Search for radio emission from giant exoplanets (Griessmeier, 2016)

The intensity of Jupiter's auroral radio emission quickly gave rise to the question whether a comparable coherent emission from the magnetosphere of an exoplanet could be detectable. An exoplanetary radio emission would have to be at least 1000 times more intense than Jupiter's emission to be detectable with current radio telescopes. Theoretical models suggest that, at least in certain cases, the radio emission of giant exoplanets may indeed reach the required intensity. At the same time, in order to generate such an emission, an exoplanet would have to have a sufficiently strong intrinsic planetary magnetic field. Extrasolar planets are indeed expected to have a planetary magnetic field, but to date, their magnetic field has never been detected. We will show that the most promising technique to observe exoplanetary magnetic fields is indeed to search for the planetary auroral radio emission. The detection of such an emission would thus constitute the first unambiguous detection of an exoplanetary magnetic field. We will review recent theoretical studies and discuss their results for the two main parameters, namely the maximum emission frequency and the intensity of the radio emission. The predicted values should allow the detection using modern low-frequency radio telescopes. We will present an ongoing observation program with the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), which has the potential to detect exoplanetary radio emission.

Related Identifier
Metadata Access
Creator Griessmeier J.-M.
Publisher CDS
Contributor International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA)
Publication Year 2017
Rights public
OpenAccess true
Contact CDS support team <cds-question(at)>
Format text/xml+votable
Version 13-Sep-2017
Discipline Astrophysics and Astronomy