Effects of Superthermal Electrons in The Young Earth Atmosphere and Its Habitability

Friday, 19 December 2014
Vladimir Airapetian, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States and George V Khazanov, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States
In this presentation, we use the Fokker-Plank code to model the effect of intensive short-wavelength (X-rays to UV band) emission from the young Sun on Earth's atmosphere. Our simulations include the photoionization processes of the Earth’s atmosphere forming a population of superthermal electrons (E<600 eV), the kinetic effects of their propagation associated and their contribution in ionosphere-magnetosphere energy redistribution. We also evaluated associated non-thermal atmospheric mass loss due to induced ambipolar electric field and its effect on the habitability of early Earth.