Exoplanet Host Star Radiation and Plasma Environment

  • Jeffrey L. LinskyEmail author
  • Manuel Güdel
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 411)


Radiation from host stars controls the planetary energy budget, photochemistry in planetary atmospheres, and mass loss from the outer layers of these atmospheres. Stellar optical and infrared radiation, the major source of energy for the lower atmosphere and planetary surfaces, increases slowly as stars evolve from the Zero-Age-Main-Sequence . Ultraviolet radiation , including the Lyman-α emission line that dominates the UV spectrum of M dwarf stars, controls photochemical reactions of important molecules, including H2O, CO2, and CH4. Extreme ultraviolet and X-radiation from host stars ionizes and heats the outer layers of planetary atmospheres driving mass loss that is rapid for close-in Jupiter-like planets. The strength of the stellar UV, EUV , and X-radiation depends on stellar activity, which decays with time as stellar rotation decreases. As a result, the evolution of an exoplanet’s atmosphere depends on the evolution of its host star. We summarize the available techniques for measuring or estimating the X-ray , EUV, and UV radiation of host stars with different spectral types and ages.


Hubble Space Telescope Habitable Zone Host Star Dwarf Star Interstellar Absorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the support by the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern, Switzerland and the ISSI team Characterizing stellar- and exoplanetary environments. The authors have used the MAST Data Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. M. Güdel acknowledges support from the Austrian Research Foundation FWF NFN project S11601-N16 ‘Pathways to Habitability: From Disks to Active Stars, Planets and Life’, as well as the related FWF NFN subproject,S116 604-N16 ‘Radiation & Wind Evolution from T-Tauri Phase to ZAMS and Beyond’.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.JILA, University of Colorado and NISTBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Department of AstrophysicsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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