Possible constraints on exoplanet magnetic field strengths from planet-star interaction.
Abstract (from CDS):
A small percentage of normal stars harbor giant planets that orbit within a few tenths of an astronomical unit. At such distances, the potential exists for significant tidal and magnetic field interaction resulting in energy dissipation that may manifest as changes within the stellar corona. We examine the X-ray emission of stars hosting planets and find a positive correlation between X-ray luminosity and the projected mass of the most closely orbiting exoplanets. We investigate possible systematics and observational biases that could mimic or confuse this correlation but find no strong evidence for any, especially for planets more massive than ∼0.1 MJ. Luminosities and upper limits are consistent with the interpretation that there is a lower floor to stellar X-ray emission dependent on close-in planetary mass. Under the hypothesis that this is a consequence of planet-star magnetic field interaction, and energy dissipation, we estimate a possible field strength increase of a factor of ∼8 between planets of 1 and 10 MJ. Intriguingly, this is consistent with recent geodynamo scaling law predictions. The high-energy photon emission of planet-star systems may therefore provide unique access to the detailed magnetic, and hence geodynamic, properties of exoplanets.
planetary systems - stars: activity