Kepler observations have uncovered the existence of a large number of close-in exoplanets and serendipitously of stellar superflares with emissions several orders of magnitude higher than those observed on the Sun. The interaction between the two and its implications on planetary habitability is of great interest to the community. Stellar Proton Events interact with the planetary atmosphere, generate secondary particles and increase the radiation dose on the surface. This effect is amplified for close-in exoplanets and can be a serious threat to potential planetary life. Using Monte Carlo simulations, we model the SPE-induced particle radiation dose on the surface of such exoplanets. We study the dependence of radiation dose on flare energy, planet’s orbital distance, magnetic field strength and atmospheric column density, and discuss its implications on constraining planetary habitability.
Thu, 23 Jun 16