Publications by Vivien Parmentier

3D mixing in hot Jupiter atmospheres. I. application to the day/night cold trap in HD 209458b

Astronomy and Astrophysics EDP Sciences (0)

V Parmentier, AP Showman, Y Lian

Hot Jupiters exhibit atmospheric temperatures ranging from hundreds to thousands of Kelvin. Because of their large day-night temperature differences, condensable species that are stable in the gas phase on the dayside, such as TiO and silicates, may condense and gravitationally settle on the nightside. Atmospheric circulation may counterbalance this tendency to gravitationally settle. This three dimensional (3D) mixing of chemical species has not previously been studied for hot Jupiters, yet it is crucial to assess the existence and distribution of TiO and silicates in the atmospheres of these planets. We perform 3D global circulation models of HD209458b including passive tracers that advect with the 3D flow, including a source/sink on the nightside to represent condensation and gravitational settling of haze particles. We show that global advection patterns produce strong vertical mixing that can keep condensable species lofted as long as they are trapped in particles of sizes of a few microns or less on the night side. We show that vertical mixing results not from small-scale convection but from the large-scale circulation driven by the day-night heating contrast. Although this vertical mixing is not diffusive in any rigorous sense, a comparison of our results with idealized diffusion models allows a rough estimate of the vertical diffusion coefficient. Kzz=5x10**4/Sqrt(Pbar) m2/s can be used in 1D models of HD 209458b. Moreover, our models exhibit strong spatial and temporal variability in the tracer concentration that could result in observable variations during transit or secondary eclipse measurements. Finally, we apply our model to the case of TiO in HD209458b and show that the day-night cold trap would deplete TiO if it condenses into particles bigger than a few microns on the planet's night side, making it unable to create the observed stratosphere of the planet.

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