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Magnetic Fields in Earth-like Exoplanets and Implications for Habitability around M-dwarfs
López-Morales, Mercedes; Gómez-Pérez, Natalia; Ruedas, Thomas
AA(Institut de Ciències de L'Espai (CSIC-IEEC), Barcelona, Spain; Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, USA), AB(Departamento de Física, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia; Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, USA), AC(Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC, USA)
Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp.533-537 (OLEB Homepage)
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Magnetic fields, Exoplanets, Habitability
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(c) 2011: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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We present estimations of dipolar magnetic moments for terrestrial exoplanets using the Olson & Christiansen (EPS Lett 250:561-571, 2006) scaling law and assuming their interior structure is similar to Earth. We find that the dipolar moment of fast rotating planets (where the Coriolis force dominates convection in the core), may amount up to ~80 times the magnetic moment of Earth, M , for at least part of the planets' lifetime. For slow rotating planets (where the force of inertia dominates), the dipolar magnetic moment only reaches up to ~1.5 M . Applying our calculations to confirmed rocky exoplanets, we find that CoRoT-7b, Kepler-10b and 55 Cnc e can sustain dynamos up to ~18, 15 and 13 M , respectively. Our results also indicate that the magnetic moment of rocky exoplanets not only depends on rotation rate, but also on their formation history, thermal state, age, composition, and the geometry of the field. These results apply to all rocky planets, but have important implications for the particular case of planets in the Habitable Zone of M-dwarfs.
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