A possible bifurcation in atmospheres of strongly irradiated stars and planets

Ivan Hubeny, Adam S. Burrows, David Sudarsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

333 Scopus citations


We show that under certain circumstances the differences between the absorption mean and Planck mean opacities can lead to multiple solutions for an LTE atmospheric structure. Since the absorption and Planck mean opacities are not expected to differ significantly in the usual case of radiative equilibrium, nonirradiated atmospheres, the most interesting situations in which the effect may play a role are strongly irradiated stars and planets, and also possibly structures in which there is a significant deposition of mechanical energy, such as stellar chromospheres and accretion disks. We have presented an illustrative example of a strongly irradiated giant planet in which the bifurcation effect is predicted to occur for a certain range of distances from the star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1018
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Sep 10 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Binaries: general
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: general radiative transfer
  • Stars: atmospheres
  • Stars: low-mass, brown dwarfs


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