In this book, renowned scientists describe the complexity of exoplanetary atmospheres and all of the observational techniques that are employed to probe them. Readers will also find a panoramic description of the atmospheres of the planets within the Solar System, with explanation of considerations especially relevant to exoplanets. Over the past few years, thousands of exoplanets have been discovered orbiting around stars relatively close to the Solar System. Astronomers have revealed how varied these exoplanets are (rocky, icy, giant) and how diverse their architecture can be, confirming science fiction images in several cases and extending beyond the human imagination in others. The natural next step is to study their atmospheres and to understand their chemical composition and the physical processes taking place in their interiors, with the aim of detecting biomarkers. This book will appeal to all who seek a comprehensive, state-of-the-art account of the latest knowledge in the rapidly developing and highly interdisciplinary field of exoplanet research.
Author: Kevin Heng
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-01-10
The study of exoplanetary atmospheres—that is, of planets orbiting stars beyond our solar system—may be our best hope for discovering life elsewhere in the universe. This dynamic, interdisciplinary field requires practitioners to apply knowledge from atmospheric and climate science, astronomy and astrophysics, chemistry, geology and geophysics, planetary science, and even biology. Exoplanetary Atmospheres provides an essential introduction to the theoretical foundations of this cutting-edge new science. Exoplanetary Atmospheres covers the physics of radiation, fluid dynamics, atmospheric chemistry, and atmospheric escape. It draws on simple analytical models to aid learning, and features a wealth of problem sets, some of which are open-ended. This authoritative and accessible graduate textbook uses a coherent and self-consistent set of notation and definitions throughout, and also includes appendixes containing useful formulae in thermodynamics and vector calculus as well as selected Python scripts. Exoplanetary Atmospheres prepares PhD students for research careers in the field, and is ideal for self-study as well as for use in a course setting. The first graduate textbook on the theory of exoplanetary atmospheres Unifies knowledge from atmospheric and climate science, astronomy and astrophysics, chemistry, planetary science, and more Covers radiative transfer, fluid dynamics, atmospheric chemistry, and atmospheric escape Provides simple analytical models and a wealth of problem sets Includes appendixes on thermodynamics, vector calculus, tabulated Gibbs free energies, and Python scripts Solutions manual (available only to professors)
Author: Karen Aplin
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-05-14
Electrical processes take place in all planetary atmospheres. There is evidence for lightning on Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, it is possible on Mars and Titan, and cosmic rays ionise every atmosphere, leading to charged droplets and particles. Controversy surrounds the role of atmospheric electricity in physical climate processes on Earth; here, a comparative approach is employed to review the role of electrification in the atmospheres of other planets and their moons. This book reviews the theory, and, where available, measurements, of planetary atmospheric electricity, taken to include ion production and ion-aerosol interactions. The conditions necessary for a global atmospheric electric circuit similar to Earth’s, and the likelihood of meeting these conditions in other planetary atmospheres, are briefly discussed. Atmospheric electrification is more important at planets receiving little solar radiation, increasing the relative significance of electrical forces. Nucleation onto atmospheric ions has been predicted to affect the evolution and lifetime of haze layers on Titan, Neptune and Triton. For planets closer to Earth, heating from solar radiation dominates atmospheric circulations. Mars may have a global circuit analogous to the terrestrial model, but based on electrical discharges from dust storms, and Titan may have a similar global circuit, based on transfer of charged raindrops. There is an increasing need for direct measurements of planetary atmospheric electrification, in particular on Mars, to assess the risk for future unmanned and manned missions. Theoretical understanding could be increased by cross-disciplinary work to modify and update models and parameterisations initially developed for a specific atmosphere, to make them more broadly applicable to other planetary atmospheres. The possibility of electrical processes in the atmospheres of exoplanets is also discussed.
Author: Siegfried Bauer
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-03-09
Planetary Aeronomy is a modern and concise introduction to the underlying physical and chemical processes that govern the formation and evolution of the upper atmospheres of planets. The general approach employed permits consideration of the growing number of extrasolar planets, the detailed observation of which will become possible over the next decades. The book explains the physics behind many atmospheric processes, which are relevant for the evolution of planetary atmospheres and their water inventories, and also contains useful scaling laws and analytical expressions that can be applied to any planet. Readers thus gain insight into the evolution of terrestrial planets and their long-time habitability, atmospheric stability, etc. This volume can be used both as graduate textbook for students wishing to specialize in the field as well as succinct compendium for researchers in the field.
Author: Sara Seager
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2010-08-02
Over the past twenty years, astronomers have identified hundreds of extrasolar planets--planets orbiting stars other than the sun. Recent research in this burgeoning field has made it possible to observe and measure the atmospheres of these exoplanets. This is the first textbook to describe the basic physical processes--including radiative transfer, molecular absorption, and chemical processes--common to all planetary atmospheres, as well as the transit, eclipse, and thermal phase variation observations that are unique to exoplanets. In each chapter, Sara Seager offers a conceptual introduction, examples that combine the relevant physics equations with real data, and exercises. Topics range from foundational knowledge, such as the origin of atmospheric composition and planetary spectra, to more advanced concepts, such as solutions to the radiative transfer equation, polarization, and molecular and condensate opacities. Since planets vary widely in their atmospheric properties, Seager emphasizes the major physical processes that govern all planetary atmospheres. Moving from first principles to cutting-edge research, Exoplanet Atmospheres is an ideal resource for students and researchers in astronomy and earth sciences, one that will help prepare them for the next generation of planetary science. The first textbook to describe exoplanet atmospheres Illustrates concepts using examples grounded in real data Provides a step-by-step guide to understanding the structure and emergent spectrum of a planetary atmosphere Includes exercises for students
This PhD thesis details the development of a new 1D ionospheric model to describe the upper atmospheres of extrasolar giant plants. The upper atmospheres of Hot Jupiters are subject to extreme radiation conditions that can result in rapid atmospheric escape. The composition and structure of these planets’ upper atmospheres are affected by high-energy emissions from the host star. The nature of these emissions depends on the stellar type and age, making them important factors in understanding the behaviour of exoplanetary atmospheres.
Author: Frédéric J. Pont
Release Date: 2014-04-23
Planetary atmospheres are complex and evolving entities, as mankind is rapidly coming to realise whilst attempting to understand, forecast and mitigate human-induced climate change. In the Solar System, our neighbours Venus and Mars provide striking examples of two endpoints of planetary evolution, runaway greenhouse and loss of atmosphere to space. The variety of extra-solar planets brings a wider angle to the issue: from scorching "hot jupiters'' to ocean worlds, exo-atmospheres explore many configurations unknown in the Solar System, such as iron clouds, silicate rains, extreme plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes. Exoplanetary atmospheres have recently become accessible to observations. This book puts our own climate in the wider context of the trials and tribulations of planetary atmospheres. Based on cutting-edge research, it uses a grand tour of the atmospheres of other planets to shine a new light on our own atmosphere, and its relation with life.
In this book an international group of specialists discusses studies of exoplanets subjected to extreme stellar radiation and plasma conditions. It is shown that such studies will help us to understand how terrestrial planets and their atmospheres, including the early Venus, Earth and Mars, evolved during the host star’s active early phase. The book presents an analysis of findings from Hubble Space Telescope observations of transiting exoplanets, as well as applications of advanced numerical models for characterizing the upper atmosphere structure and stellar environments of exoplanets. The authors also address detections of atoms and molecules in the atmosphere of “hot Jupiters” by NASA’s Spitzer telescope. The observational and theoretical investigations and discoveries presented are both timely and important in the context of the next generation of space telescopes. The book is divided into four main parts, grouping chapters on exoplanet host star radiation and plasma environments, exoplanet upper atmosphere and environment observations, exoplanet and stellar magnetospheres, and exoplanet observation and characterization. The book closes with an outlook on the future of this research field.
This contributed monograph is the first work to present the latest results and findings on the new topic and hot field of planetary exploration and sciences, e.g., lunar surface iron content and mare orientale basalts, Earth’s gravity field, Martian radar exploration, crater recognition, ionosphere and astrobiology, Comet ionosphere, exoplanetary atmospheres and planet formation in binaries. By providing detailed theory and examples, this book helps readers to quickly familiarize themselves with the field. In addition, it offers a special section on next-generation planetary exploration, which opens a new landscape for future exploration plans and missions. Prof. Shuanggen Jin works at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Dr. Nader Haghighipour works at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, USA. Prof. Wing-Huen Ip works at the National Central University, Taiwan.
Since the discovery of the first exoplanet orbiting a main sequence star in 1995, nearly 500 planets have been detected, with this number expected to increase dramatically as new ground-based planetary searches begin to report their results. Emerging techniques offer the tantalizing possibility of detecting an Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone of a solar-type star as well as the exciting prospect of studying exoplanetary atmospheres that could reveal the presence of biomarkers, such as water vapor, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Can we find the "Holy Grail" of exoplanets? Cutting-edge research may reveal the answer Written by internationally renowned scientists at the forefront of the field, Extra-Solar Planets: The Detection, Formation, Evolution and Dynamics of Planetary Systems presents powerful analytical tools and methods for investigating extra-solar planetary systems. It discusses new theories on planetary migration and resonant capture that elucidate the existence of "hot Jupiters." It also examines the astrophysical mechanisms required to assemble gas giant planets close to their parent star. In addition, the expert contributors describe how mathematical tools involving periodicity, chaos, and resonance are used to study the diversity and stability of observed planetary systems. By presenting the fundamental analyses that underpin modern studies of extra-solar planetary systems, this graduate-level book enables readers to thoroughly understand important recent developments and offers a platform for future research. It also improves readers’ understanding of our own solar system and its place in the diverse range of planetary systems discovered so far.
Like planets in our solar system, exoplanets form, evolve, and interact with their host stars in many ways. As exoplanets acquire material and grow to the final size, their atmospheres are subjected to intense UV and X-radiation and high-energy particle bombardment from the young host star. Whether a planet can retain its atmosphere and the conditions for significant mass loss both depend upon the strength of the host star's high-energy radiation and wind, the distance of the exoplanet from its host star, the gravitational potential of the exoplanet, and the initial chemical composition of the exoplanet atmosphere. This introductory overview describes the physical processes responsible for the emission of radiation and acceleration of winds of host stars that together control the environment of an exoplanet, focusing on topics that are critically important for understanding exoplanetary atmospheres but are usually not posed from the perspective of host stars. Accordingly, both host stars and exoplanets are not studied in isolation but are treated as integrated systems. Stellar magnetic fields, which are the energy source for activity phenomena including high-energy radiation and winds, play a critical role in determining whether exoplanets are habitable. This text is primarily for researchers and graduate students who are studying exoplanet atmospheres and habitability, but who may not have a background in the physics and phenomenology of host stars that provide the environment in which exoplanets evolve. It provides a comprehensive overview of this broad topic rather than going deeply into many technical aspects but includes a large list of references to guide those interested in pursuing these questions. Nonspecialists with a scientific background should also find this text a valuable resource for understanding the critical issues of contemporary exoplanet research.