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dc.contributor.authorRimmer, P.B.
dc.contributor.authorHelling, C.
dc.contributor.authorBilger, C.
dc.identifier.citationRimmer , P B , Helling , C & Bilger , C 2014 , ' The influence of galactic cosmic rays on ion-neutral hydrocarbon chemistry in the upper atmospheres of free-floating exoplanets ' , International Journal of Astrobiology , vol. 13 , no. 2 , pp. 173-181 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 145746695
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 4d10e350-4094-452e-9c14-71d67708a8a1
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84898757009
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000333749700010
dc.descriptionThe authors highlight financial support of the European Community under the FP7 by an ERC starting grant.en
dc.description.abstractCosmic rays may be linked to the formation of volatiles necessary for prebiotic chemistry. We explore the effect of cosmic rays in a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, as a proof-of-concept that ion–neutral chemistry may be important for modelling hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. In order to accomplish this, we utilize Monte Carlo cosmic ray transport models with particle energies of 106 eV<E<1012 eV in order to investigate the cosmic-ray enhancement of free electrons in substellar atmospheres. Ion–neutral chemistry is then applied to a Drift–Phoenix model of a free-floating giant gas planet. Our results suggest that the activation of ion–neutral chemistry in the upper atmosphere significantly enhances formation rates for various species, and we find that C2H2, C2H4, NH3, C6H6 and possibly C10H are enhanced in the upper atmospheres because of cosmic rays. Our results suggest a potential connection between cosmic-ray chemistry and the hazes observed in the upper atmospheres of various extrasolar planets. Chemi-ionization reactions are briefly discussed, as they may enhance the degree of ionization in the cloud layer.
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Journal of Astrobiologyen
dc.rightsCopyright © Cambridge University Press 2014en
dc.subjectAtmospheric effectsen
dc.subjectCosmic raysen
dc.subjectPlanets and satellitesen
dc.subjectQB Astronomyen
dc.subjectQC Physicsen
dc.titleThe influence of galactic cosmic rays on ion-neutral hydrocarbon chemistry in the upper atmospheres of free-floating exoplanetsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.sponsorScience & Technology Facilities Councilen
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

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