skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: The fate of scattered planets

As gas giant planets evolve, they may scatter other planets far from their original orbits to produce hot Jupiters or rogue planets that are not gravitationally bound to any star. Here, we consider planets cast out to large orbital distances on eccentric, bound orbits through a gaseous disk. With simple numerical models, we show that super-Earths can interact with the gas through dynamical friction to settle in the remote outer regions of a planetary system. Outcomes depend on planet mass, the initial scattered orbit, and the evolution of the time-dependent disk. Efficient orbital damping by dynamical friction requires planets at least as massive as the Earth. More massive, longer-lived disks damp eccentricities more efficiently than less massive, short-lived ones. Transition disks with an expanding inner cavity can circularize orbits at larger distances than disks that experience a global (homologous) decay in surface density. Thus, orbits of remote planets may reveal the evolutionary history of their primordial gas disks. A remote planet with an orbital distance ∼100 AU from the Sun is plausible and might explain correlations in the orbital parameters of several distant trans-Neptunian objects.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 S 1400 E, Rm 201, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)
  2. Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370118
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 796; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; CORRELATIONS; DAMPING; DECAY; DENSITY; DISTANCE; INTERACTIONS; MASS; ORBITS; PLANETS; SATELLITES; SUN; SURFACES; TIME DEPENDENCE