Extraterrestrial lightning in atmospheric dust clouds

Helling, C., Jardine, M., Witte, S. and Diver, D.A. (2011) Extraterrestrial lightning in atmospheric dust clouds. In: EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, Nantes, France, 2-7 Oct 2011, p. 8.

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Publisher's URL: http://meetings.copernicus.org/epsc-dps2011/


Lightning is present in all solar system planets. Discharge phenomena occurs in dust devils on Mars, and on Earth also in the mineral clouds of volcano plumes. Cloud formation outside our solar system is possible in objects with much higher temperatures then cloud formation on Earth or Jupiter: Brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets form clouds made of mixed materials and of a distribution of grain sizes. These clouds are globally neutral obeying dust-gas charge equilibrium which is, on short timescales, inconsistent with the observation of stochastic ionization events of the solar system planets. We argue that a significant volume of the clouds in brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets is susceptible to local discharge events.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Diver, Professor Declan
Authors: Helling, C., Jardine, M., Witte, S., and Diver, D.A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy

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