Evidence of energy-, recombination-, and photon-limited escape regimes in giant planet H/He atmospheres

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Hydrodynamic escape is the most efficient atmospheric mechanism of planetary mass loss and has a large impact on planetary evolution. Three hydrodynamic escape regimes have been identified theoretically: energy-limited, recombination-limited, and photonlimited. However, no evidence of these regimes had been reported until now. Here, we report evidence of these three regimes via an analysis of a helium I triplet at 10 830 Å and Lyα absorption involving a 1D hydrodynamic model that allows us to estimate hydrogen recombination and advection rates. In particular, we show that HD 209458 b is in the energy-limited regime, HD 189733 b is in the recombination-limited regime, and GJ 3470 b is in the photon-limited regime. These exoplanets can be considered as benchmark cases for their respective regimes.
© ESO 2021. We thank the referee for very useful comments. CARMENES is an instrument for the Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán (CAHA) at Calar Alto (Almería, Spain), operated jointly by the Junta de Andalucía and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). CARMENES was funded by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through projects FICTS-2011-02, ICTS-2017-07-CAHA-4, and CAHA16- CE-3978, and the members of the CARMENES Consortium (Max-PlanckInstitut für Astronomie, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Landessternwarte Königstuhl, Institut de Ciències de l’Espai, Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Hamburger Sternwarte, Centro de Astrobiología and Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán), with additional contributions by the MINECO, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through the Major Research Instrumentation Programme and Research Unit FOR2544 “Blue Planets around Red Stars”, the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, the states of Baden-Württemberg and Niedersachsen, and by the Junta de Andalucía. We acknowledge financial support from the Agencia Estatal de Investigación of the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades and the ERDF through projects ESP2016–76076–R, ESP2017–87143– R, BES–2015–074542, PID2019-110689RB-I00/AEI/10.13039/501100011033, PGC2018-099425–B–I00, PID2019-109522GB-C51/2/3/4, PGC2018-098153- B-C33, AYA2016-79425-C3-1/2/3-P, ESP2016-80435-C2-1-R, and the Centre of Excellence “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu” awards to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (SEV-2015-0548), Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (SEV-2017-0709), and Centro de Astrobiología (MDM-2017-0737), and the Generalitat de Catalunya/CERCA programme. T.H. acknowledges support from the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program via the ERC Advanced Grant Origins 832428. A.S.L. acknowledges funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 694513.
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