Electrification events in mineral clouds of planetary atmospheres

Helling, C., Jardine, M., Diver, D. and Witte, S. (2011) Electrification events in mineral clouds of planetary atmospheres. In: Extreme Solar Systems Meeting II (ESSII), Moran, WY, USA, 11-17 Sep 2011,

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Planets and brown dwarfs are the only objects which habour clouds inside their atmosphere where they determine the spectral energy distribution by their feedback into the chemistry and the temperature structure, and potentially also into the atmospheric electrification. The warmer these objects are, the less likely is the formation of solar-system-like liquid clouds, instead, solid cloud particles made of silicates and oxides will form preferentially. These cloud particles are rich in chemistry and diverse in size (Helling, Woitke, Thi 2008). A convection-powered turbulent fluid field amplifies their relative velocities, and it initiates the formation of dust in elsewhere hostile parts of the atmosphere. Based on our detailed model of dust formation, we recently suggested that turbulent, mineral clouds are a source of ionisation in brown dwarf and planetary atmospheres where temperatures are too low for thermal ionisation (Helling, Jardine and Mokler 2011). This work is part of the LEAP project which studies charge processes in extrasolar planetary atmospheres.

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

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