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Hydrogen ENA-cloud observation and modeling as a tool to study star-exoplanet interaction

Abstract : During the previous years spacecraft observations of so-called Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs) have become an important remote-sensing technique in planetary science for analyzing the solar wind plasma flow around the upper atmospheric environments of Solar System bodies. ENAs are produced whenever solar or stellar wind protons interact via charge exchange with a neutral particle from a planetary atmosphere so that their signals constrain both, ion distributions and neutral gas densities. The observation of ENAs which have been generated due to charge exchange with stellar wind plasma have been used for the indirect mass loss and stellar wind property estimation of Sun-like stars by observing the interaction regions carved out by the collisions between stellar winds and the interstellar medium. In this work we review ENA-observations and data interpretations at Solar System planets and recent hydrogen-cloud observations in UV Lyman-α absorption around hydrogen-rich extra-solar gas giants. We discuss the production of stellar wind related hydrogen ENA-clouds around close-in exoplanets and show how a detailed analysis of attenuation spectra obtained for transiting hydrogen-rich close-in gas giants can be used for the study of the upper atmosphere structure, the planet's magnetosphere and to obtain information on stellar wind properties. Finally, we discuss how future hydrogen cloud observations around exoplanets by space observatories like the Russia-led World Space Observatory-UV (WSO-UV) together with ESAs planned PLATO mission can be used for the reconstruction of the solar wind history or the test of magnetosphere evolution hypotheses.
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Contributor : Nathalie Rouchon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 10:50:19 AM
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H. Lammer, K. G. Kislyakova, M. Holmström, M. L. Khodachenko, Jean-Mathias Grießmeier. Hydrogen ENA-cloud observation and modeling as a tool to study star-exoplanet interaction. Astrophysics and Space Science, Springer Verlag, 2011, 335 (1), pp.9-23. ⟨10.1007/s10509-011-0604-2⟩. ⟨insu-01299072⟩



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