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A Bolt from the Blue — Lightning on Terrestrial Exoplanets

Presentation #1053 in the session “Open Engagement Session A”.

Published onMar 17, 2021
A Bolt from the Blue — Lightning on Terrestrial Exoplanets

The Global Electric Current (GEC) is dependent on both the atmosphere (ionosphere) and the surface of the planet as its boundaries. The GEC discharges itself in two major ways — with fair weather currents occurring in cloudless conditions and lightning occurring in thunderstorms. Whether a planetary electric current (PEC) exists on terrestrial planets is an important question; the establishment of a PEC would help to discern whether a planet is a true Earth analog.

In this investigation, the bulk composition of a sample of terrestrial planets and their atmospheres are investigated and the possibilities of planetary electric fields analyzed. Direct detection of molecules created by lightning channels is established as well as the atmospheric composition and the cloud forming processes.

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