The Hottest Hot Jupiters May Host Atmospheric Dynamos

T. M. Rogers, J. N. McElwaine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Hot Jupiters have proven themselves to be a rich class of exoplanets that test our theories of planetary evolution and atmospheric dynamics under extreme conditions. Here, we present three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic simulations and analytic results that demonstrate that a dynamo can be maintained in the thin, stably stratified atmosphere of a hot Jupiter, independent of the presumed deep-seated dynamo. This dynamo is maintained by conductivity variations arising from strong asymmetric heating from the planets' host star. The presence of a dynamo significantly increases the surface magnetic field strength and alters the overall planetary magnetic field geometry, possibly affecting star-planet magnetic interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL26
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • dynamo
  • magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
  • planets and satellites: gaseous planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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