Thursday, April 18, 2013

1304.4762 (Sijme-Jan Paardekooper et al.)

The formation of systems with closely spaced low-mass planets and the application to Kepler-36    [PDF]

Sijme-Jan Paardekooper, Hanno Rein, Willy Kley
The Kepler-36 system consists of two planets that are spaced unusually close together, near the 7:6 mean motion resonance. While it is known that mean motion resonances can easily form by convergent migration, Kepler-36 is an extreme case due to the close spacing and the relatively high planet masses of 4 and 8 times that of the Earth. In this paper, we investigate whether such a system can be obtained by interactions with the protoplanetary disc. These discs are thought to be turbulent and exhibit density fluctuations which might originate from the magneto-rotational instability. We adopt a realistic description for stochastic forces due to these density fluctuations and perform both long term hydrodynamical and N-body simulations. Our results show that planets in the Kepler-36 mass range can be naturally assembled into a closely spaced planetary system for a wide range of migration parameters in a turbulent disc similar to the minimum mass solar nebula. The final orbits of our formation scenarios tend to be Lagrange stable, even though large parts of the parameter space are chaotic and unstable.
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