Spark experiments and photochemical simulations to identify lightning signatures in planetary atmospheres (dataset)

  • Patrick Barth (Austrian Academy of Sciences, University of Stuttgart) (Creator)
  • Christiane Helling (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Graz University of Technology) (Creator)
  • Eva Elisabeth Stueeken (Creator)
  • Edward W. Schwieterman (Creator)
  • Jon Telling (Creator)



This dataset includes the data underlying the publication "The effect of lightning on the atmospheric chemistry of exoplanets and potential biosignatures" (Barth et al. 2024, Astronomy & Astrophysics) and consists of 3 parts:
(1) Experimental results from spark discharge experiments performed in the St Andrews Isotope Geochemistry lab (StAIG):
The experimental set up was built by Patrick Barth and Eva E. Stüeken, the experiments were conducted by Patrick Barth, the analysis was conducted by Patrick Barth and Jon Telling, and the data was analysed by Patrick Barth, Eva E. Stüeken, Christiane Helling, and Jon Telling.
Analysis of most gaseous products was carried out with a quadrupole mass spectrometer (Hiden Analytical ExQ Quantitative Gas Analyser) in St Andrews. N2O and CH4 were analysed with a Thermo Fisher gas chromatograph (Trace Ultra) in St Andrews. Analysis of CO was performed with an SRI 8610C gas chromatograph at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University.
Aqueous nitrite and nitrate were analysed with a Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-6000 ion chromatograph; ammonium, urea, and cyanide were analysed with colorimetric methods; all in St Andrews.
(2) Equilibrium chemistry calculations for the gas-mixtures in the spark experiments, performed (with GGChem) and analysed by Patrick Barth.
(3) Photochemical simulations of the atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets with lightning-produced NO and CO (with ATMOS) and simulated spectra (with SMART): Performed by Edward W. Schwieterman, analysed by Edward W. Schwieterman, Patrick Barth, and Christiane Helling.
Date made available2024
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
Date of data production1 Apr 2022 - 1 Jun 2023

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