What are the conditions for an ionosphere to form?

2018-10-20 23:07:56

What are the conditions for an ionosphere to form on a given planet?

Factors I could think of are

Class and age of the star the planet orbits

Distance to said star

Density and composition of the planet's atmosphere

According to the paper "Simultaneous ionospheric variability on Earth and Mars" (Mendillo et al. 2003), the overall structure of any ionised region of a planetary atmosphere depends on

a blend of in situ production and loss

processes, plus effects of transport of ionization into or out

of the local region of interest

Specifically, according to Mendillo et al., the only significant influence is from the photon flux from the parent star - so, the further the planet is from the star, the less the incoming photon flux. The other mechanisms are suggested to be planetary-based, including (from the article):

planetary rotation rate

orbital obliquity

which both also affect the photon flux reaching that particular part of the planetary atmosph

  • According to the paper "Simultaneous ionospheric variability on Earth and Mars" (Mendillo et al. 2003), the overall structure of any ionised region of a planetary atmosphere depends on

    a blend of in situ production and loss

    processes, plus effects of transport of ionization into or out

    of the local region of interest

    Specifically, according to Mendillo et al., the only significant influence is from the photon flux from the parent star - so, the further the planet is from the star, the less the incoming photon flux. The other mechanisms are suggested to be planetary-based, including (from the article):

    planetary rotation rate

    orbital obliquity

    which both also affect the photon flux reaching that particular part of the planetary atmosphere. Other mechanisms are to do with the planetary atmospheres themselves, with factors including:

    the thermal structure, chemistry and dynamics of the planetary 'neutral' atmosphere itself.

    by how much energetic particles (from the stel

    2018-10-20 23:37:57
  • @Hackworth has also asked this question on the Geosciences SX site (link to question), where I provided an answer (link to my answer). I'm including a link to my answer there from here in case it proves useful to somebody.

    2018-10-21 00:29:41