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Stellar wind induced soft X-ray emission from close-in exoplanets

By SpaceRef Editor
March 28, 2015
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Stellar wind induced soft X-ray emission from close-in exoplanets

K.G. Kislyakova, L. Fossati, C.P. Johnstone, M. Holmström, V.V. Zaitsev, H. Lammer

(Submitted on 24 Mar 2015)

In this paper, we estimate the X-ray emission from close-in exoplanets. We show that the Solar/Stellar Wind Charge Exchange Mechanism (SWCX) which produces soft X-ray emission is very effective for hot Jupiters. In this mechanism, X-ray photons are emitted as a result of the charge exchange between heavy ions in the solar wind and the atmospheric neutral particles. In the Solar System, comets produce X-rays mostly through the SWCX mechanism, but it has also been shown to operate in the heliosphere, in the terrestrial magnetosheath, and on Mars, Venus and Moon. Since the number of emitted photons is proportional to the solar wind mass flux, this mechanism is not very effective for the Solar system giants. Here we present a simple estimate of the X-ray emission intensity that can be produced by close-in extrasolar giant planets due to charge exchange with the heavy ions of the stellar wind. Using the example of HD~209458b, we show that this mechanism alone can be responsible for an X-ray emission of ≈1022~erg~s−1, which is 106 times stronger than the emission from the Jovian aurora. We discuss also the possibility to observe the predicted soft X-ray flux of hot Jupiters and show that despite high emission intensities they are unobservable with current facilities.

Comments:5 pages, 1 figure, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 799:L15 (5pp), 2015 January 30

Subjects:Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Journal reference:The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 799:L15 (5pp), 2015 January 30


Cite as:arXiv:1503.06955 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1503.06955v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Kristina Kislyakova 

[v1] Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:14:07 GMT (166kb)

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