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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Staff

Publication details for Prof Jim McElwaine

Rogers, T.M. & McElwaine, J. N. (2017). The hottest hot Jupiters may host Atmospheric Dynamos. Astrophysical Journal Letters 841(2): L26.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Hot Jupiters have proven themselves to be a rich class of exoplanets that test our theories of planetary evolution and atmospheric dynamics under extreme conditions. Here, we present three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations and analytic results that demonstrate that a dynamo can be maintained in the thin, stably stratified atmosphere of a hot Jupiter, independent of the presumed deep-seated dynamo. This dynamo is maintained by conductivity variations arising from strong asymmetric heating from the planets' host star. The presence of a dynamo significantly increases the surface magnetic field strength and alters the overall planetary magnetic field geometry, possibly affecting star–planet magnetic interactions.