Thermodynamics of atmospheric circulation on hot jupiters

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Atmospheric circulation on tidally locked exoplanets is driven by the absorption and reradiation of heat from the host star. Such atmospheres are natural heat engines, converting heat into mechanical energy. A steady state is possible only if there is a mechanism to dissipate mechanical energy, or if the redistribution of heat is so effective that the Carnot efficiency is driven to zero. Simulations based on primitive, equivalent-barotropic, or shallow-water equations without explicit provision for dissipation of kinetic energy and for recovery of that energy as heat, violate energy conservation. More seriously perhaps, neglect of physical sources of drag may overestimate wind speeds and rates of advection of heat from the day to the night side.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1649
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • binaries: close
  • hydrodynamics
  • planetary systems
  • stars: oscillations
  • stars: rotation
  • waves


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