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Title: FORMATION OF CLOSE IN SUPER-EARTHS AND MINI-NEPTUNES: REQUIRED DISK MASSES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS

Recent observations by the Kepler space telescope have led to the discovery of more than 4000 exoplanet candidates consisting of many systems with Earth- to Neptune-sized objects that reside well inside the orbit of Mercury around their respective host stars. How and where these close-in planets formed is one of the major unanswered questions in planet formation. Here, we calculate the required disk masses for in situ formation of the Kepler planets. We find that if close-in planets formed as isolation masses, then standard gas-to-dust ratios yield corresponding gas disks that are gravitationally unstable for a significant fraction of systems, ruling out such a scenario. We show that the maximum width of a planet's accretion region in the absence of any migration is 2v {sub esc}/Ω, where v {sub esc} is the escape velocity of the planet and Ω is the Keplerian frequency, and we use it to calculate the required disk masses for in situ formation with giant impacts. Even with giant impacts, formation without migration requires disk surface densities in solids at semi-major axes of less than 0.1 AU of 10{sup 3}-10{sup 5} g cm{sup –2}, implying typical enhancements above the minimum-mass solar nebular (MMSN) by at least amore » factor of 20. Corresponding gas disks are below but not far from the gravitational stability limit. In contrast, formation beyond a few AU is consistent with MMSN disk masses. This suggests that the migration of either solids or fully assembled planets is likely to have played a major role in the formation of close-in super-Earths and mini-Neptunes.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364917
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 795; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DENSITY; MASS; MERCURY; NEPTUNE PLANET; ORBITS; PROTOPLANETS; SATELLITES; SPACE; STAR EVOLUTION; TELESCOPES