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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Charge exchange in the colliding winds of Hot Jupiters and their host stars


This project investigates the charge exchange process between the atmospheric escape of a hot jupiter and the wind of its host star as a possible explanation for the Lyman alpha high-velocity absorption of the stellar spectrum observed during transits. We use 2D hydrodynamical simulation to follow the dynamic of the two fluids (shocks, compression layers...) and we implement a chemistry module to compute the quantity of neutral hydrogen produced by charge exchange. The simulations show that Kelvin Helmholtz instabilities develop at the interface between the two flows leading to a mixing that gives enough energetic neutral hydrogen to explain the observed absorption. However works still need to be done, especially the implementation of coriolis force due to the orbital motion of the planet, to achieve a steady state and get the correct geometry for the interface.

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