Thursday, March 24, 2016

Photo-ionization of hot Jupiter Winds

Photo-ionization of planetary winds: case study HD209458b


Schneiter et al


Close-in hot Jupiters are exposed to a tremendous photon flux that ionizes the neutral escaping material from the planet leaving an observable imprint that makes them an interesting laboratory for testing theoretical models. In this work we present 3D hydrodynamic simulations with radiation transfer calculations of a close-in exoplanet in a blow-off state. We calculate the Ly-α absorption and compare it with observations of HD 209458b an previous simplified model results.Our results show that the hydrodynamic interaction together with a proper calculation of the photoionization proccess are able to reproduce the main features of the observed Ly-α absorption, in particular at the blue-shifted wings of the line. We found that the ionizing stellar flux produce an almost linear effect on the amount of absorption in the wake. Varying the planetary mass loss rate and the radiation flux, we were able to reproduce the 10% absorption observed at −100 km s−1.

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