Ionization occurs in the upper atmospheres of hot Jupiter exoplanets and in the interiors of gas giant planets, leading to magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects which couple the momentum and the magnetic field, thereby significantly altering the dynamics. In the transition region between the hot, ionized interior and cold, neutral region, one finds moderate temperatures such that the gas is only partially ionized and very poorly conducting. The transition region acts as a bottom boundary for the atmospheric jets seen on the surface, and as a top boundary for the magnetid-field generating dynamo region. It therefore likely affect things like the depths of the jets or the morphology of the magnetosphere. In my work, I use idealized turbulence simulations to understand how the particular characteristics of this region (partial ionization and weak conductivity) affect the dynamics and could therefore influence the formation of jets and more.
Glenn R. Flierl,
Keaton J. Burns,