Photolysis of diatomic molecules as a source of atoms in planetary exospheres?

R. R. Valiev, A. A. Berezhnoy, I. S. Gritsenko, B. S. Merzlikin, V. N. Cherepanov, T. Kurten, C. Wöhler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We calculated the cross sections of photolysis of OH, LiO, NaO, KO, HCl, LiCl, NaCl, KCl, HF, LiF, NaF, and KF molecules using quantum chemistry methods. The maximal values for photolysis cross sections of alkali metal monoxides are on the order of 10-18 cm2. The lifetimes of photolysis for quiet Sun at 1 astronomical unit are estimated as 2:0 × 105, 28, 5, 14, 2:1 × 105, 225, 42, 52, 2 × 106, 35 400, 486, and 30 400 s for OH, LiO, NaO, KO, HCl, LiCl, NaCl, KCl, HF, LiF, NaF, and KF, respectively. We performed a comparison between values of photolysis lifetimes obtained in this work and in previous studies. Based on such a comparison, our estimations of photolysis lifetimes of OH, HCl, and HF have an accuracy of about a factor of 2.We determined typical kinetic energies of main peaks of photolysis-generated metal atoms. Impact-produced LiO, NaO, KO, NaCl, and KCl molecules are destroyed in the lunar and Hermean exospheres almost completely during the first ballistic flight, while other considered molecules are more stable against destruction by photolysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA39
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume633
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Meteorites meteors meteoroids
  • Molecular data
  • Molecular processes
  • Radiation mechanisms: general
  • Stars: kinematics and dynamics
  • Ultraviolet: planetary systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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