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Magnetic exoplanets & MHD

  • Illustration magnetic fields exoplanets and radioastronomy.
  • Illustration magnetic fields exoplanets
  • Illustration magnetic fields exoplanets.

Studying the Imprints of magnetic fields in exoplanetary systems

This very recent and young group focuses specifically on the role and imprints of magnetic fields in exoplanetary systems, from both an observational and theoretical point of view.

The elusive magnetism in extrasolar planets

Most Solar planets and some of their satellites are magnetised. Directly from data collected by space missions and from the magnetically-powered radio emission at very low frequencies, we know that within the Solar system there is a huge and interesting variety of magnetic field intensity and topologies, which are a hint of the internal conductive fluids and the internal structure and evolution. In extrasolar planets, however, the magnetism is still elusive due to the intrinsic difficulties in detecting its imprints. However, magnetism in exoplanets has an important role for several aspects: it can keep giant planets hotter and more inflated than what would expect; in rocky planets, it is related to the habitability, since it can be an effective shield for the volatile elements of the biosphere (water and atmosphere); it can power radio emission which is currently searched for by the most important low-frequency radio facilities like LOFAR, uGMRT.

Illustration magnetic fields exoplanets.


Our group has different lines of research, all new and intertwined. See also the dedicated webpage for more information.

  • Theoretical studies of the expected contribution of magnetic field dissipation in the observed inflation of Hot Jupiters (giant planets orbiting very close to their host star). Such studies are performed with accurate local simulations including turbulence, using the software Simflowny.
  • Population synthesis of the observed radii of Hot Jupiters by including the role of Joule heating in long-term evolution simulations performed with MESA.
  • Dynamo simulations under different internal conditions (using the code MAGIC), in order to capture the main expected evolutionary changes in the internal magnetic fields.
  • Observational campaigns to target potential massive planets or light brown dwarfs emitting in radio. We employ uGMRT and VLA and aim at using LOFAR.
  • Collaboration within the CARMENES collaboration in the context of the magnetic star-planet interaction.
  • MHD simulations of dynamo and long-term evolution in different astrophysical contexts. In this sense, the group has a broad interdisciplinary view of astrophysical magnetism.

Senior institute members involved

Meet the senior researcher who participates in this research line.

  • Daniele Viganò