Exploring the interactions of M dwarf winds and cosmic rays
This thesis focus on the interaction between M dwarf stellar winds and Galactic cosmic rays and the possible effects on the habitability of exoplanets.
- Mesquita, A.L.
- 25 October 2022
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
We use numerical simulations to describe the stellar winds of M dwarfs using observable constraints, such as the mass-loss rate, X-ray luminosity, and magnetic field strength/flux. Additionally, we use numerical simulations to describe the propagation of Galactic cosmic rays within M dwarf planetary systems. With these simulations, we can calculate the flux of Galactic cosmic rays reaching exoplanet magnetospheres/atmospheres. Measuring cosmic ray fluxes in exoplanet atmospheres is yet not possible, but cosmic rays are an important ingredient in the context of planetary habitability. For this reason, quantifying these fluxes is essential to complete the habitability “puzzle”. Future exoplanet atmosphere observations with space telescopes, such as the JWST and the ARIEL, will enable us to constrain cosmic ray fluxes in exoplanet atmospheres.