken to investigate resource capturing aspects of atmospheric mining in the outer solar system. This included the gas capturing rate, storage options, and different methods of direct use of the captured gases. While capturing 3He, large amounts of hydrogen and 4He are produced. The propulsion and transportation requirements for all of the major moons of Uranus and Neptune are presented. Analyses of orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs), landers, factories, and the issues with in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) low gravity processing factories are included. Preliminary observations are presented on near-optimal selections of moon base orbital locations, OTV power levels, and OTV and lander rendezvous points. Several artificial gravity in-space base designs and orbital sites at Uranus and Neptune and the OTV requirements to support them are also addressed.

  20. Atmospheric carbon dioxide as a driver for deglaciation during the Mi-1 event: new evidence from terrestrial Southern Hemisphere proxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, B.; Wilson, G. S.; Lee, D.; Haworth, M.; Wartho, J.; Kaulfuss, U.; Bannister, J.; Gorman, A. R.; Jones, D. A.; Lindqvist, J.

    2011-12-01

    Foulden Maar is an annually-resolved maar lake deposit dating from the Oligocene/Miocene boundary. The deposit, from the South Island of New Zealand, is the first high-resolution terrestrial record of the O/M boundary and the rapid deglaciation of Antarctica that occurred during the second half of the Mi-1 event. A ~180 m core from the centre of the lake bed comprises ~60 m of basal graded breccias, sands and muds overlain by ~120 m of diatomite punctuated by volcanogenic horizons. The basal siliciclastic sediments contain clasts of basalt and country rock and are interpreted as diatreme breccias coeval with the formation of the maar. The diatomite succession consists of mm-scale light-dark couplets and diatomaceous turbidites. Radiometric dates were obtained from basaltic clasts found at ~110 m depth (close to the base of the diatomite sucession) in a slump deposit of crater wall material. These give ages of 23.45 ± 0.25 Ma and 23.68 ± 0.36 Ma. A nearby basaltic dyke formed during the same episode of volcanism as the maar crater gives a date of 23.17 ± 0.17 Ma. A magnetic reversal occurs at ~106 m depth in the core, constraining the age of this point to 23.34 Ma (the base of chron C6Cn.3n) or 23.03 Ma (the base of chron C6Cn.2n). Spectral analysis of physical properties measurements of the diatomite section of the core reveals obliquity and precessional frequencies. An age model based on these frequencies shows that individual light-dark couplets of diatomite represent annual varves and that the normally magnetised section from ~106 m depth to the top of the core covers ~100,000 years. This rules out C6Cn.3n, which is only 50,000 years long, placing the base of the diatomite succession at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary and the peak of the Mi-1 event. We have collected stomatal index values from Litsea and Podocarpus leaves found in the succession. The Podocarpus values are calibrated using Podocarpus plants grown at various concentrations of carbon dioxide from

  1. Water Loss from Young Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Güdel, Manuel; Johnstone, Colin P.; Lammer, Helmut; Luger, Rodrigo; Odert, Petra

    2018-04-01

    Good progress has been made in the past few years to better understand the XUV evolution trend of Sun-like stars, the capture and dissipation of hydrogen dominant envelopes of planetary embryos and protoplanets, and water loss from young planets around M dwarfs. This chapter reviews these recent developments. Observations of exoplanets and theoretical works in the near future will significantly advance our understanding of one of the fundamental physical processes shaping the evolution of solar system terrestrial planets.

  2. A SEARCH FOR SHORT-PERIOD ROCKY PLANETS AROUND WDs WITH THE COSMIC ORIGINS SPECTROGRAPH (COS)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandhaus, Phoebe H.; Debes, John H.; Ely, Justin; Hines, Dean C.; Bourque, Matthew [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)

    2016-05-20

    The search for transiting habitable exoplanets has broadened to include several types of stars that are smaller than the Sun in an attempt to increase the observed transit depth and hence the atmospheric signal of the planet. Of all spectral types, white dwarfs (WDs) are the most favorable for this type of investigation. The fraction of WDs that possess close-in rocky planets is unknown, but several large angle stellar surveys have the photometric precision and cadence to discover at least one if they are common. Ultraviolet observations of WDs may allow for detection of molecular oxygen or ozone in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet. We use archival Hubble Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to search for transiting rocky planets around UV-bright WDs. In the process, we discovered unusual variability in the pulsating WD GD 133, which shows slow sinusoidal variations in the UV. While we detect no planets around our small sample of targets, we do place stringent limits on the possibility of transiting planets, down to sub-lunar radii. We also point out that non-transiting small planets in thermal equilibrium are detectable around hotter WDs through infrared excesses, and identify two candidates.

  3. The hottest planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Joseph; Luszcz, Statia; Seager, Sara; Deming, Drake; Richardson, L Jeremy

    2007-06-07

    Of the over 200 known extrasolar planets, just 14 pass in front of and behind their parent stars as seen from Earth. This fortuitous geometry allows direct determination of many planetary properties. Previous reports of planetary thermal emission give fluxes that are roughly consistent with predictions based on thermal equilibrium with the planets' received radiation, assuming a Bond albedo of approximately 0.3. Here we report direct detection of thermal emission from the smallest known transiting planet, HD 149026b, that indicates a brightness temperature (an expression of flux) of 2,300 +/- 200 K at 8 microm. The planet's predicted temperature for uniform, spherical, blackbody emission and zero albedo (unprecedented for planets) is 1,741 K. As models with non-zero albedo are cooler, this essentially eliminates uniform blackbody models, and may also require an albedo lower than any measured for a planet, very strong 8 microm emission, strong temporal variability, or a heat source other than stellar radiation. On the other hand, an instantaneous re-emission blackbody model, in which each patch of surface area instantly re-emits all received light, matches the data. This planet is known to be enriched in heavy elements, which may give rise to novel atmospheric properties yet to be investigated.

  4. The Threatening Magnetic and Plasma Environment of the TRAPPIST-1 Planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Cohen, Ofer; Alvarado-Gómez, Julian D.; Moschou, Sofia P. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2017-07-10

    Recently, four additional Earth-mass planets were discovered orbiting the nearby ultracool M8 dwarf, TRAPPIST-1, making a remarkable total of seven planets with equilibrium temperatures compatible with the presence of liquid water on their surface. Temperate terrestrial planets around an M-dwarf orbit close to their parent star, rendering their atmospheres vulnerable to erosion by the stellar wind and energetic electromagnetic and particle radiation. Here, we use state-of-the-art 3D magnetohydrodynamic models to simulate the wind around TRAPPIST-1 and study the conditions at each planetary orbit. All planets experience a stellar wind pressure between 10{sup 3} and 10{sup 5} times the solar wind pressure on Earth. All orbits pass through wind pressure changes of an order of magnitude and most planets spend a large fraction of their orbital period in the sub-Alfvénic regime. For plausible planetary magnetic field strengths, all magnetospheres are greatly compressed and undergo much more dynamic change than that of the Earth. The planetary magnetic fields connect with the stellar radial field over much of the planetary surface, allowing the direct flow of stellar wind particles onto the planetary atmosphere. These conditions could result in strong atmospheric stripping and evaporation and should be taken into account for any realistic assessment of the evolution and habitability of the TRAPPIST-1 planets.

  5. Critical Evaluation of Chemical Reaction Rates and Collision Cross Sections of Importance in the Earth's Upper Atmosphere and the Atmospheres of Other Planets, Moons, and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huestis, David L.

    2006-01-01

    We propose to establish a long-term program of critical evaluation by domain experts of the rates and cross sections for atomic and molecular processes that are needed for understanding and modeling the atmospheres in the solar system. We envision data products resembling those of the JPL/NASA Panel for Data Evaluation and the similar efforts of the international combustion modeling community funded by US DoE and its European counterpart.

  6. Photochemistry of Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.

    2005-12-01

    The Space Age started half a century ago. Today, with the completion of a fairly detailed study of the planets of the Solar System, we have begun studying exoplanets (or extrasolar planets). The overriding question in is to ask whether an exoplanet is habitable and harbors life, and if so, what the biosignatures ought to be. This forces us to confront the fundamental question of what controls the composition of an atmosphere. The composition of a planetary atmosphere reflects a balance between thermodynamic equilibrium chemistry (as in the interior of giant planets) and photochemistry (as in the atmosphere of Mars). The terrestrial atmosphere has additional influence from life (biochemistry). The bulk of photochemistry in planetary atmospheres is driven by UV radiation. Photosynthesis may be considered an extension of photochemistry by inventing a molecule (chlorophyll) that can harvest visible light. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of photochemistry is catalytic chemistry, the ability of trace amounts of gases to profoundly affect the composition of the atmosphere. Notable examples include HOx (H, OH and HO2) chemistry on Mars and chlorine chemistry on Earth and Venus. Another remarkable feature of photochemistry is organic synthesis in the outer solar system. The best example is the atmosphere of Titan. Photolysis of methane results in the synthesis of more complex hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon chemistry inevitably leads to the formation of high molecular weight products, giving rise to aerosols when the ambient atmosphere is cool enough for them to condense. These results are supported by the findings of the recent Cassini mission. Lastly, photochemistry leaves a distinctive isotopic signature that can be used to trace back the evolutionary history of the atmosphere. Examples include nitrogen isotopes on Mars and sulfur isotopes on Earth. Returning to the question of biosignatures on an exoplanet, our Solar System experience tells us to look for speciation

  7. Taxonomy of the extrasolar planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Life in other planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, S.N.

    1977-01-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high temperature fusion reactions taking place in it, is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection etc. are briefly touched upon. (K.B.)

  9. Life in other planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ghosh, S N [Calcutta Univ. (India). Dept. of Applied Physics

    1977-12-01

    Speculations of life on other planets in space are discussed. The life history of a star in terms of the high-temperature fusion reactions taking place in it is outlined. The phenomenon of gases escaping from planetary atmospheres which destroys life on them is explained. Solar radiation effects, pulsar detection, etc., are briefly touched upon.

  10. Magic Planet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2009-01-01

    Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november......Med den digitale globe som omdrejningspunkt bestemmer publikum, hvilken planet, der er i fokus. Vores solsystem udforskes interaktivt. Udgivelsesdato: november...

  11. Recent Advances in Atmospheric, Solar-Terrestrial Physics and Space Weather From a North-South network of scientists [2006-2016] PART B : Results and Capacity Building

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amory-Mazaudier, C.; Fleury, R.; Petitdidier, M.; Soula, S.; Masson, F.; Davila, J.; Doherty, P.; Elias, A.; Gadimova, S.; Makela, J.; Nava, B.; Radicella, S.; Richardson, J.; Touzani, A.; Girgea Team

    2017-12-01

    This paper reviews scientific advances achieved by a North-South network between 2006 and 2016. These scientific advances concern solar terrestrial physics, atmospheric physics and space weather. This part B is devoted to the results and capacity building. Our network began in 1991, in solar terrestrial physics, by our participation in the two projects: International Equatorial Electrojet Year IEEY [1992-1993] and International Heliophysical Year IHY [2007-2009]. These two projects were mainly focused on the equatorial ionosphere in Africa. In Atmospheric physics our research focused on gravity waves in the framework of the African Multidisciplinary Monsoon Analysis project n°1 [2005-2009 ], on hydrology in the Congo river basin and on lightning in Central Africa, the most lightning part of the world. In Vietnam the study of a broad climate data base highlighted global warming. In space weather, our results essentially concern the impact of solar events on global navigation satellite system GNSS and on the effects of solar events on the circulation of electric currents in the earth (GIC). This research began in the framework of the international space weather initiative project ISWI [2010-2012]. Finally, all these scientific projects have enabled young scientists from the South to publish original results and to obtain positions in their countries. These projects have also crossed disciplinary boundaries and defined a more diversified education which led to the training of specialists in a specific field with knowledge of related scientific fields.

  12. Study of the Role of Terrestrial Processes in the Carbon Cycle Based on Measurements of the Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Atmospheric CO2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piper, Stephen C; Keeling, Ralph F

    2012-01-03

    The main objective of this project was to continue research to develop carbon cycle relationships related to the land biosphere based on remote measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentration and its isotopic ratios 13C/12C, 18O/16O, and 14C/12C. The project continued time-series observations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and isotopic composition begun by Charles D. Keeling at remote sites, including Mauna Loa, the South Pole, and eight other sites. Using models of varying complexity, the concentration and isotopic measurements were used to study long-term change in the interhemispheric gradients in CO2 and 13C/12C to assess the magnitude and evolution of the northern terrestrial carbon sink, to study the increase in amplitude of the seasonal cycle of CO2, to use isotopic data to refine constraints on large scale changes in isotopic fractionation which may be related to changes in stomatal conductance, and to motivate improvements in terrestrial carbon cycle models. The original proposal called for a continuation of the new time series of 14C measurements but subsequent descoping to meet budgetary constraints required termination of measurements in 2007.

  13. Rocky Planet Formation: Quick and Neat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Najita, Joan R.; Bromley, Benjamin C.

    2016-11-01

    We reconsider the commonly held assumption that warm debris disks are tracers of terrestrial planet formation. The high occurrence rate inferred for Earth-mass planets around mature solar-type stars based on exoplanet surveys (˜20%) stands in stark contrast to the low incidence rate (≤2%-3%) of warm dusty debris around solar-type stars during the expected epoch of terrestrial planet assembly (˜10 Myr). If Earth-mass planets at au distances are a common outcome of the planet formation process, this discrepancy suggests that rocky planet formation occurs more quickly and/or is much neater than traditionally believed, leaving behind little in the way of a dust signature. Alternatively, the incidence rate of terrestrial planets has been overestimated, or some previously unrecognized physical mechanism removes warm dust efficiently from the terrestrial planet region. A promising removal mechanism is gas drag in a residual gaseous disk with a surface density ≳10-5 of the minimum-mass solar nebula.

  14. Biomarker response to galactic cosmic ray-induced NOx and the methane greenhouse effect in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet orbiting an M dwarf star.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grenfell, John Lee; Griessmeier, Jean-Mathias; Patzer, Beate; Rauer, Heike; Segura, Antigona; Stadelmann, Anja; Stracke, Barbara; Titz, Ruth; Von Paris, Philip

    2007-02-01

    Planets orbiting in the habitable zone of M dwarf stars are subject to high levels of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), which produce nitrogen oxides (NOx) in Earth-like atmospheres. We investigate to what extent these NO(Mx) species may modify biomarker compounds such as ozone (O3) and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as related compounds such as water (H2O) (essential for life) and methane (CH4) (which has both abiotic and biotic sources). Our model results suggest that such signals are robust, changing in the M star world atmospheric column due to GCR NOx effects by up to 20% compared to an M star run without GCR effects, and can therefore survive at least the effects of GCRs. We have not, however, investigated stellar cosmic rays here. CH4 levels are about 10 times higher on M star worlds than on Earth because of a lowering in hydroxyl (OH) in response to changes in the ultraviolet. The higher levels of CH4 are less than reported in previous studies. This difference arose partly because we used different biogenic input. For example, we employed 23% lower CH4 fluxes compared to those studies. Unlike on Earth, relatively modest changes in these fluxes can lead to larger changes in the concentrations of biomarker and related species on the M star world. We calculate a CH4 greenhouse heating effect of up to 4K. O3 photochemistry in terms of the smog mechanism and the catalytic loss cycles on the M star world differs considerably compared with that of Earth.

  15. Origin and evolution of the atmospheres of early Venus, Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Zerkle, Aubrey L.; Gebauer, Stefanie; Tosi, Nicola; Noack, Lena; Scherf, Manuel; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Güdel, Manuel; Grenfell, John Lee; Godolt, Mareike; Nikolaou, Athanasia

    2018-05-01

    We review the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth, Venus and Mars from the time when their accreting bodies were released from the protoplanetary disk a few million years after the origin of the Sun. If the accreting planetary cores reached masses ≥ 0.5 M_Earth before the gas in the disk disappeared, primordial atmospheres consisting mainly of H_2 form around the young planetary body, contrary to late-stage planet formation, where terrestrial planets accrete material after the nebula phase of the disk. The differences between these two scenarios are explored by investigating non-radiogenic atmospheric noble gas isotope anomalies observed on the three terrestrial planets. The role of the young Sun's more efficient EUV radiation and of the plasma environment into the escape of early atmospheres is also addressed. We discuss the catastrophic outgassing of volatiles and the formation and cooling of steam atmospheres after the solidification of magma oceans and we describe the geochemical evidence for additional delivery of volatile-rich chondritic materials during the main stages of terrestrial planet formation. The evolution scenario of early Earth is then compared with the atmospheric evolution of planets where no active plate tectonics emerged like on Venus and Mars. We look at the diversity between early Earth, Venus and Mars, which is found to be related to their differing geochemical, geodynamical and geophysical conditions, including plate tectonics, crust and mantle oxidation processes and their involvement in degassing processes of secondary N_2 atmospheres. The buildup of atmospheric N_2, O_2, and the role of greenhouse gases such as CO_2 and CH_4 to counter the Faint Young Sun Paradox (FYSP), when the earliest life forms on Earth originated until the Great Oxidation Event ≈ 2.3 Gyr ago, are addressed. This review concludes with a discussion on the implications of understanding Earth's geophysical and related atmospheric evolution in relation

  16. Estimating regional terrestrial carbon fluxes for the Australian continent using a multiple-constraint approach. II. The Atmospheric constraint

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ying Ping Wang; McGregor, John L.

    2003-01-01

    Bayesian synthesis inversion was applied to in-situ hourly CO 2 concentrations measured at Cape Grim, Australia to refine the estimates of monthly mean gross photosynthesis, total ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem production by the CSIRO Biospheric Model (CBM) for eight regions in Australia for the period 1990-1998. It was found that in-situ measurements of hourly CO 2 concentrations at Cape Grim could provide significant information about the carbon fluxes from Tasmania, central-south and south-east Australia only. The process-based model, CBM, overestimates the ecosystem respiration during summer in south-east Australia, but underestimates ecosystem respiration in Tasmania and central-south Australia. It was concluded that the respiration sub model of CBM should be improved to account for the seasonal variation in the plant and soil respiration parameters in south-east Australia. For the whole period of 1990 to 1998, the mean net ecosystem productions of terrestrial ecosystems in Tasmania, central-south Australia and south-east Australia were estimated to be, respectively, 6 ± 10, 7 ± 27 and 64 ± 18 Mt C/yr. The yearly uptake rate (being negative) of the terrestrial ecosystems in south-east Australia was smallest (42 ± 55 Mt C/yr) in 1998 and largest (91 ± 52 Mt C/yr) in 1992

  17. Ancient Terrestrial Carbon: Lost and Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, K. H.

    2017-12-01

    Carbon fluxes in terrestrial environments dominate the global carbon cycle. The fluxes of terrestrial carbon are strongly tied to regional climate due to the influences of temperature, water, and nutrient dynamics on plant productivity. However, climate also influences the destruction of terrestrial organic matter, through weathering, erosion, and biomass loss via fire and oxidative microbial processes. Organic geochemical methods enable us to interrogate past terrestrial carbon dynamics and learn how continental processes might accelerate, or mitigate carbon transfer to the atmosphere, and the associated greenhouse warming. Terrestrial soil systems represent the weathering rind of the continents, and are inherently non-depositional and erosive. The production, transport, and depositional processes affecting organics in continental settings each impart their own biases on the amount and characteristics of preserved carbon. Typically, the best archives for biomarker records are sediments in ancient lakes or subaqueous fans, which represents a preservation bias that tends to favor wetter environments. Paleosols, or ancient soils, formed under depositional conditions that, for one reason or another, truncated soil ablation, erosion, or other loss processes. In modern soils, widely ranging organic carbon abundances are almost always substantially greater than the trace amounts of carbon left behind in ancient soils. Even so, measureable amounts of organic biomarkers persist in paleosols. We have been investigating processes that preserve soil organic carbon on geologic timescales, and how these mechanisms may be sensitive to past climate change. Climate-linked changes in temperature, moisture, pH, and weathering processes can impact carbon preservation via organo-mineral sorption, soil biogeochemistry, and stability based on the physical and chemical properties of organic compounds. These will be discussed and illustrated with examples from our studies of Cenozoic

  18. How does the terrestrial carbon exchange respond to inter-annual climatic variations? A quantification based on atmospheric CO2 data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rödenbeck, Christian; Zaehle, Sönke; Keeling, Ralph; Heimann, Martin

    2018-04-01

    The response of the terrestrial net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 to climate variations and trends may crucially determine the future climate trajectory. Here we directly quantify this response on inter-annual timescales by building a linear regression of inter-annual NEE anomalies against observed air temperature anomalies into an atmospheric inverse calculation based on long-term atmospheric CO2 observations. This allows us to estimate the sensitivity of NEE to inter-annual variations in temperature (seen as a climate proxy) resolved in space and with season. As this sensitivity comprises both direct temperature effects and the effects of other climate variables co-varying with temperature, we interpret it as inter-annual climate sensitivity. We find distinct seasonal patterns of this sensitivity in the northern extratropics that are consistent with the expected seasonal responses of photosynthesis, respiration, and fire. Within uncertainties, these sensitivity patterns are consistent with independent inferences from eddy covariance data. On large spatial scales, northern extratropical and tropical inter-annual NEE variations inferred from the NEE-T regression are very similar to the estimates of an atmospheric inversion with explicit inter-annual degrees of freedom. The results of this study offer a way to benchmark ecosystem process models in more detail than existing effective global climate sensitivities. The results can also be used to gap-fill or extrapolate observational records or to separate inter-annual variations from longer-term trends.

  19. Detection of nitric acid and nitric oxides in the terrestrial atmosphere in the middle-infrared spectral region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. I. Blecka

    1996-11-01

    Full Text Available A proposal for combined space and ground-based observations of the vertical distributions and the column densities of nitric acid and nitric oxide concentrations in the earth's atmosphere is discussed. We focus on the aspects that are particular to the idea of correlative measurements: geometrical considerations, simulations of the solar absorption spectra in the middle-infrared region corresponding to the different observational geometries, and the associated retrieval methods. These studies are done specifically for the Belgian-French experiment MIRAS (MIR Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer onboard the Russian Space Station MIR and correlative ground-based FTIR measurements in the Tatra mountains.

  20. Terrestrial planets under the young Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Airapetian, Vladimir S.

    2018-06-01

    Are we alone in the Universe? Is life unique to Earth or a common phenomenon? These fundamental questions represent major puzzles of contemporary science, and were inspiration for a NASA conference on the prebiotic conditions of the early Solar System.

  1. Terrestrial Planet Space Weather Information: An Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luhmann, J. G.; Li, Y.; Lee, C.; Mays, M. L.; Odstrcil, D.; Jian, L.; Galvin, A. B.; Mewaldt, R. A.; von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Russell, C. T.; Halekas, J. S.; Connerney, J. E. P.; Jakosky, B. M.; Thompson, W. T.; Baker, D. N.; Dewey, R. M.; Zheng, Y.; Holmstrom, M.; Futaana, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Space weather research is now a solar system-wide enterprise. While with the end of the Venus Express Express mission and MESSENGER, we lost our 'inside' sentinels, new missions such as Solar Orbiter and SPP, and Bepi-Colombo will soon be launched and operating. In the meantime the combination of L1 resources (ACE,WIND,SOHO) and STEREO-A at 1 AU, and Mars Express and MAVEN missions at ~1.5 AU, provide opportunities. Comparative conditions at the Earth orbit and Mars orbit locations are of special interest because they are separated by the region where most solar wind stream interaction regions develop. These alter the propagation of disturbances including the interplanetary CME-driven shocks that make the space radiation affecting future Human mission planning. We share some observational and modeling results thatillustrate present capabilities, as well as developing ones such as ENLIL-based SEP event models that use a range of available observations.

  2. Analyzing coastal turbidity under complex terrestrial loads characterized by a 'stress connectivity matrix' with an atmosphere-watershed-coastal ocean coupled model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Takahiro; Nadaoka, Kazuo

    2018-04-01

    Atmospheric, watershed and coastal ocean models were integrated to provide a holistic analysis approach for coastal ocean simulation. The coupled model was applied to coastal ocean in the Philippines where terrestrial sediment loads provided from several adjacent watersheds play a major role in influencing coastal turbidity and are partly responsible for the coastal ecosystem degradation. The coupled model was validated using weather and hydrologic measurement to examine its potential applicability. The results revealed that the coastal water quality may be governed by the loads not only from the adjacent watershed but also from the distant watershed via coastal currents. This important feature of the multiple linkages can be quantitatively characterized by a "stress connectivity matrix", which indicates the complex underlying structure of environmental stresses in coastal ocean. The multiple stress connectivity concept shows the potential advantage of the integrated modelling approach for coastal ocean assessment, which may also serve for compensating the lack of measured data especially in tropical basins.

  3. ROLE OF LEAF SURFACE WATER IN THE BI-DIRECTIONAL AMMONIA EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE ATMOSPHERE AND TERRESTRIAL BIOSPHERE

    Science.gov (United States)

    A field experiment was conducted to study the ammonia exchange between plants and the atmosphere in a soybean field in Duplin County, North Carolina during the summer of 2002. Measurements indicate that the net canopy-scale ammonia exchange is bi-directional and has a significant...

  4. Joint atmospheric-terrestrial water balances for East Africa: a WRF-Hydro case study for the upper Tana River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerandi, Noah; Arnault, Joel; Laux, Patrick; Wagner, Sven; Kitheka, Johnson; Kunstmann, Harald

    2018-02-01

    For an improved understanding of the hydrometeorological conditions of the Tana River basin of Kenya, East Africa, its joint atmospheric-terrestrial water balances are investigated. This is achieved through the application of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and the fully coupled WRF-Hydro modeling system over the Mathioya-Sagana subcatchment (3279 km2) and its surroundings in the upper Tana River basin for 4 years (2011-2014). The model setup consists of an outer domain at 25 km (East Africa) and an inner one at 5-km (Mathioya-Sagana subcatchment) horizontal resolution. The WRF-Hydro inner domain is enhanced with hydrological routing at 500-m horizontal resolution. The results from the fully coupled modeling system are compared to those of the WRF-only model. The coupled WRF-Hydro slightly reduces precipitation, evapotranspiration, and the soil water storage but increases runoff. The total precipitation from March to May and October to December for WRF-only (974 mm/year) and coupled WRF-Hydro (940 mm/year) is closer to that derived from the Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) data (989 mm/year) than from the TRMM (795 mm/year) precipitation product. The coupled WRF-Hydro-accumulated discharge (323 mm/year) is close to that observed (333 mm/year). However, the coupled WRF-Hydro underestimates the observed peak flows registering low but acceptable NSE (0.02) and RSR (0.99) at daily time step. The precipitation recycling and efficiency measures between WRF-only and coupled WRF-Hydro are very close and small. This suggests that most of precipitation in the region comes from moisture advection from the outside of the analysis domain, indicating a minor impact of potential land-precipitation feedback mechanisms in this case. The coupled WRF-Hydro nonetheless serves as a tool in quantifying the atmospheric-terrestrial water balance in this region.

  5. Constraints on planet formation from Kepler’s multiple planet systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintana, Elisa V.

    2015-01-01

    The recent haul of hundreds of multiple planet systems discovered by Kepler provides a treasure trove of new clues for planet formation theories. The substantial amount of protoplanetary disk mass needed to form the most commonly observed multi-planet systems - small (Earth-sized to mini-Neptune-sized) planets close to their stars - argues against pure in situ formation and suggests that the planets in these systems must have undergone some form of migration. I will present results from numerical simulations of terrestrial planet formation that aim to reproduce the sizes and architecture of Kepler's multi-planet systems, and will discuss the observed resonances and giant planets (or the lack thereof) associated with these systems.

  6. UV SURFACE ENVIRONMENT OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING FGKM STARS THROUGH GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D. [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden st., 02138 MA Cambridge (United States); Segura, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México (Mexico); Kaltenegger, L., E-mail: srugheimer@cfa.harvard.edu [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)

    2015-06-10

    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UV flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments.

  7. UV SURFACE ENVIRONMENT OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING FGKM STARS THROUGH GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Sasselov, D.; Segura, A.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2015-01-01

    The UV environment of a host star affects the photochemistry in the atmosphere, and ultimately the surface UV environment for terrestrial planets and therefore the conditions for the origin and evolution of life. We model the surface UV radiation environment for Earth-sized planets orbiting FGKM stars in the circumstellar Habitable Zone for Earth through its geological evolution. We explore four different types of atmospheres corresponding to an early-Earth atmosphere at 3.9 Gyr ago and three atmospheres covering the rise of oxygen to present-day levels at 2.0 Gyr ago, 0.8 Gyr ago, and modern Earth. In addition to calculating the UV flux on the surface of the planet, we model the biologically effective irradiance, using DNA damage as a proxy for biological damage. We find that a pre-biotic Earth (3.9 Gyr ago) orbiting an F0V star receives 6 times the biologically effective radiation as around the early Sun and 3520 times the modern Earth–Sun levels. A pre-biotic Earth orbiting GJ 581 (M3.5 V) receives 300 times less biologically effective radiation, about 2 times modern Earth–Sun levels. The UV fluxes calculated here provide a grid of model UV environments during the evolution of an Earth-like planet orbiting a range of stars. These models can be used as inputs into photo-biological experiments and for pre-biotic chemistry and early life evolution experiments

  8. Thermodynamic limits set relevant constraints to the soil-plant-atmosphere system and to optimality in terrestrial vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleidon, Axel; Renner, Maik

    2016-04-01

    The soil-plant-atmosphere system is a complex system that is strongly shaped by interactions between the physical environment and vegetation. This complexity appears to demand equally as complex models to fully capture the dynamics of the coupled system. What we describe here is an alternative approach that is based on thermodynamics and which allows for comparatively simple formulations free of empirical parameters by assuming that the system is so complex that its emergent dynamics are only constrained by the thermodynamics of the system. This approach specifically makes use of the second law of thermodynamics, a fundamental physical law that is typically not being considered in Earth system science. Its relevance to land surface processes is that it fundamentally sets a direction as well as limits to energy conversions and associated rates of mass exchange, but it requires us to formulate land surface processes as thermodynamic processes that are driven by energy conversions. We describe an application of this approach to the surface energy balance partitioning at the diurnal scale. In this application the turbulent heat fluxes of sensible and latent heat are described as the result of a convective heat engine that is driven by solar radiative heating of the surface and that operates at its thermodynamic limit. The predicted fluxes from this approach compare very well to observations at several sites. This suggests that the turbulent exchange fluxes between the surface and the atmosphere operate at their thermodynamic limit, so that thermodynamics imposes a relevant constraint to the land surface-atmosphere system. Yet, thermodynamic limits do not entirely determine the soil-plant-atmosphere system because vegetation affects these limits, for instance by affecting the magnitude of surface heating by absorption of solar radiation in the canopy layer. These effects are likely to make the conditions at the land surface more favorable for photosynthetic activity

  9. TPS for Outer Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; Ellerby, D.; Gage, P.; Gasch, M.; Hwang, H.; Prabhu, D.; Stackpoole, M.; Wercinski, Paul

    2018-01-01

    This invited talk will provide an assessment of the TPS needs for Outer Planet In-situ missions to destinations with atmosphere. The talk will outline the drivers for TPS from destination, science, mission architecture and entry environment. An assessment of the readiness of the TPS, both currently available and under development, for Saturn, Titan, Uranus and Neptune are provided. The challenges related to sustainability of the TPS for future missions are discussed.

  10. Removal of CO2 from the terrestrial atmosphere to curtail global warming: From methodology to laboratory prototype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orton, Andrea E.

    This research has focused on the initial phase of required investigations in pursuit of a global scale methodology for reduction of CO 2 in terrestrial air for the purpose of curtailment of global warming. This methodology was initially presented by Agee, Orton, and Rogers (2013), and has provided the basis for pursuing this thesis research. The first objective of the research project was to design and build a laboratory prototype system, capable of depleting CO2 from terrestrial air at 1 bar of pressure through LN2 refrigeration. Design considerations included a 26.5L cylindrical Pyrex glass sequestration chamber, a container to hold a reservoir of LN2 and an interface between the two to allow for cooling and instrumentation ports for measurements inside the sequestration chamber. Further, consideration was given to the need for appropriate insulating material to enclose the assembled apparatus to help achieve efficient cooling and the threshold depositional temperature of 135 K. The Amy Facility in the Department of Chemistry provided critical expertise to machine the apparatus to specifications, especially the stainless steel interface plate. Research into available insulating materials resulted in the adaption of TRYMER RTM 2500 Polyisocyanurate, effective down to 90 K. The above described DAC prototype designed for CO2 sequestration accomplished two of the initial research objectives investigated: 1) conduct refrigeration experiments to achieve CO2 terrestrial deposition temperature of 135 K (uniformly) and 2) deplete CO2 from the chamber air at 1 bar of pressure, documented by appropriate measurements. It took approximately 5.5 hours for the chamber to be completely uniform in temperature of 135 K (and below) through the use of LN2 poured into the container sitting on an aluminum interface on top of the sequestration Pyrex chamber. As expected, Rayleigh-Taylor instability (more dense fluid over less dense fluid) was observed through the duration of the

  11. Atmospheres of partially differentiated super-Earth exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Laura; Sasselov, Dimitar

    2015-11-01

    Terrestrial exoplanets have been discovered in a range of sizes, densities and orbital locations that defy our expectations based upon the Solar System. Planets discovered to date with radii less than ~1.5-1.6 Earth radii all seem to fall on an iso-density curve with the Earth [1]. However, mass and radius determinations, which depend on the known properties of the host star, are not accurate enough to distinguish between a fully differentiated three-layer planet (core, mantle, ocean/atmosphere) and an incompletely differentiated planet [2]. Full differentiation of a planet will depend upon the conditions at the time of accretion, including the abundance of short-lived radioisotopes, which will vary from system to system, as well as the number of giant impacts the planet experiences. Furthermore, separation of metal and silicates at the much larger pressures found inside super-Earths will depend on how the chemistry of these materials change at high pressures. There are therefore hints emerging that not all super-Earths will be fully differentiated. Incomplete differentiation will result in a more reduced mantle oxidation state and may have implications for the composition of an outgassed atmosphere. Here we will present the first results from a chemical equilibrium model of the composition of such an outgassed atmosphere and discuss the possibility of distinguishing between fully and incompletely differentiated planets through atmospheric observations.[1] Rogers, L. 2015. ApJ, 801, 41. [2] Zeng, L. & Sasselov, D. 2013. PASP, 125, 227.

  12. Two high resolution terrestrial records of atmospheric Pb deposition from New Brunswick, Canada, and Loch Laxford, Scotland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kylander, Malin E.; Weiss, Domink J.; Kober, Bernd

    2009-01-01

    Environmental archives like peat deposits allow for the reconstruction of both naturally and anthropogenically forced changes in the biogeochemical cycle of Pb as well as the quantification of past and present atmospheric Pb pollution. However, records of atmospheric Pb deposition from pre-industrial times are lacking. In a publication by Weiss et al. [Weiss, D., Shotyk, W., Boyle, E.A., Kramers, J.D., Appleby, P.G., Cheburkin, A.K., Comparative study of the temporal evolution of atmospheric lead deposition in Scotland and eastern Canada using blanket peat bogs. Sci Total Environ 2002;292:7-18]. Pb isotopes data measured by Q-ICP-MS and TIMS, concentration and enrichment data was presented for sites in eastern Canada (PeW1) and northwestern Scotland (LL7c), dating to 1586 A.D and 715 A.D., respectively. Here these same cores are re-analysed for Pb isotopes by MC-ICP-MS thereby acquiring 204 Pb data and improving on the original data in terms of resolution and temporal coverage. Significant differences were found between the Q-ICP-MS/TIMS and MC-ICP-MS measurements, particularly at PeW1. These discrepancies are attributed to the problematic presence of organic matter during sample preparation and analysis complicated by the heterogeneity of the organic compounds that survived sample preparation steps. The precision and accuracy of Pb isotopes in complex matrices like peat is not always well estimated by industrial standards like NIST-SRM 981 Pb. Lead pollution histories at each site were constructed using the MC-ICP-MS data. The entire LL7c record is likely subject to anthropogenic additions. Contributions from local mining were detected in Medieval times. Later, coal use and mining in Scotland, Wales and England became important. After industrialization (ca. 1885 A.D.) contributions from Broken Hill type ores and hence, leaded petrol, dominate atmospheric Pb signatures right up to modern times. At PeW1 anthropogenic impacts are first distinguishable in the late 17

  13. Modeled responses of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO2: a comparison of simulations by the biogeochemistry models of the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yude; Melillo, Jerry M; McGuire, A David; Kicklighter, David W; Pitelka, Louis F; Hibbard, Kathy; Pierce, Lars L; Running, Steven W; Ojima, Dennis S; Parton, William J; Schimel, David S

    1998-04-01

    Although there is a great deal of information concerning responses to increases in atmospheric CO 2 at the tissue and plant levels, there are substantially fewer studies that have investigated ecosystem-level responses in the context of integrated carbon, water, and nutrient cycles. Because our understanding of ecosystem responses to elevated CO 2 is incomplete, modeling is a tool that can be used to investigate the role of plant and soil interactions in the response of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated CO 2 . In this study, we analyze the responses of net primary production (NPP) to doubled CO 2 from 355 to 710 ppmv among three biogeochemistry models in the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP): BIOME-BGC (BioGeochemical Cycles), Century, and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM). For the conterminous United States, doubled atmospheric CO 2 causes NPP to increase by 5% in Century, 8% in TEM, and 11% in BIOME-BGC. Multiple regression analyses between the NPP response to doubled CO 2 and the mean annual temperature and annual precipitation of biomes or grid cells indicate that there are negative relationships between precipitation and the response of NPP to doubled CO 2 for all three models. In contrast, there are different relationships between temperature and the response of NPP to doubled CO 2 for the three models: there is a negative relationship in the responses of BIOME-BGC, no relationship in the responses of Century, and a positive relationship in the responses of TEM. In BIOME-BGC, the NPP response to doubled CO 2 is controlled by the change in transpiration associated with reduced leaf conductance to water vapor. This change affects soil water, then leaf area development and, finally, NPP. In Century, the response of NPP to doubled CO 2 is controlled by changes in decomposition rates associated with increased soil moisture that results from reduced evapotranspiration. This change affects nitrogen availability for plants, which

  14. Ideas and perspectives: on the emission of amines from terrestrial vegetation in the context of new atmospheric particle formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Sintermann

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In this article we summarise recent science which shows how airborne amines, specifically methylamines (MAs, play a key role in new atmospheric particle formation (NPF by stabilising small molecule clusters. Agricultural emissions are assumed to constitute the most important MA source, but given the short atmospheric residence time of MAs, they can hardly have a direct impact on NPF events observed in remote regions. This leads us to the presentation of existing knowledge focussing on natural vegetation-related MA sources. High MA contents as well as emissions by plants was already described in the 19th century. Strong MA emissions predominantly occur during flowering as part of a pollination strategy. The behaviour is species-specific, but examples of such species are common and widespread. In addition, vegetative plant tissue exhibiting high amounts of MAs might potentially lead to significant emissions. The decomposition of organic material constitutes another, potentially ubiquitous, source of airborne MAs. These mechanisms would provide sources, which could be crucial for the amine's role in NPF, especially in remote regions. Knowledge about vegetation-related amine emissions is, however, very limited, and thus it is also an open question how global change and the intensified cycling of reactive nitrogen over the last 200 years have altered amine emissions from vegetation with a corresponding effect on NPF.

  15. Dynamics of Massive Atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chemke, Rei; Kaspi, Yohai, E-mail: rei.chemke@weizmann.ac.il [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, 234 Herzl st., 76100, Rehovot (Israel)

    2017-08-10

    The many recently discovered terrestrial exoplanets are expected to hold a wide range of atmospheric masses. Here the dynamic-thermodynamic effects of atmospheric mass on atmospheric circulation are studied using an idealized global circulation model by systematically varying the atmospheric surface pressure. On an Earth analog planet, an increase in atmospheric mass weakens the Hadley circulation and decreases its latitudinal extent. These changes are found to be related to the reduction of the convective fluxes and net radiative cooling (due to the higher atmospheric heat capacity), which, respectively, cool the upper troposphere at mid-low latitudes and warm the troposphere at high latitudes. These together decrease the meridional temperature gradient, tropopause height and static stability. The reduction of these parameters, which play a key role in affecting the flow properties of the tropical circulation, weakens and contracts the Hadley circulation. The reduction of the meridional temperature gradient also decreases the extraction of mean potential energy to the eddy fields and the mean kinetic energy, which weakens the extratropical circulation. The decrease of the eddy kinetic energy decreases the Rhines wavelength, which is found to follow the meridional jet scale. The contraction of the jet scale in the extratropics results in multiple jets and meridional circulation cells as the atmospheric mass increases.

  16. Atmosphere Impact Losses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlichting, Hilke E.; Mukhopadhyay, Sujoy

    2018-02-01

    Determining the origin of volatiles on terrestrial planets and quantifying atmospheric loss during planet formation is crucial for understanding the history and evolution of planetary atmospheres. Using geochemical observations of noble gases and major volatiles we determine what the present day inventory of volatiles tells us about the sources, the accretion process and the early differentiation of the Earth. We further quantify the key volatile loss mechanisms and the atmospheric loss history during Earth's formation. Volatiles were accreted throughout the Earth's formation, but Earth's early accretion history was volatile poor. Although nebular Ne and possible H in the deep mantle might be a fingerprint of this early accretion, most of the mantle does not remember this signature implying that volatile loss occurred during accretion. Present day geochemistry of volatiles shows no evidence of hydrodynamic escape as the isotopic compositions of most volatiles are chondritic. This suggests that atmospheric loss generated by impacts played a major role during Earth's formation. While many of the volatiles have chondritic isotopic ratios, their relative abundances are certainly not chondritic again suggesting volatile loss tied to impacts. Geochemical evidence of atmospheric loss comes from the {}3He/{}^{22}Ne, halogen ratios (e.g., F/Cl) and low H/N ratios. In addition, the geochemical ratios indicate that most of the water could have been delivered prior to the Moon forming impact and that the Moon forming impact did not drive off the ocean. Given the importance of impacts in determining the volatile budget of the Earth we examine the contributions to atmospheric loss from both small and large impacts. We find that atmospheric mass loss due to impacts can be characterized into three different regimes: 1) Giant Impacts, that create a strong shock transversing the whole planet and that can lead to atmospheric loss globally. 2) Large enough impactors (m_{cap} ≳ √{2

  17. Terraforming the Planets and Climate Change Mitigation on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, O. B.

    2008-12-01

    Hopefully, purposeful geo-engineering of the Earth will remain a theoretical concept. Of course, we have already inadvertently changed the Earth, and over geologic history life has left an indelible imprint on our planet. We can learn about geo-engineering schemes by reference to Earth history, for example climate changes after volcanic eruptions provide important clues to using sulfates to modify the climate. The terrestrial planets and Titan offer additional insights. For instance, Mars and Venus both have carbon dioxide dominated greenhouses. Both have more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide in their atmospheres as Earth, and both absorb less sunlight than Earth, yet one is much colder than Earth and one is much hotter. These facts provide important insights into carbon dioxide greenhouses that I will review. Mars cools dramatically following planet wide dust storms, and Titan has what is referred to as an anti- greenhouse climate driven by aerosols. These data can be used to reassure us that we can model aerosol caused changes to the climate of a planet, and also provide examples of aerosols offsetting a gas-driven greenhouse effect. People have long considered whether we might make the other planets habitable. While most of the schemes considered belong in the realm of science fiction, it is possible that some schemes might be practical. Terraforming brings to mind a number of issues that are thought provoking, but not so politically charged as geo-engineering. For example: What criteria define habitability, is it enough for people to live in isolated glass enclosures, or do we need to walk freely on the planet? Different creatures have different needs. Is a planet habitable if plants can thrive in the open, or do animals also need to be free? Are the raw materials present on any planet to make it habitable? If not, can we make the materials, or do we have to import them? Is it ethical to change a planetary climate? What if there are already primitive

  18. Extrasolar planets formation, detection and dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dvorak, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    This latest, up-to-date resource for research on extrasolar planets covers formation, dynamics, atmospheres and detection. After a look at the formation of giant planets, the book goes on to discuss the formation and dynamics of planets in resonances, planets in double stars, atmospheres and habitable zones, detection via spectra and transits, and the history and prospects of ESPs as well as satellite projects.Edited by a renowned expert in solar system dynamics with chapters written by the leading experts in the method described -- from the US and Europe -- this is an ideal textbook for g

  19. A Gas-Poor Planetesimal Feeding Model for the Formation of Giant Planet Satellite Systems: Consequences for the Atmosphere of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estrada, P. R.; Mosqueira, I.

    2005-01-01

    Given our presently inadequate understanding of the turbulent state of the solar and planetary nebulae, we believe the way to make progress in satellite formation is to consider two end member models that avoid over-reliance on specific choices of the turbulence (alpha), which is essentially a free parameter. The first end member model postulates turbulence decay once giant planet accretion ends. If so, Keplerian disks must eventually pass through the quiescent phases, so that the survival of satellites (and planets) ultimately hinges on gap-opening. In this scenario, the criterion for gap-opening itself sets the value for the gas surface density of the satellite disk.

  20. Effects of increasing UV-B radiation and atmospheric CO2 on photosynthesis and growth: implications for terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sullivan, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    Increases in UV-B radiation reaching the earth as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion will most likely accompany increases in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations. Many studies have examined the effects of each factor independently, but few have evaluated the combined effects of both UV-B radiation and elevated CO 2 . In general the results of such studies have shown independent effects on growth or seed yield. Although interspecific variation is large, high levels of UV-B radiation tends to reduce plant growth in sensitive species, while CO 2 enrichment tends to promote growth in most C 3 species. However, most previous studies have not looked at temporal effects or at the relationship between photosynthetic acclimation to CO 2 and possible photosynthetic limitations imposed by UV-B radiation. Elevated CO 2 may provide some protection against UV-B for some species. In contrast, UV-B radiation may limit the ability to exploit elevated CO 2 in other species. Interactions between the effects of CO 2 enrichment and UV-B radiation exposure have also been shown for biomass allocation. Effects on both biomass allocation and photosynthetic acclimation may be important to ecosystem structure in terms of seedling establishment, competition and reproductive output. Few studies have evaluated ecosystem processes such as decomposition or nutrient cycling. Interactive effects may be subtle and species specific but should not be ignored in the assessment of the potential impacts of increases in CO 2 and UV-B radiation on plants. (author)

  1. The effect of host star spectral energy distribution and ice-albedo feedback on the climate of extrasolar planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Aomawa L; Meadows, Victoria S; Bitz, Cecilia M; Pierrehumbert, Raymond T; Joshi, Manoj M; Robinson, Tyler D

    2013-08-01

    Planetary climate can be affected by the interaction of the host star spectral energy distribution with the wavelength-dependent reflectivity of ice and snow. In this study, we explored this effect with a one-dimensional (1-D), line-by-line, radiative transfer model to calculate broadband planetary albedos as input to a seasonally varying, 1-D energy balance climate model. A three-dimensional (3-D) general circulation model was also used to explore the atmosphere's response to changes in incoming stellar radiation, or instellation, and surface albedo. Using this hierarchy of models, we simulated planets covered by ocean, land, and water-ice of varying grain size, with incident radiation from stars of different spectral types. Terrestrial planets orbiting stars with higher near-UV radiation exhibited a stronger ice-albedo feedback. We found that ice extent was much greater on a planet orbiting an F-dwarf star than on a planet orbiting a G-dwarf star at an equivalent flux distance, and that ice-covered conditions occurred on an F-dwarf planet with only a 2% reduction in instellation relative to the present instellation on Earth, assuming fixed CO(2) (present atmospheric level on Earth). A similar planet orbiting the Sun at an equivalent flux distance required an 8% reduction in instellation, while a planet orbiting an M-dwarf star required an additional 19% reduction in instellation to become ice-covered, equivalent to 73% of the modern solar constant. The reduction in instellation must be larger for planets orbiting cooler stars due in large part to the stronger absorption of longer-wavelength radiation by icy surfaces on these planets in addition to stronger absorption by water vapor and CO(2) in their atmospheres, which provides increased downwelling longwave radiation. Lowering the IR and visible-band surface ice and snow albedos for an M-dwarf planet increased the planet's climate stability against changes in instellation and slowed the descent into global ice

  2. Spectra of Earth-like Planets through Geological Evolution around FGKM Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.

    2018-02-01

    Future observations of terrestrial exoplanet atmospheres will occur for planets at different stages of geological evolution. We expect to observe a wide variety of atmospheres and planets with alternative evolutionary paths, with some planets resembling Earth at different epochs. For an Earth-like atmospheric time trajectory, we simulate planets from the prebiotic to the current atmosphere based on geological data. We use a stellar grid F0V to M8V ({T}{eff}=7000–2400 K) to model four geological epochs of Earth's history corresponding to a prebiotic world (3.9 Ga), the rise of oxygen at 2.0 Ga and at 0.8 Ga, and the modern Earth. We show the VIS–IR spectral features, with a focus on biosignatures through geological time for this grid of Sun-like host stars and the effect of clouds on their spectra. We find that the observability of biosignature gases reduces with increasing cloud cover and increases with planetary age. The observability of the visible O2 feature for lower concentrations will partly depend on clouds, which, while slightly reducing the feature, increase the overall reflectivity, and thus the detectable flux of a planet. The depth of the IR ozone feature contributes substantially to the opacity at lower oxygen concentrations, especially for the high near-UV stellar environments around F stars. Our results are a grid of model spectra for atmospheres representative of Earth's geological history to inform future observations and instrument design and are available online at http://carlsaganinstitute.org/data/.

  3. Astronomy: A small star with an Earth-like planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    2015-11-01

    A rocky planet close in size to Earth has been discovered in the cosmic vicinity of our Sun. The small size and proximity of the associated star bode well for studies of the planet's atmosphere. See Letter p.204

  4. Origins and Destinations: Tracking Planet Composition through Planet Formation Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chance, Quadry; Ballard, Sarah

    2018-01-01

    There are now several thousand confirmed exoplanets, a number which far exceeds our resources to study them all in detail. In particular, planets around M dwarfs provide the best opportunity for in-depth study of their atmospheres by telescopes in the near future. The question of which M dwarf planets most merit follow-up resources is a pressing one, given that NASA’s TESS mission will soon find hundreds of such planets orbiting stars bright enough for both ground and spaced-based follow-up.Our work aims to predict the approximate composition of planets around these stars through n-body simulations of the last stage of planet formation. With a variety of initial disk conditions, we investigate how the relative abundances of both refractory and volatile compounds in the primordial planetesimals are mapped to the final planet outcomes. These predictions can serve to provide a basis for making an educated guess about (a) which planets to observe with precious resources like JWST and (b) how to identify them based on dynamical clues.

  5. Critical levels and loads of atmospheric pollutants for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The emergence of a scientific concept. Application potentials and their limits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Landmann, G.

    1993-01-01

    The 'critical loads and levels' are defined as the highest atmospheric deposition rate or concentration of a gaseous pollutant, respectively, that will not cause harmful effects on sensitive elements of an ecosystem. The recent emergence of the concept of critical loads and levels is described, from the first explicit mention in 1986 to the production of the first European maps in 1991. The difficulties linked to the definition of the concept and to its english-derived terminology are discussed. The main approaches used for assessing critical loads and levels are briefly described. Important research is developed under the auspices of the Convention of Geneva (Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution Transport, UN-ECE), arising from intensive studies which have been carried out on the effects of air pollution on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for the past ten or fifteen years. Current knowledge is summarized, as well as the remaining gaps (and questions) which hinder the calculation of the critical thresholds. Finally, beyond the fundamental relevance of this scientifically sound and easily understood concept, its limits are pointed out. In brief, the 'critical loads and levels' concept is attractive and motivating to many scientists: it implies to apply an integrated and finalized approach, favors the prospecting of poorly known ecosystems and regions, and represents an interesting interface with decision makers

  6. Sensitivity of terrestrial ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}: Comparisons of model simulation studies to CO{sub 2} effect

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pan, Y. [Marine Biological Lab., Woods Hole, MA (United States)

    1995-06-01

    In the context of a project to compare terrestrial ecosystem models, the Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP), we have analyzed how three biogeochemistry models link plant growth to doubled atmospheric CO{sub 2}. A common set of input data was used to drive three biogeochemistry models, BIOME-BGC, CENTURY and TEM. For the continental United States the simulation results show that with doubled CO{sub 2}, NPP increased by 8.7%, 5.0% and 10.8% for TEM, CENTURY and BIOME-BGC, respectively. At the biome level the range of NPP estimates varied considerably among models. TEM-simulated enhancement of NPP ranged from 2% to 28%; CENTURY, from 2% to 9%; and BIOME-BGC, from 4% to 27%. A transect analysis across several biomes along a latitude at 41.5 N shows that the TEM-simulated CO{sub 2} enhancement of NPP ranged from 0% to 22%; CENTURY, from 1% to 10% and BIOME-BGC, from 1% to 63%. In this study, we have investigated the underlying mechanisms of the three models to reveal how increased CO{sub 2} affects photosynthesis rate, water using efficiency and nutrient cycles. The relative importance of these mechanisms in each of the three biogeochemistry models will be discussed.

  7. Recent Advances in Atmospheric, Solar-Terrestrial Physics and Space Weather From a North-South network of scientists [2006-2016] PART A: TUTORIAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amory-Mazaudier, C.; Menvielle, M.; Curto, J-J.; Le Huy, M.

    2017-12-01

    This paper reviews scientific advances achieved by a North-South network between 2006 and 2016. These scientific advances concern Solar Terrestrial Physics, Atmospheric Physics and Space Weather. In this part A, we introduce knowledge on the Sun-Earth system. We consider the physical process of the dynamo which is present in the Sun, in the core of the Earth and also in the regions between the Sun and the Earth, the solar wind-magnetosphere and the ionosphere. Equations of plasma physics and Maxwell's equations will be recalled. In the Sun-Earth system there are permanent dynamos (Sun, Earth's core, solar wind - magnetosphere, neutral wind - ionosphere) and non-permanent dynamos that are activated during magnetic storms in the magnetosphere and in the ionosphere. All these dynamos have associated electric currents that affect the variations of the Earth's magnetic field which are easily measurable. That is why a part of the tutorial is also devoted to the magnetic indices which are indicators of the electric currents in the Sun-Earth system. In order to understand some results of the part B, we present some characteristics of the Equatorial region and of the electrodynamics coupling the Auroral and Equatorial regions.

  8. THE ORBITAL PHASES AND SECONDARY TRANSITS OF KEPLER-10b. A PHYSICAL INTERPRETATION BASED ON THE LAVA-OCEAN PLANET MODEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouan, D.; Deeg, H. J.; Demangeon, O.; Samuel, B.; Cavarroc, C.; Léger, A.; Fegley, B.

    2011-01-01

    The Kepler mission has made an important observation: the first detection of photons from a terrestrial planet by observing its phase curve (Kepler-10b). This opens a new field in exoplanet science: the possibility of obtaining information about the atmosphere and surface of rocky planets, objects of prime interest. In this Letter, we apply the Lava-ocean model to interpret the observed phase curve. The model, a planet without atmosphere and a surface partially made of molten rocks, has been proposed for planets of the class of CoRoT-7b, i.e., rocky planets very close to their star (at a few stellar radii). Kepler-10b is a typical member of this family. It predicts that the light from the planet has an important emission component in addition to the reflected one, even in the Kepler spectral band. Assuming an isotropical reflection of light by the planetary surface (Lambertian-like approximation), we find that a Bond albedo of ∼50% can account for the observed amplitude of the phase curve, as opposed to a first attempt where an unusually high value was found. We propose a physical process to explain this still large value of the albedo. The overall interpretation can be tested in the future with instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope or the Exoplanet Characterization Observatory. Our model predicts a spectral dependence that is clearly distinguishable from that of purely reflected light and from that of a planet at a uniform temperature.

  9. Atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, G.E.

    1981-01-01

    In this paper the current knowledge of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn are reviewed making use of the extensive telescopic studies, International Ultraviolet Explorer Satellite observations and the measurements made during the recent Pioneer and Voyager flybys which have been supported by detailed theoretical studies. A detailed discussion is given of the composition of these atmospheres and the abundance ratios which provide insight into their original state and their evolution. The Voyager observations indicate a surprisingly close similarity between the weather systems of the Earth and the giant planets. Although both Jupiter and Saturn have internal heat sources, and are therefore star-like in their interiors, they appear to produce terrestrial-style weather systems. A detailed discussion is given of this work, which forms a major study of the Laboratory for Planetary Atmospheres at University College London. (author)

  10. Electrodynamics on extrasolar giant planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koskinen, T. T.; Yelle, R. V. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Lavvas, P. [Groupe de Spectroscopie Moléculaire et Atmosphérique UMR CNRS 7331, Université Reims Champagne-Ardenne, F-51687 Reims (France); Cho, J. Y-K., E-mail: tommi@lpl.arizona.edu [Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS (United Kingdom)

    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

  11. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quintana, Elisa V.; Lissauer, Jack J.

    2014-01-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M ⊕ to 1 M J ) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  12. The effect of planets beyond the ice line on the accretion of volatiles by habitable-zone rocky planets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quintana, Elisa V. [SETI Institute, 189 Bernardo Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043 (United States); Lissauer, Jack J., E-mail: elisa.quintana@nasa.gov [Space Science and Astrobiology Division 245-3, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    Models of planet formation have shown that giant planets have a large impact on the number, masses, and orbits of terrestrial planets that form. In addition, they play an important role in delivering volatiles from material that formed exterior to the snow line (the region in the disk beyond which water ice can condense) to the inner region of the disk where terrestrial planets can maintain liquid water on their surfaces. We present simulations of the late stages of terrestrial planet formation from a disk of protoplanets around a solar-type star and we include a massive planet (from 1 M {sub ⊕} to 1 M {sub J}) in Jupiter's orbit at ∼5.2 AU in all but one set of simulations. Two initial disk models are examined with the same mass distribution and total initial water content, but with different distributions of water content. We compare the accretion rates and final water mass fraction of the planets that form. Remarkably, all of the planets that formed in our simulations without giant planets were water-rich, showing that giant planet companions are not required to deliver volatiles to terrestrial planets in the habitable zone. In contrast, an outer planet at least several times the mass of Earth may be needed to clear distant regions of debris truncating the epoch of frequent large impacts. Observations of exoplanets from radial velocity surveys suggest that outer Jupiter-like planets may be scarce, therefore, the results presented here suggest that there may be more habitable planets residing in our galaxy than previously thought.

  13. Terrestrial Zone Exoplanets and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Brenda

    2018-01-01

    One of the most exciting results from ALMA has been the detection of significant substructure within protoplanetary disks that can be linked to planet formation processes. For the first time, we are able to observe the process of assembly of material into larger bodies within such disks. It is not possible, however, for ALMA to probe the growth of planets in protoplanetary disks at small radii, i.e., in the terrestrial zone, where we expect rocky terrestrial planets to form. In this regime, the optical depths prohibit observation at the high frequencies observed by ALMA. To probe the effects of planet building processes and detect telltale gaps and signatures of planetary mass bodies at such small separations from the parent star, we require a facility of superior resolution and sensitivity at lower frequencies. The ngVLA is just such a facility. We will present the fundamental science that will be enabled by the ngVLA in protoplanetary disk structure and the formation of planets. In addition, we will discuss the potential for an ngVLA facility to detect the molecules that are the building blocks of life, reaching limits well beyond those reachable with the current generation of telescopes, and also to determine whether such planets will be habitable based on studies of the impact of stars on their nearest planetary neighbours.

  14. The Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken Rice

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We have now confirmed the existence of > 1800 planets orbiting stars other thanthe Sun; known as extrasolar planets or exoplanets. The different methods for detectingsuch planets are sensitive to different regions of parameter space, and so, we are discoveringa wide diversity of exoplanets and exoplanetary systems. Characterizing such planets isdifficult, but we are starting to be able to determine something of their internal compositionand are beginning to be able to probe their atmospheres, the first step towards the detectionof bio-signatures and, hence, determining if a planet could be habitable or not. Here, Iwill review how we detect exoplanets, how we characterize exoplanetary systems and theexoplanets themselves, where we stand with respect to potentially habitable planets and howwe are progressing towards being able to actually determine if a planet could host life or not.

  15. The effect of lunarlike satellites on the orbital infrared light curves of Earth-analog planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas A; Gaidos, Eric; Williams, Darren M

    2009-04-01

    We have investigated the influence of lunarlike satellites on the infrared orbital light curves of Earth-analog extrasolar planets. Such light curves will be obtained by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and ESA's Darwin missions as a consequence of repeat observations to confirm the companion status of a putative planet and determine its orbit. We used an energy balance model to calculate disk-averaged infrared (bolometric) fluxes from planet-satellite systems over a full orbital period (one year). The satellites are assumed to lack an atmosphere, have a low thermal inertia like that of the Moon, and span a range of plausible radii. The planets are assumed to have thermal and orbital properties that mimic those of Earth, while their obliquities and orbital longitudes of inferior conjunction remain free parameters. Even if the gross thermal properties of the planet can be independently constrained (e.g., via spectroscopy or visible-wavelength detection of specular glint from a surface ocean), only the largest (approximately Mars-sized) lunarlike satellites can be detected by light curve data from a TPF-like instrument (i.e., one that achieves a photometric signal-to-noise ratio of 10 to 20 at infrared wavelengths). Nondetection of a lunarlike satellite can obfuscate the interpretation of a given system's infrared light curve so that it may resemble a single planet with high obliquity, different orbital longitude of vernal equinox relative to inferior conjunction, and in some cases drastically different thermal characteristics. If the thermal properties of the planet are not independently established, then the presence of a lunarlike satellite cannot be inferred from infrared data, which would thus demonstrate that photometric light curves alone can only be used for preliminary study, and the addition of spectroscopic data will be necessary.

  16. Atmospheric dynamics of Earth-like tidally locked aquaplanets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tapio Schneider

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We present simulations of atmospheres of Earth-like aquaplanets that are tidally locked to their star, that is, planets whose orbital period is equal to the rotation period about their spin axis, so that one side always faces the star and the other side is always dark. Such simulations are of interest in the study of tidally locked terrestrial exoplanets and as illustrations of how planetary rotation and the insolation distribution shape climate. As extreme cases illustrating the effects of slow and rapid rotation, we consider planets with rotation periods equal to one current Earth year and one current Earth day. The dynamics responsible for the surface climate (e.g., winds, temperature, precipitation and the general circulation of the atmosphere are discussed in light of existing theories of atmospheric circulations. For example, as expected from the increasing importance of Coriolis accelerations relative to inertial accelerations as the rotation rate increases, the winds are approximately isotropic and divergent at leading order in the slowly rotating atmosphere but are predominantly zonal and rotational in the rapidly rotating atmosphere. Free-atmospheric horizontal temperature variations in the slowly rotating atmosphere are generally weaker than in the rapidly rotating atmosphere. Interestingly, the surface temperature on the night side of the planets does not fall below ~240 K in either the rapidly or slowly rotating atmosphere; that is, heat transport from the day side to the night side of the planets efficiently reduces temperature contrasts in either case. Rotational waves and eddies shape the distribution of winds, temperature, and precipitation in the rapidly rotating atmosphere; in the slowly rotating atmosphere, these distributions are controlled by simpler divergent circulations. Both the slowly and rapidly rotating atmospheres exhibit equatorial superrotation. Systematic variation of the planetary rotation rate shows that the

  17. Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using SOFIA

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Jupiter: Lord of the Planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, William

    1984-01-01

    Presents a chapter from an introductory college-level astronomy textbook in which full-color photographs and numerous diagrams highlight an extensive description of the planet Jupiter. Topics include Jupiter's geology, rotation, magnetic field, atmosphere (including clouds and winds), and the Great Red Spot. (DH)

  19. Giant planets. Holweck prize lecture 1982

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hide, R. (Meteorological Office, Bracknell (UK))

    1982-10-01

    The main characteristics of the giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are outlined. Studies which have been made of the circulation of their atmospheres, the structure of their interiors and the origin of their magnetic fields are discussed.

  20. ABIOTIC O2 LEVELS ON PLANETS AROUND F, G, K, AND M STARS: POSSIBLE FALSE POSITIVES FOR LIFE?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harman, C. E.; Kasting, J. F.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Schottelkotte, J. C.

    2015-01-01

    In the search for life on Earth-like planets around other stars, the first (and likely only) information will come from the spectroscopic characterization of the planet's atmosphere. Of the countless number of chemical species terrestrial life produces, only a few have the distinct spectral features and the necessary atmospheric abundance to be detectable. The easiest of these species to observe in Earth's atmosphere is O 2 (and its photochemical byproduct, O 3 ). However, O 2 can also be produced abiotically by photolysis of CO 2 , followed by recombination of O atoms with each other. CO is produced in stoichiometric proportions. Whether O 2 and CO can accumulate to appreciable concentrations depends on the ratio of far-ultraviolet (FUV) to near-ultraviolet (NUV) radiation coming from the planet's parent star and on what happens to these gases when they dissolve in a planet's oceans. Using a one-dimensional photochemical model, we demonstrate that O 2 derived from CO 2 photolysis should not accumulate to measurable concentrations on planets around F- and G-type stars. K-star, and especially M-star planets, however, may build up O 2 because of the low NUV flux from their parent stars, in agreement with some previous studies. On such planets, a “false positive” for life is possible if recombination of dissolved CO and O 2 in the oceans is slow and if other O 2 sinks (e.g., reduced volcanic gases or dissolved ferrous iron) are small. O 3 , on the other hand, could be detectable at UV wavelengths (λ < 300 nm) for a much broader range of boundary conditions and stellar types

  1. ABIOTIC O{sub 2} LEVELS ON PLANETS AROUND F, G, K, AND M STARS: POSSIBLE FALSE POSITIVES FOR LIFE?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harman, C. E.; Kasting, J. F. [Geosciences Department, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States); Schwieterman, E. W. [NASA Astrobiology Institute—Virtual Planetary Laboratory (United States); Schottelkotte, J. C., E-mail: ceharmanjr@psu.edu [Astronomy Department, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)

    2015-10-20

    In the search for life on Earth-like planets around other stars, the first (and likely only) information will come from the spectroscopic characterization of the planet's atmosphere. Of the countless number of chemical species terrestrial life produces, only a few have the distinct spectral features and the necessary atmospheric abundance to be detectable. The easiest of these species to observe in Earth's atmosphere is O{sub 2} (and its photochemical byproduct, O{sub 3}). However, O{sub 2} can also be produced abiotically by photolysis of CO{sub 2}, followed by recombination of O atoms with each other. CO is produced in stoichiometric proportions. Whether O{sub 2} and CO can accumulate to appreciable concentrations depends on the ratio of far-ultraviolet (FUV) to near-ultraviolet (NUV) radiation coming from the planet's parent star and on what happens to these gases when they dissolve in a planet's oceans. Using a one-dimensional photochemical model, we demonstrate that O{sub 2} derived from CO{sub 2} photolysis should not accumulate to measurable concentrations on planets around F- and G-type stars. K-star, and especially M-star planets, however, may build up O{sub 2} because of the low NUV flux from their parent stars, in agreement with some previous studies. On such planets, a “false positive” for life is possible if recombination of dissolved CO and O{sub 2} in the oceans is slow and if other O{sub 2} sinks (e.g., reduced volcanic gases or dissolved ferrous iron) are small. O{sub 3}, on the other hand, could be detectable at UV wavelengths (λ < 300 nm) for a much broader range of boundary conditions and stellar types.

  2. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission's Red Planet program: Bridging the gap in elementary school science through climate studies of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, E. L.

    2012-12-01

    Although reading, writing, and math examinations are often conducted early in elementary school, science is not typically tested until 4th or 5th grade. The result is a refocus on the tested topics at the expense of the untested ones, despite that standards exist for each topic at all grades. On a national level, science instruction is relegated to a matter of a few hours per week. A 2007 Education Policy study states that elementary school students spend an average of 178 minutes a week on science while spending 500 minutes on literacy. A recent NSTA report in July of 2011 of elementary and middle school teachers confirms that teachers feel pressured to teach math and literacy at the expense of other programs. In our interaction with elementary teachers, it is also apparent that many are uncomfortable with science concepts. In order for us to successfully address the Next Generation Science Standards, teachers must be able to reconcile all of the different requirements placed on them in a given school day and in a given school environment. A unique way to combat the lack of science instruction at elementary grades is to combine literacy into an integrated science program, thereby increasing the number of science contact hours. The Red Planet: Read, Write, Explore program, developed for the MAVEN mission, is a science, art, and literacy program designed to easily fit into a typical 3rd-5th grade instructional day. Red Planet tackles climate change through Mars' geologic history and makes Mars-Earth comparisons, while encouraging students to reflect on the environmental requirements needed to keep a biological organisms (including humans) happy, healthy, and alive. The Red Planet program is currently being pilot tested at Acres Green Elementary School in Colorado.

  3. The Star–Planet Connection. I. Using Stellar Composition to Observationally Constrain Planetary Mineralogy for the 10 Closest Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkel, Natalie R.; Unterborn, Cayman T.

    2018-01-01

    The compositions of stars and planets are connected, but the definition of “habitability” and the “habitable zone” only take into account the physical relationship between the star and planet. Planets, however, are made truly habitable by both chemical and physical processes that regulate climatic and geochemical cycling between atmosphere, surface, and interior reservoirs. Despite this, an “Earth-like” planet is often defined as a planet made of a mixture of rock and Fe that is roughly 1 Earth-density. To understand the interior of a terrestrial planet, the stellar abundances of planet-building elements (e.g., Mg, Si, and Fe) can be used as a proxy for the planet’s composition. We explore the planetary mineralogy and structure for fictive planets around the 10 stars closest to the Sun using stellar abundances from the Hypatia Catalog. Although our sample contains stars that are both sub- and super-solar in their abundances, we find that the mineralogies are very similar for all 10 planets—since the error or spread in the stellar abundances create significant degeneracy in the models. We show that abundance uncertainties need to be on the order of [Fe/H] < 0.02 dex, [Si/H] < 0.01 dex, [Al/H] < 0.002 dex, while [Mg/H] and [Ca/H] < 0.001 dex in order to distinguish two unique planetary populations in our sample of 10 stars. While these precisions are high, we believe that they are possible given certain abundance techniques, in addition to methodological transparency, that have recently been demonstrated in the literature. However, without these precisions, the uncertainty in planetary structures will be so high that we will be unable to confidently state that a planet is like the Earth, or unlike anything we have ever seen. We made some cuts and ruled out a number of stars, but these 10 are still rather nearby.

  4. PLANET-PLANET SCATTERING IN PLANETESIMAL DISKS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    We study the final architecture of planetary systems that evolve under the combined effects of planet-planet and planetesimal scattering. Using N-body simulations we investigate the dynamics of marginally unstable systems of gas and ice giants both in isolation and when the planets form interior to a planetesimal belt. The unstable isolated systems evolve under planet-planet scattering to yield an eccentricity distribution that matches that observed for extrasolar planets. When planetesimals are included the outcome depends upon the total mass of the planets. For M tot ∼> 1 M J the final eccentricity distribution remains broad, whereas for M tot ∼ J a combination of divergent orbital evolution and recircularization of scattered planets results in a preponderance of nearly circular final orbits. We also study the fate of marginally stable multiple planet systems in the presence of planetesimal disks, and find that for high planet masses the majority of such systems evolve into resonance. A significant fraction leads to resonant chains that are planetary analogs of Jupiter's Galilean satellites. We predict that a transition from eccentric to near-circular orbits will be observed once extrasolar planet surveys detect sub-Jovian mass planets at orbital radii of a ≅ 5-10 AU.

  5. Density is not Destiny: Characterizing Terrestrial Exoplanet Geology from Stellar Compositional Abundances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterborn, Cayman T.

    2018-01-01

    A planet’s mass-radius relationship alone is not a good indicator for its potential to be "Earth-like." While useful in coarse characterizations for distinguishing whether an exoplanet is water/atmosphere- or rock/iron-dominated, there is considerable degeneracy in using the mass-radius relation to determine the mineralogy and structure of a purely terrestrial planet like the Earth. The chemical link between host-stars and rocky planets and the utility of this connection in breaking the degeneracy in the mass-radius relationship is well documented. Given the breadth of observed stellar compositions, modeling the complex effects of these compositional variations on a terrestrial planet’s mineralogy, structure and temperature profile, and the potential pitfalls therein, falls within the purview of the geosciences.I will demonstrate here, the utility in adopting the composition of a terrestrial planet’s host star for contextualizing individual systems (e.g. TRAPPIST-1), as well as for the more general case of quantifying the geophysical consequences of stellar compositional diversity. This includes the potential for a host-star to produce planets able to undergo mantle convection, surface-to-interior degassing and long-term plate tectonics. As we search for truly “Earth-like” planets, we must move away from the simple density-driven definition of “Earth-like” and towards a more holistic view that includes both geochemistry and geophysics. Combining geophysical models and those of planetary formation with host-star abundance data, then, is of paramount importance. This will aid not only in our understanding of the mass-radius relationship but also provide foundational results necessary interpreting future atmospheric observations through the lens of surface-interior interactions (e.g. volcanism) and planetary evolution as a whole.

  6. EFFECT OF UV RADIATION ON THE SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING M STARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rugheimer, S. [Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kaltenegger, L. [Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Segura, A. [Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México (Mexico); Linsky, J. [JILA, University of Colorado and NIST, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0440 (United States); Mohanty, S. [Imperial College London, 1010 Blackett Lab, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)

    2015-08-10

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with T{sub eff} = 2300 K to T{sub eff} = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4–20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H{sub 2}O, O{sub 3}, CH{sub 4}, N{sub 2}O, and CH{sub 3}Cl. To observe signatures of life—O{sub 2}/O{sub 3} in combination with reducing species like CH{sub 4}—we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O{sub 2} spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N{sub 2}O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH{sub 3}Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N{sub 2}O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities.

  7. EFFECT OF UV RADIATION ON THE SPECTRAL FINGERPRINTS OF EARTH-LIKE PLANETS ORBITING M STARS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rugheimer, S.; Kaltenegger, L.; Segura, A.; Linsky, J.; Mohanty, S.

    2015-01-01

    We model the atmospheres and spectra of Earth-like planets orbiting the entire grid of M dwarfs for active and inactive stellar models with T eff = 2300 K to T eff = 3800 K and for six observed MUSCLES M dwarfs with UV radiation data. We set the Earth-like planets at the 1 AU equivalent distance and show spectra from the visible to IR (0.4–20 μm) to compare detectability of features in different wavelength ranges with the James Webb Space Telescope and other future ground- and spaced-based missions to characterize exo-Earths. We focus on the effect of UV activity levels on detectable atmospheric features that indicate habitability on Earth, namely, H 2 O, O 3 , CH 4 , N 2 O, and CH 3 Cl. To observe signatures of life—O 2 /O 3 in combination with reducing species like CH 4 —we find that early and active M dwarfs are the best targets of the M star grid for future telescopes. The O 2 spectral feature at 0.76 μm is increasingly difficult to detect in reflected light of later M dwarfs owing to low stellar flux in that wavelength region. N 2 O, another biosignature detectable in the IR, builds up to observable concentrations in our planetary models around M dwarfs with low UV flux. CH 3 Cl could become detectable, depending on the depth of the overlapping N 2 O feature. We present a spectral database of Earth-like planets around cool stars for directly imaged planets as a framework for interpreting future light curves, direct imaging, and secondary eclipse measurements of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets in the habitable zone to design and assess future telescope capabilities

  8. Tracing the ingredients for a habitable earth from interstellar space through planet formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergin, Edwin A; Blake, Geoffrey A; Ciesla, Fred; Hirschmann, Marc M; Li, Jie

    2015-07-21

    We use the C/N ratio as a monitor of the delivery of key ingredients of life to nascent terrestrial worlds. Total elemental C and N contents, and their ratio, are examined for the interstellar medium, comets, chondritic meteorites, and terrestrial planets; we include an updated estimate for the bulk silicate Earth (C/N = 49.0 ± 9.3). Using a kinetic model of disk chemistry, and the sublimation/condensation temperatures of primitive molecules, we suggest that organic ices and macromolecular (refractory or carbonaceous dust) organic material are the likely initial C and N carriers. Chemical reactions in the disk can produce nebular C/N ratios of ∼1-12, comparable to those of comets and the low end estimated for planetesimals. An increase of the C/N ratio is traced between volatile-rich pristine bodies and larger volatile-depleted objects subjected to thermal/accretional metamorphism. The C/N ratios of the dominant materials accreted to terrestrial planets should therefore be higher than those seen in carbonaceous chondrites or comets. During planetary formation, we explore scenarios leading to further volatile loss and associated C/N variations owing to core formation and atmospheric escape. Key processes include relative enrichment of nitrogen in the atmosphere and preferential sequestration of carbon by the core. The high C/N bulk silicate Earth ratio therefore is best satisfied by accretion of thermally processed objects followed by large-scale atmospheric loss. These two effects must be more profound if volatile sequestration in the core is effective. The stochastic nature of these processes hints that the surface/atmospheric abundances of biosphere-essential materials will likely be variable.

  9. Extreme Water Loss and Abiotic O2 Buildup on Planets Throughout the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We show that terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs older than ∼1 Gyr could have been in runaway greenhouses for several hundred million years following their formation due to the star's extended pre-main sequence phase, provided they form with abundant surface water. Such prolonged runaway greenhouses can lead to planetary evolution divergent from that of Earth. During this early runaway phase, photolysis of water vapor and hydrogen/oxygen escape to space can lead to the loss of several Earth oceans of water from planets throughout the habitable zone, regardless of whether the escape is energy-limited or diffusion-limited. We find that the amount of water lost scales with the planet mass, since the diffusion-limited hydrogen escape flux is proportional to the planet surface gravity. In addition to undergoing potential desiccation, planets with inefficient oxygen sinks at the surface may build up hundreds to thousands of bar of abiotically produced O2, resulting in potential false positives for life. The amount of O2 that builds up also scales with the planet mass; we find that O2 builds up at a constant rate that is controlled by diffusion: ∼5 bar/Myr on Earth-mass planets and up to ∼25 bar/Myr on super-Earths. As a result, some recently discovered super-Earths in the habitable zone such as GJ 667Cc could have built up as many as 2000 bar of O2 due to the loss of up to 10 Earth oceans of water. The fate of a given planet strongly depends on the extreme ultraviolet flux, the duration of the runaway regime, the initial water content, and the rate at which oxygen is absorbed by the surface. In general, we find that the initial phase of high luminosity may compromise the habitability of many terrestrial planets orbiting low-mass stars. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Extrasolar terrestrial planets—Habitability—Planetary atmospheres. Astrobiology 15, 119–143. PMID:25629240

  10. LIFETIME AND SPECTRAL EVOLUTION OF A MAGMA OCEAN WITH A STEAM ATMOSPHERE: ITS DETECTABILITY BY FUTURE DIRECT IMAGING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamano, Keiko; Kawahara, Hajime; Abe, Yutaka [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Onishi, Masanori [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kobe University, 1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada, Kobe 657-8501 (Japan); Hashimoto, George L., E-mail: keiko@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp [Department of Earth Sciences, Okayama University, 3-1-1 Tsushima-Naka, Kita, Okayama, 700-8530 (Japan)

    2015-06-20

    We present the thermal evolution and emergent spectra of solidifying terrestrial planets along with the formation of steam atmospheres. The lifetime of a magma ocean and its spectra through a steam atmosphere depends on the orbital distance of the planet from the host star. For a Type I planet, which is formed beyond a certain critical distance from the host star, the thermal emission declines on a timescale shorter than approximately 10{sup 6} years. Therefore, young stars should be targets when searching for molten planets in this orbital region. In contrast, a Type II planet, which is formed inside the critical distance, will emit significant thermal radiation from near-infrared atmospheric windows during the entire lifetime of the magma ocean. The K{sub s} and L bands will be favorable for future direct imaging because the planet-to-star contrasts of these bands are higher than approximately 10{sup −7}–10{sup −8}. Our model predicts that, in the Type II orbital region, molten planets would be present over the main sequence of the G-type host star if the initial bulk content of water exceeds approximately 1 wt%. In visible atmospheric windows, the contrasts of the thermal emission drop below 10{sup −10} in less than 10{sup 5} years, whereas those of the reflected light remain 10{sup −10} for both types of planets. Since the contrast level is comparable to those of reflected light from Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone, the visible reflected light from molten planets also provides a promising target for direct imaging with future ground- and space-based telescopes.

  11. PLANET TOPERS: Planets, Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their ReservoirS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehant, V; Asael, D; Baland, R M; Baludikay, B K; Beghin, J; Belza, J; Beuthe, M; Breuer, D; Chernonozhkin, S; Claeys, Ph; Cornet, Y; Cornet, L; Coyette, A; Debaille, V; Delvigne, C; Deproost, M H; De WInter, N; Duchemin, C; El Atrassi, F; François, C; De Keyser, J; Gillmann, C; Gloesener, E; Goderis, S; Hidaka, Y; Höning, D; Huber, M; Hublet, G; Javaux, E J; Karatekin, Ö; Kodolanyi, J; Revilla, L Lobo; Maes, L; Maggiolo, R; Mattielli, N; Maurice, M; McKibbin, S; Morschhauser, A; Neumann, W; Noack, L; Pham, L B S; Pittarello, L; Plesa, A C; Rivoldini, A; Robert, S; Rosenblatt, P; Spohn, T; Storme, J -Y; Tosi, N; Trinh, A; Valdes, M; Vandaele, A C; Vanhaecke, F; Van Hoolst, T; Van Roosbroek, N; Wilquet, V; Yseboodt, M

    2016-11-01

    The Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) 'PLANET TOPERS' (Planets: Tracing the Transfer, Origin, Preservation, and Evolution of their Reservoirs) addresses the fundamental understanding of the thermal and compositional evolution of the different reservoirs of planetary bodies (core, mantle, crust, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and space) considering interactions and feedback mechanisms. Here we present the first results after 2 years of project work.

  12. Dance of the Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddle, Bob

    2005-01-01

    As students continue their monthly plotting of the planets along the ecliptic they should start to notice differences between inner and outer planet orbital motions, and their relative position or separation from the Sun. Both inner and outer planets have direct eastward motion, as well as retrograde motion. Inner planets Mercury and Venus,…

  13. DETECTING AND CONSTRAINING N2 ABUNDANCES IN PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES USING COLLISIONAL PAIRS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Characterizing Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marley, Mark

    2016-01-01

    While the James Webb Space Telescope will detect and characterize extrasolar planets by transit and direct imaging, a new generation of telescopes will be required to detect and characterize extrasolar planets by reflected light imaging. NASA's WFIRST space telescope, now in development, will image dozens of cool giant planets at optical wavelengths and will obtain spectra for several of the best and brightest targets. This mission will pave the way for the detection and characterization of terrestrial planets by the planned LUVOIR or HabEx space telescopes. In my presentation I will discuss the challenges that arise in the interpretation of direct imaging data and present the results of our group's effort to develop methods for maximizing the science yield from these planned missions.

  15. The metallicities of stars with and without transiting planets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buchhave, Lars A.; Latham, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Host star metallicities have been used to infer observational constraints on planet formation throughout the history of the exoplanet field. The giant planet metallicity correlation has now been widely accepted, but questions remain as to whether the metallicity correlation extends to the small...... terrestrial-sized planets. Here, we report metallicities for a sample of 518 stars in the Kepler field that have no detected transiting planets and compare their metallicity distribution to a sample of stars that hosts small planets (). Importantly, both samples have been analyzed in a homogeneous manner...... using the same set of tools (Stellar Parameters Classification tool). We find the average metallicity of the sample of stars without detected transiting planets to be and the sample of stars hosting small planets to be . The average metallicities of the two samples are indistinguishable within...

  16. A septet of Earth-sized planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triaud, Amaury; SPECULOOS Team; TRAPPIST-1 Team

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the astronomical requirements for life to emerge, and to persist, on a planet is one of the most important and exciting scientific endeavours, yet without empirical answers. To resolve this, multiple planets whose sizes and surface temperatures are similar to the Earth, need to be discovered. Those planets also need to possess properties enabling detailed atmospheric characterisation with forthcoming facilities, from which chemical traces produced by biological activity can in principle be identified.I will describe a dedicated search for such planets called SPECULOOS. Our first detection is the TRAPPIST-1 system. Intensive ground-based and space-based observations have revealed that at least seven planets populate this system. We measured their radii and obtained first estimates of their masses thanks to transit-timing variations. I will describe our on-going observational efforts aiming to reduce our uncertainties on the planet properties. The incident flux on the planets ranges from Mercury to Ceres, comprising the Earth, and permitting climatic comparisons between each of those worlds such as is not possible within our Solar system. All seven planets have the potential to harbour liquid water on at least a fraction of their surfaces, given some atmospheric and geological conditions.

  17. STABILITY OF CO2 ATMOSPHERES ON DESICCATED M DWARF EXOPLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Peter; Hu, Renyu; Li, Cheng; Yung, Yuk L.; Robinson, Tyler D.

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the chemical stability of CO 2 -dominated atmospheres of desiccated M dwarf terrestrial exoplanets using a one-dimensional photochemical model. Around Sun-like stars, CO 2 photolysis by Far-UV (FUV) radiation is balanced by recombination reactions that depend on water abundance. Planets orbiting M dwarf stars experience more FUV radiation, and could be depleted in water due to M dwarfs’ prolonged, high-luminosity pre-main sequences. We show that, for water-depleted M dwarf terrestrial planets, a catalytic cycle relying on H 2 O 2 photolysis can maintain a CO 2 atmosphere. However, this cycle breaks down for atmospheric hydrogen mixing ratios <1 ppm, resulting in ∼40% of the atmospheric CO 2 being converted to CO and O 2 on a timescale of 1 Myr. The increased O 2 abundance leads to high O 3 concentrations, the photolysis of which forms another CO 2 -regenerating catalytic cycle. For atmospheres with <0.1 ppm hydrogen, CO 2 is produced directly from the recombination of CO and O. These catalytic cycles place an upper limit of ∼50% on the amount of CO 2 that can be destroyed via photolysis, which is enough to generate Earth-like abundances of (abiotic) O 2 and O 3 . The conditions that lead to such high oxygen levels could be widespread on planets in the habitable zones of M dwarfs. Discrimination between biological and abiotic O 2 and O 3 in this case can perhaps be accomplished by noting the lack of water features in the reflectance and emission spectra of these planets, which necessitates observations at wavelengths longer than 0.95 μm

  18. YOUNG SOLAR SYSTEM's FIFTH GIANT PLANET?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nesvorný, David

    2011-01-01

    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside ∼15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  19. Young Solar System's Fifth Giant Planet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesvorný, David

    2011-12-01

    Studies of solar system formation suggest that the solar system's giant planets formed and migrated in the protoplanetary disk to reach the resonant orbits with all planets inside ~15 AU from the Sun. After the gas disk's dispersal, Uranus and Neptune were likely scattered by the gas giants, and approached their current orbits while dispersing the transplanetary disk of planetesimals, whose remains survived to this time in the region known as the Kuiper Belt. Here we performed N-body integrations of the scattering phase between giant planets in an attempt to determine which initial states are plausible. We found that the dynamical simulations starting with a resonant system of four giant planets have a low success rate in matching the present orbits of giant planets and various other constraints (e.g., survival of the terrestrial planets). The dynamical evolution is typically too violent, if Jupiter and Saturn start in the 3:2 resonance, and leads to final systems with fewer than four planets. Several initial states stand out in that they show a relatively large likelihood of success in matching the constraints. Some of the statistically best results were obtained when assuming that the solar system initially had five giant planets and one ice giant, with the mass comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, and which was ejected to interstellar space by Jupiter. This possibility appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, which indicates that planet ejection should be common.

  20. CONSTRAINING THE RADIATION AND PLASMA ENVIRONMENT OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE-ZONE PLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Mason, Paul A. [New Mexico State University—DACC, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A. [FACom—Instituto de Física—FCEN, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín (Colombia)

    2016-02-20

    The discovery of many planets using the Kepler telescope includes 10 planets orbiting eight binary stars. Three binaries, Kepler-16, Kepler-47, and Kepler-453, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). We constrain the level of high-energy radiation and the plasma environment in the BHZ of these systems. With this aim, BHZ limits in these Kepler binaries are calculated as a function of time, and the habitability lifetimes are estimated for hypothetical terrestrial planets and/or moons within the BHZ. With the time-dependent BHZ limits established, a self-consistent model is developed describing the evolution of stellar activity and radiation properties as proxies for stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres. Modeling binary stellar rotation evolution, including the effect of tidal interaction between stars in binaries, is key to establishing the environment around these systems. We find that Kepler-16 and its binary analogs provide a plasma environment favorable for the survival of atmospheres of putative Mars-sized planets and exomoons. Tides have modified the rotation of the stars in Kepler-47, making its radiation environment less harsh in comparison to the solar system. This is a good example of the mechanism first proposed by Mason et al. Kepler-453 has an environment similar to that of the solar system with slightly better than Earth radiation conditions at the inner edge of the BHZ. These results can be reproduced and even reparameterized as stellar evolution and binary tidal models progress, using our online tool http://bhmcalc.net.

  1. CONSTRAINING THE RADIATION AND PLASMA ENVIRONMENT OF THE KEPLER CIRCUMBINARY HABITABLE-ZONE PLANETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuluaga, Jorge I.; Mason, Paul A.; Cuartas-Restrepo, Pablo A.

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of many planets using the Kepler telescope includes 10 planets orbiting eight binary stars. Three binaries, Kepler-16, Kepler-47, and Kepler-453, have at least one planet in the circumbinary habitable zone (BHZ). We constrain the level of high-energy radiation and the plasma environment in the BHZ of these systems. With this aim, BHZ limits in these Kepler binaries are calculated as a function of time, and the habitability lifetimes are estimated for hypothetical terrestrial planets and/or moons within the BHZ. With the time-dependent BHZ limits established, a self-consistent model is developed describing the evolution of stellar activity and radiation properties as proxies for stellar aggression toward planetary atmospheres. Modeling binary stellar rotation evolution, including the effect of tidal interaction between stars in binaries, is key to establishing the environment around these systems. We find that Kepler-16 and its binary analogs provide a plasma environment favorable for the survival of atmospheres of putative Mars-sized planets and exomoons. Tides have modified the rotation of the stars in Kepler-47, making its radiation environment less harsh in comparison to the solar system. This is a good example of the mechanism first proposed by Mason et al. Kepler-453 has an environment similar to that of the solar system with slightly better than Earth radiation conditions at the inner edge of the BHZ. These results can be reproduced and even reparameterized as stellar evolution and binary tidal models progress, using our online tool http://bhmcalc.net

  2. The Direct Detection and Characterization of M-dwarf Planets Using Light Echoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, William B.; White, Richard L.; Lupu, Roxana E.; Ford, Holland C.

    2018-02-01

    Exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf stars are a prime target in the search for life in the universe. M-dwarf stars are active, with powerful flares that could adversely impact prospects for life, though there are counter-arguments. Here, we turn flaring to advantage and describe ways in which it can be used to enhance the detectability of planets, in the absence of transits or a coronagraph, significantly expanding the accessible discovery and characterization space. Flares produce brief bursts of intense luminosity, after which the star dims. Due to the light travel time between the star and planet, the planet receives the high-intensity pulse, which it re-emits through scattering (a light echo) or intrinsic emission when the star is much fainter, thereby increasing the planet’s detectability. The planet’s light-echo emission can potentially be discriminated from that of the host star by means of a time delay, Doppler shift, spatial shift, and polarization, each of which can improve the contrast of the planet to the star. Scattered light can reveal the albedo spectrum of the planet to within a size scale factor, and is likely to be polarized. Intrinsic emission mechanisms include fluorescent pumping of multiple molecular hydrogen and neutral oxygen lines by intense Lyα and Lyβ flare emission, recombination radiation of ionized and photodissociated species, and atmospheric processes such as terrestrial upper atmosphere airglow and near-infrared hydroxyl emission. We discuss the feasibility of detecting light echoes and find that light echo detection is possible under favorable circumstances.

  3. Thermal escape from extrasolar giant planets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Tidally Heated Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henning, Wade Garrett

    This work models the surface and internal temperatures for hypothetical terrestrial planets in situations involving extreme tidal heating. The feasibility of such planets is evaluated in terms of the orbital perturbations that may give rise to them, their required proximity to a hoststar, and the potential for the input tidal heating to cause significant partial melting of the mantle. Trapping terrestrial planets into 2:1 resonances with migrating Hot Jupiters is considered as a reasonable way for Earth-like worlds to both maintain high eccentricities and to move to short enough orbital periods (1-20 days) for extreme tidal heating to occur. Secular resonance and secular orbital perturbations may support moderate tidal heating at a low equilibrium eccentricity. At orbital periods below 10-30 days, with eccentricities from 0.01 to 0.1, tidal heat may greatly exceed radiogenic heat production. It is unlikely to exceed insolation, except when orbiting very low luminosity hosts, and thus will have limited surface temperature expression. Observations of such bodies many not be able to detect tidal surface enhancements given a few percent uncertainty in albedo, except on the nightside of spin synchronous airless objects. Otherwise detection may occur via spectral detection of hotspots or high volcanic gas concentrations including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. The most extreme cases may be able to produce magma oceans, or magma slush mantles with up to 40-60% melt fractions. Tides may alter the habitable zones for smaller red dwarf stars, but are generally detrimental. Multiple viscoelastic models, including the Maxwell, Voigt-Kelvin, Standard Anelastic Solid, and Burgers rheologies are explored and applied to objects such as Io and the super-Earth planet GJ 876d. The complex valued Love number for the Burgers rheology is derived and found to be a useful improvement when modeling the low temperature behavior of tidal bodies, particularly during low eccentricity

  5. Exploration of Venus' Deep Atmosphere and Surface Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaze, L. S.; Amato, M.; Garvin, J. B.; Johnson, N. M.

    2017-01-01

    Venus formed in the same part of our solar system as Earth, apparently from similar materials. Although both planets are about the same size, their differences are profound. Venus and Earth experienced vastly different evolutionary pathways resulting in unexplained differences in atmospheric composition and dynamics, as well as in geophysical processes of the planetary surfaces and interiors. Understanding when and why the evolutionary pathways of Venus and Earth diverged is key to understanding how terrestrial planets form and how their atmospheres and surfaces evolve. Measurements made in situ, within the near-surface or surface environment, are critical to addressing unanswered questions. We have made substantial progress modernizing and maturing pressure vessel technologies to enable science operations in the high temperature and pressure near-surface/surfaceenvironment of Venus.

  6. Redox Evolution via Gravitational Differentiation on Low-mass Planets: Implications for Abiotic Oxygen, Water Loss, and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wordsworth, R. D.; Schaefer, L. K.; Fischer, R. A.

    2018-05-01

    The oxidation of rocky planet surfaces and atmospheres, which arises from the twin forces of stellar nucleosynthesis and gravitational differentiation, is a universal process of key importance to habitability and exoplanet biosignature detection. Here we take a generalized approach to this phenomenon. Using a single parameter to describe the redox state, we model the evolution of terrestrial planets around nearby M stars and the Sun. Our model includes atmospheric photochemistry, diffusion and escape, line-by-line climate calculations, and interior thermodynamics and chemistry. In most cases, we find abiotic atmospheric {{{O}}}2 buildup around M stars during the pre-main-sequence phase to be much less than calculated previously, because the planet’s magma ocean absorbs most oxygen liberated from {{{H}}}2{{O}} photolysis. However, loss of noncondensing atmospheric gases after the mantle solidifies remains a significant potential route to abiotic atmospheric {{{O}}}2 subsequently. In all cases, we predict that exoplanets that receive lower stellar fluxes, such as LHS1140b and TRAPPIST-1f and g, have the lowest probability of abiotic {{{O}}}2 buildup and hence may be the most interesting targets for future searches for biogenic {{{O}}}2. Key remaining uncertainties can be minimized in future by comparing our predictions for the atmospheres of hot, sterile exoplanets such as GJ1132b and TRAPPIST-1b and c with observations.

  7. A reappraisal of the habitability of planets around M dwarf stars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarter, Jill C; Backus, Peter R; Mancinelli, Rocco L; Aurnou, Jonathan M; Backman, Dana E; Basri, Gibor S; Boss, Alan P; Clarke, Andrew; Deming, Drake; Doyle, Laurance R; Feigelson, Eric D; Freund, Friedmann; Grinspoon, David H; Haberle, Robert M; Hauck, Steven A; Heath, Martin J; Henry, Todd J; Hollingsworth, Jeffery L; Joshi, Manoj M; Kilston, Steven; Liu, Michael C; Meikle, Eric; Reid, I Neill; Rothschild, Lynn J; Scalo, John; Segura, Antigona; Tang, Carol M; Tiedje, James M; Turnbull, Margaret C; Walkowicz, Lucianne M; Weber, Arthur L; Young, Richard E

    2007-02-01

    Stable, hydrogen-burning, M dwarf stars make up about 75% of all stars in the Galaxy. They are extremely long-lived, and because they are much smaller in mass than the Sun (between 0.5 and 0.08 M(Sun)), their temperature and stellar luminosity are low and peaked in the red. We have re-examined what is known at present about the potential for a terrestrial planet forming within, or migrating into, the classic liquid-surface-water habitable zone close to an M dwarf star. Observations of protoplanetary disks suggest that planet-building materials are common around M dwarfs, but N-body simulations differ in their estimations of the likelihood of potentially habitable, wet planets that reside within their habitable zones, which are only about one-fifth to 1/50th of the width of that for a G star. Particularly in light of the claimed detection of the planets with masses as small as 5.5 and 7.5 M(Earth) orbiting M stars, there seems no reason to exclude the possibility of terrestrial planets. Tidally locked synchronous rotation within the narrow habitable zone does not necessarily lead to atmospheric collapse, and active stellar flaring may not be as much of an evolutionarily disadvantageous factor as has previously been supposed. We conclude that M dwarf stars may indeed be viable hosts for planets on which the origin and evolution of life can occur. A number of planetary processes such as cessation of geothermal activity or thermal and nonthermal atmospheric loss processes may limit the duration of planetary habitability to periods far shorter than the extreme lifetime of the M dwarf star. Nevertheless, it makes sense to include M dwarf stars in programs that seek to find habitable worlds and evidence of life. This paper presents the summary conclusions of an interdisciplinary workshop (http://mstars.seti.org) sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and convened at the SETI Institute.

  8. Designing of deployment sequence for braking and drift systems in atmosphere of Mars and Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorontsov, Victor

    2006-07-01

    Analysis of project development and space research using contact method, namely, by means of automatic descent modules and balloons shows that designing formation of entry, descent and landing (EDL) sequence and operation in the atmosphere are of great importance. This process starts at the very beginning of designing, has undergone a lot of iterations and influences processing of normal operation results. Along with designing of descent module systems, including systems of braking in the atmosphere, designing of flight operation sequence and trajectories of motion in the atmosphere is performed. As the entire operation sequence and transfer from one phase to another was correctly chosen, the probability of experiment success on the whole and efficiency of application of various systems vary. By now the most extensive experience of Russian specialists in research of terrestrial planets has been gained with the help of automatic interplanetary stations “Mars”, “Venera”, “Vega” which had descent modules and drifting in the atmosphere balloons. Particular interest and complicity of formation of EDL and drift sequence in the atmosphere of these planets arise from radically different operation conditions, in particular, strongly rarefied atmosphere of the one planet and extremely dense atmosphere of another. Consequently, this determines the choice of braking systems and their parameters and method of EDL consequence formation. At the same time there are general fundamental methods and designed research techniques that allowed taking general technical approach to designing of EDL and drift sequence in the atmosphere.

  9. Habitable Planets for Man

    National Research Coun