On the diversity of star-planet magnetic interactions
Antoine Stugarek (University of Montreal)
February 05, 2015
Abstract: The hunt for exoplanets has been very successful in the past years. Nearly two thousand exoplanets are known today, a significant fraction of which orbit very close to their host stars. No such planets exist in the solar system, and our understanding of the composition, evolution and habitability of these alien worlds is still sketchy. In particular, such close-in planets are interacting with a much denser stellar wind and much stronger magnetic fields in the corona of their hosts. With the help of 2D and 3D MHD simulations, I will assess the effect of magnetic interactions on the stellar rotational history and the planetary orbital evolution. I will in particular show the importance of magnetic topologies for such interactions, and show that they are, for some close-in planets, the dominant effect for the planetary orbital evolution. I will finally propose simple scaling laws of the star-planet magnetic interactions with stellar and planetary parameters.