Wednesday, June 12, 2013

1306.2332 (G. Branduardi-Raymont et al.)

The Hot and Energetic Universe: Solar system and exoplanets    [PDF]

G. Branduardi-Raymont, S. Sciortino, K. Dennerl, M. Güdel, M. Holmstrom, D. Koutroumpa, A. Maggio, G. Micela, I. Pillitteri, J. Sanz-Forcada, A. Read, A. Bhardwaj, Y. Ezoe, R. Gladstone
The high resolution non-dispersive spectroscopy and unprecedented sensitivity of Athena+ will revolutionize solar system observing: the origin of the ions producing Jupiter's X-ray aurorae via charge exchange will be conclusively established, as well as their dynamics, giving clues to their acceleration mechanisms. X-ray aurorae on Saturn will be searched for to a depth unattainable by current Earth-bound observatories. The X-ray Integral Field Unit of Athena+ will map Mars' expanding exosphere, which has a line-rich solar wind charge exchange spectrum, under differing solar wind conditions and through the seasons; relating Mars' X-ray emission to its atmospheric loss will have significant impact also on the study of exoplanet atmospheres. Spectral mapping of cometary comae, which are spectacular X-ray sources with extremely line-rich spectra, will probe solar wind composition and speed at varying distances from the Sun. Athena+ will provide unique contributions also to exoplanetary astrophysics. Athena+ will pioneer the study of ingress/eclipse/egress effects during planetary orbits of hot-Jupiters, and will confirm/improve the evidence of Star-Planet Interactions (SPI) in a wider sample of planetary systems. Finally Athena+ will drastically improve the knowledge of the X-ray incident radiation on exoplanets, a key element for understanding the effects of atmospheric mass loss and of the chemical and physical evolution of planet atmospheres, particularly relevant in the case of young systems.
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