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Title: IONIZATION IN ATMOSPHERES OF BROWN DWARFS AND EXTRASOLAR PLANETS. IV. THE EFFECT OF COSMIC RAYS

Cosmic rays provide an important source for free electrons in Earth's atmosphere and also in dense interstellar regions where they produce a prevailing background ionization. We utilize a Monte Carlo cosmic ray transport model for particle energies of 10{sup 6} eV 10{sup -8} when p{sub gas} < 10{sup -8} bar, suggesting that this part of the atmosphere may behave as a weakly ionized plasma. Although cosmic rays enhance the degree of ionization by over three orders of magnitude in the upper atmosphere, the effect is not likely to be significant enough for sustained coupling of the magnetic field to the gas.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews KY16 9SS (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22133903
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 774; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COSMIC RADIATION; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; ELECTRONS; IONIZATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PARTICLES; PLANETS; PLASMA; TRANSPORT THEORY