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Advection of Potential Temperature in the Atmosphere of Irradiated Exoplanets: A Robust Mechanism to Explain Radius InflationThe anomalously large radii of strongly irradiated exoplanets have remained a major puzzle in astronomy. Based on a two-dimensional steady-state atmospheric circulation model, the validity of which is assessed by comparison to three-dimensional calculations, we reveal a new mechanism, namely the advection of the potential temperature due to mass and longitudinal momentum conservation, a process occurring in the Earth's atmosphere or oceans. In the deep atmosphere, the vanishing heating flux forces the atmospheric structure to converge to a hotter adiabat than the one obtained with 1D calculations, implying a larger radius for the planet. Not only do the calculations reproduce the observed radius of HD 209458b, but also reproduce the observed correlation between radius inflation and irradiation for transiting planets. Vertical advection of potential temperature induced by non-uniform atmospheric heating thus provides a robust mechanism to explain the inflated radii of irradiated hot Jupiters.
Document ID
20170004682
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Tremblin, P. (CEA Saclay, Service d'Astrophysique Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Chabrier, G. (Exeter Univ. United Kingdom)
Mayne, N. J. (Exeter Univ. United Kingdom)
Amundsen, D. S. (Columbia Univ. New York, NY, United States)
Baraffe, I. (Exeter Univ. United Kingdom)
Debras, F. (Exeter Univ. United Kingdom)
Drummond, B. (Exeter Univ. United Kingdom)
Manners, J. (Exeter Univ. United Kingdom)
Fromang, S. (CEA Saclay, Service d'Astrophysique Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Date Acquired
May 23, 2017
Publication Date
May 19, 2017
Publication Information
Publication: The Astrophysical Journal
Volume: 841
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0004-637X
Subject Category
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Report/Patent Number
GSFC-E-DAA-TN42884
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NNX14AB99A
CONTRACT_GRANT: ERC 320478-TOFO
CONTRACT_GRANT: ERC 247060-PEPS
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
tmospheric effects; methods: numerical; planets and satellites: general