An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Dr Christiane Helling (St Andrews)* and Professor Moira Jardine (St Andrews)
* Contact: Christiane.Helling_AT_st-andrews.ac.uk
The atmospheres of planets and very low-mass (VLM) stars are cold enough that clouds form and affect the local chemistry and the spectral appearance. Prominent planetary examples are the giant gas planet HD189733b and the super-Earth GJ1214b in which hazes block the view onto the gaseous atmosphere in the optical and mid-IR spectral ranges. Similar effects need to be expected in VLM stars, which in addition, are suggested to have strong magnetic fields. These magnetic fields add to the mystery of VLM stars as their rotational braking is much less efficient than expected pointing to an inefficient magnetic field coupling. How do atmospheric ionisation processes and processes causing magnetic field interaction differ in extraterrestrial environments compared to the solar system? Which role do magnetic-field modulated cosmic rays play?
Ionisation processes have been studied in well-defined areas of astro- and geophysics. The study of the interaction of the atmospheric environment with the object's magnetic field can allow for a mutual benefit between these scientific communities. This meeting therefore invites astrophysics, geologists and meteorologists to exchange and discuss their views on ionisation, charge separation and discharge processes.
Tea and coffee will be available from 10:00 and again after the meeting at 15:30.