Presented by kyle thompson and ginny connor
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Presented by: Kyle Thompson and Ginny Connor. The Effect of a Strong Stellar Flare on the Atmospheric Chemistry of an Earth-like Planet Orbiting an M Dwarf. Overview. The abundance of M Dwarfs A solar flare’s impact on atmospheric ozone Two distinct tests With charged particles

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Presented by kyle thompson and ginny connor

Presented by:

Kyle Thompson and Ginny Connor

The Effect of a Strong Stellar Flare on the Atmospheric Chemistry of an Earth-like Planet Orbiting an M Dwarf


Overview
Overview

  • The abundance of M Dwarfs

  • A solar flare’s impact on atmospheric ozone

  • Two distinct tests

    • With charged particles

    • With uncharged (UV radiation only) particles


M dwarfs
M Dwarfs

  • Abundant

  • Long living

  • 70% of all stars in our galaxy

  • Infrared radiation

  • Low luminosity stars

    • Closer habitable zone


The two tests
The Two Tests

  • Charged particles vs. uncharged (UV radiation only) particles

  • Ionizing particles emitted during a flare may be more dangerous depending on how much of the particle flux strikes the planet


Effect on temperature
Effect on Temperature

  • No significant temperature change for either test

  • Final temperature difference was 0.1 K

  • Greatest difference was observed in the Mesosphere

  • Ozone variations cause temperature fluctuations in the upper atmosphere, but these fluctuations are small, and the climate at the surface is unaffected



Effect on water vapor
Effect on Water Vapor

  • Depleted in the Stratosphere

  • 30 ppmv – 0.3 ppmv


Effect on ozone density
Effect on Ozone Density

  • Noticeable decrease in the Stratosphere during the impulsive phase

  • Continued to increase until the flare ended

  • Much of the potentially life-damaging UV radiation goes into photolyzing ozone in the Stratosphere, which prevents it from reaching the planetary surface


Effect on total ozone column depth
Effect on Total Ozone Column Depth

  • UV radiation only: 1,000 seconds after the flare, depletion was only 1%

  • With charged photons: large effect but stabilizes after 4 months

  • Given that M Dwarfs can be active on timescales of days to weeks, the atmosphere may not return to equilibrium before another flare occurs


Conclusion
Conclusion

  • For an oxygen-rich, Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of an active M Dwarf, stellar flares do not necessarily affect habitability


Works cited
Works Cited

  • Segura, Antigona, Lucianne M. Walkowicz, Victoria Meadows, James Kasting, and Suzanne Hawley. "The Effect of a Strong Stellar Flare on the Atmospheric Chemistry of an Earth-like Planet Orbiting an M Dwarf." Astrobiology 10.7 (2010): 751-71. Web.


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