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Title: Planet traps and planetary cores: origins of the planet-metallicity correlation

Massive exoplanets are observed preferentially around high metallicity ([Fe/H]) stars while low-mass exoplanets do not show such an effect. This so-called planet-metallicity correlation generally favors the idea that most observed gas giants at r < 10 AU are formed via a core accretion process. We investigate the origin of this phenomenon using a semi-analytical model, wherein the standard core accretion takes place at planet traps in protostellar disks where rapid type I migrators are halted. We focus on the three major exoplanetary populations—hot Jupiters, exo-Jupiters located at r ≅ 1 AU, and the low-mass planets. We show using a statistical approach that the planet-metallicity correlations are well reproduced in these models. We find that there are specific transition metallicities with values [Fe/H] = –0.2 to –0.4, below which the low-mass population dominates, and above which the Jovian populations take over. The exo-Jupiters significantly exceed the hot Jupiter population at all observed metallicities. The low-mass planets formed via the core accretion are insensitive to metallicity, which may account for a large fraction of the observed super-Earths and hot-Neptunes. Finally, a controlling factor in building massive planets is the critical mass of planetary cores (M {sub c,} {sub crit}) that regulates themore » onset of rapid gas accretion. Assuming the current data is roughly complete at [Fe/H] > –0.6, our models predict that the most likely value of the 'mean' critical core mass of Jovian planets is (M {sub c,} {sub crit}) ≅ 5 M {sub ⊕} rather than 10 M {sub ⊕}. This implies that grain opacities in accreting envelopes should be reduced in order to lower M {sub c,} {sub crit}.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica (ASIAA), P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10641, Taiwan (China)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370513
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 794; 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; ACCRETION DISKS; CORRELATIONS; CRITICAL MASS; INTERACTIONS; METALLICITY; OPACITY; PLANETS; PROTOPLANETS; SATELLITES; STARS; TRAPS; TURBULENCE