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|Title:||The high-energy radiation environment of the habitable-zone super-Earth LHS 1140b||Authors:||Spinelli, R.
|Issue Date:||2019||Journal:||ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS||Number:||627||First Page:||A144||Abstract:||Context. In the last few years many exoplanets in the habitable zone (HZ) of M-dwarfs have been discovered, but the X-ray/UV activity of cool stars is very different from that of our Sun. The high-energy radiation environment influences the habitability, plays a crucial role for abiogenesis, and impacts the chemistry and evolution of planetary atmospheres. LHS 1140b is one of the most interesting exoplanets discovered. It is a super-Earth-size planet orbiting in the HZ of LHS 1140, an M4.5 dwarf at 15 parsecs. <BR /> Aims: In this work, we present the results of the analysis of a Swift X-ray/UV observing campaign. We characterize for the first time the X-ray/UV radiation environment of LHS 1140b. <BR /> Methods: We measure the variability of the near ultraviolet (NUV) flux and estimate the far ultraviolet (FUV) flux with a correlation between FUV<SUB>1344-1786Å</SUB> and NUV<SUB>1771-2831Å</SUB> flux obtained using the sample of low-mass stars in the GALEX archive. We highlight the presence of a dominating X-ray source close to the J2000 coordinates of LHS 1140, characterize its spectrum, and derive an X-ray flux upper limit for LHS 1140. We find that this contaminant source could have influenced the previously estimated spectral energy distribution. <BR /> Results: No significant variation of the NUV<SUB>1771-2831Å</SUB> flux of LHS 1140 is found over 3 months, and we do not observe any flare during the 38 ks on the target. LHS 1140 is in the 25th percentile of least variable M4-M5 dwarfs of the GALEX sample. Analyzing the UV flux experienced by the HZ planet LHS 1140b, we find that outside the atmosphere it receives a NUV<SUB>1771-2831Å</SUB> flux <2% with respect to that of the present-day Earth, while the FUV<SUB>1344-1786Å</SUB>/NUV<SUB>1771-2831Å</SUB> ratio is 100-200 times higher. This represents a lower limit to the true FUV/NUV ratio since the FUV<SUB>1344-1786Å</SUB> band does not include Lyman-alpha, which dominates the FUV output of low-mass stars. This is a warning for future searches for biomarkers, which must take into account this high ratio. <BR /> Conclusions: The relatively low level and stability of UV flux experienced by LHS 1140b should be favorable for its present-day habitability.||URI:||http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12386/29070||URL:||https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/full_html/2019/07/aa35636-19/aa35636-19.html||ISSN:||0004-6361||DOI:||10.1051/0004-6361/201935636||Bibcode ADS:||2019A&A...627A.144S||Fulltext:||open|
|Appears in Collections:||1.01 Articoli in rivista|
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checked on Jan 18, 2021
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