Interactions between exoplanets and the winds of young stars
1 SUPA, School of Physics & Astronomy, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, UK
2 Boston University, 725 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA, 02215, USA
3 Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão 1226, São Paulo, SP 05508-090, Brazil
4 University of Michigan, 1517 Space Research Building, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-2143, USA
a e-mail: Aline.Vidotto@st-andrews.ac.uk
Published online: 8 January 2014
The topology of the magnetic field of young stars is important not only for the investigation of magnetospheric accretion, but also responsible in shaping the large-scale structure of stellar winds, which are crucial for regulating the rotation evolution of stars. Because winds of young stars are believed to have enhanced mass-loss rates compared to those of cool, main-sequence stars, the interaction of winds with newborn exoplanets might affect the early evolution of planetary systems. This interaction can also give rise to observational signatures which could be used as a way to detect young planets, while simultaneously probing for the presence of their still elusive magnetic fields. Here, we investigate the interaction between winds of young stars and hypothetical planets. For that, we model the stellar winds by means of 3D numerical magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Although these models adopt simplified topologies of the stellar magnetic field (dipolar fields that are misaligned with the rotation axis of the star), we show that asymmetric field topologies can lead to an enhancement of the stellar wind power, resulting not only in an enhancement of angular momentum losses, but also intensifying and rotationally modulating the wind interactions with exoplanets.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014
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