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Effect of the exoplanet magnetic field topology on its magnetospheric radio emission

Abstract : Context. The magnetized wind from stars that impact exoplanets should lead to radio emissions. According to the scaling laws derived in the solar system, the radio emission should depend on the stellar wind, interplanetary magnetic field, and topology of the exoplanet magnetosphere. Aims. The aim of this study is to calculate the dissipated power and subsequent radio emission from exoplanet magnetospheres with different topologies perturbed by the interplanetary magnetic field and stellar wind, to refine the predictions from scaling laws, and to prepare the interpretation of future radio detections. Methods. We use the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code PLUTO in spherical coordinates to analyze the total radio emission level resulting from the dissipation of the kinetic and magnetic (Poynting flux) energies inside the exoplanet's magnetospheres. We apply a formalism to infer the detailed contribution in the exoplanet radio emission on the exoplanet's day side and magnetotail. The model is based on Mercury-like conditions, although the study results are extrapolated to exoplanets with stronger magnetic fields, providing the lower bound of the radio emission. Results. The predicted dissipated powers and resulting radio emissions depend critically on the exoplanet magnetosphere topology and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) orientation. The radio emission on the exoplanet's night and day sides should thus contain information on the exoplanet magnetic field topology. In addition, if the topology of an exoplanet magnetosphere is known, the radio emission measurements can be used as a proxy of the instantaneous dynamic pressure of the stellar wind, IMF orientation, and intensity.
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J. Varela, V. Reville, A. Brun, Philippe Zarka, F. Pantellini. Effect of the exoplanet magnetic field topology on its magnetospheric radio emission. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2018, 616, pp.A182. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201732091⟩. ⟨obspm-02296086⟩



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