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A New Model Suite to Determine the Influence of Cosmic Rays on (Exo)planetary Atmospheric Biosignatures

Herbst, K and Grenfell, JL and Sinnhuber, M and Rauer, H and Heber, B and Banjac, S and Scheucher, M and Schmidt, V and Gebauer, S and Lehmann, R and Schreier, Franz (2019) A New Model Suite to Determine the Influence of Cosmic Rays on (Exo)planetary Atmospheric Biosignatures. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 631 (A101), pp. 1-17. EDP Sciences. doi: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935888. ISSN 0004-6361.

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Official URL: https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2019/11/aa35888-19.pdf


Context. The first opportunity to detect indications for life outside of the Solar System may be provided already within the next decade with upcoming missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and the Atmospheric Remote-sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large-survey (ARIEL) mission, searching for atmospheric biosignatures on planets in the habitable zone of cool K- and M-stars. Nevertheless, their harsh stellar radiation and particle environment could lead to photochemical loss of atmospheric biosignatures. Aims. We aim to study the influence of cosmic rays on exoplanetary atmospheric biosignatures and the radiation environment considering feedbacks between energetic particle precipitation, climate, atmospheric ionization, neutral and ion chemistry, and secondary particle generation. Methods. We describe newly combined state-of-the-art modeling tools to study the impact of the radiation and particle environment, in particular of cosmic rays, on atmospheric particle interaction, atmospheric chemistry, and the climate-chemistry coupling in a selfconsistent model suite. To this end, models like the Atmospheric Radiation Interaction Simulator (AtRIS), the Exoplanetary Terrestrial Ion Chemistry model (ExoTIC), and the updated coupled climate-chemistry model are combined. Results. In addition to comparing our results to Earth-bound measurements, we investigate the ozone production and -loss cycles as well as the atmospheric radiation dose profiles during quiescent solar periods and during the strong solar energetic particle event of February 23, 1956. Further, the scenario-dependent terrestrial transit spectra, as seen by the NIR-Spec infrared spectrometer onboard the JWST, are modeled. Amongst others, we find that the comparatively weak solar event drastically increases the spectral signal of HNO3, while significantly suppressing the spectral feature of ozone. Because of the slow recovery after such events, the latter indicates that ozone might not be a good biomarker for planets orbiting stars with high flaring rates.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/127821/
Document Type:Article
Title:A New Model Suite to Determine the Influence of Cosmic Rays on (Exo)planetary Atmospheric Biosignatures
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Herbst, KInstitut für Experimentelle und Angewandte Physik, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sinnhuber, MKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Heber, BChristian-Albrechts- Uni. zu KielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Banjac, SChristian-Albrechts- Uni. zu KielUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Scheucher, MZentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysik (ZAA), Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), Hardenbergstr. 36, 10623 Berlin, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schmidt, VKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lehmann, RAlfred-Wegener Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum fuer Polar- und Meeresforschung, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schreier, FranzUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-7196-6599UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomy & Astrophysics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1-17
Publisher:EDP Sciences
Keywords:cosmic rays, terrestrial planets, planets and satellites, atmospheres, biosignatures, astrobiology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Planetary Evolution and Life (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof , Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > Atmospheric Processors
Institute of Planetary Research > Extrasolar Planets and Atmospheres
Deposited By: Grenfell, John Lee
Deposited On:06 Dec 2019 11:40
Last Modified:06 Dec 2019 11:40

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