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dc.contributor.authorHelling, Christiane
dc.contributor.authorJardine, M.
dc.contributor.authorWitte, S.
dc.contributor.authorDiver, D. A.
dc.identifier.citationHelling , C , Jardine , M , Witte , S & Diver , D A 2011 , ' Ionization in atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. I. The role of electron avalanche ' , Astrophysical Journal , vol. 727 , no. 1 , 4 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 24561757
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 8c95098e-b0d9-4dc0-ae2e-4fb88774ab3f
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000285992000004
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84891243063
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-1466-5236/work/57821895
dc.description.abstractBrown dwarf and extrasolar planet atmospheres form clouds which strongly influence the local chemistry and physics. These clouds are globally neutral obeying dust-gas charge equilibrium which is, on short timescales, inconsistent with the observation of stochastic ionization events of the solar system planets. We argue that a significant volume of the clouds in brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets is susceptible to local discharge events. These are electron avalanches triggered by charged dust grains. Such intra-cloud discharges occur on timescales shorter than the time needed to neutralize the dust grains by collisional processes. An ensemble of discharges is likely to produce enough free charges to suggest a partial and stochastic coupling of the atmosphere to a large-scale magnetic field.
dc.relation.ispartofAstrophysical Journalen
dc.rights© 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.en
dc.subjectBrown dwarfsen
dc.subjectStars: atmospheresen
dc.subjectQB Astronomyen
dc.titleIonization in atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. I. The role of electron avalancheen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.sponsorScience & Technology Facilities Councilen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Physics and Astronomyen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden
dc.identifier.grantnumberST G001987 1en

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