Atmospheric escape simulation of the terrestrial planets


Planetary upper atmospheres are subject to Sun’s ultraviolet radiation and solar wind interaction, which strip away some of the planetary atmospheres. We have developed a global hybrid (particle ions/fluid electrons) model of the solar wind interaction with the upper atmosphere of unmagnetized planets as well as an MHD model, and investigated the escape processes and escape channels of the ions of planetary origin. Collaborating with satellite/ground-based observations, we are investigating the escape and long-term evolution of the atmospheres of Mars, Venus, and exoplanets, and trying to better understand the conditions needed to form a habitable planet.