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The two modes of gas giant planet formation


Boley, A C (2009). The two modes of gas giant planet formation. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 695(1):L53-L57.

Abstract

I argue for two modes of gas giant planet formation and discuss the conditions under which each mode operates. Gas giant planets at disk radii r>100 AU are likely to form in situ by disk instability, while core accretion plus gas capture remains the dominant formation mechanism for r < 100 AU. During the mass accretion phase, mass loading can push disks toward fragmentation conditions at large r. Massive, extended disks can fragment into clumps of a few to tens of Jupiter masses. This is confirmed by radiation hydrodynamics simulations. The two modes of gas giant formation should lead to a bimodal distribution of gas giant semimajor axes. Because core accretion is expected to be less efficient in low-metallicity systems, the ratio of gas giants at large r to planets at small r should increase with decreasing metallicity.

Abstract

I argue for two modes of gas giant planet formation and discuss the conditions under which each mode operates. Gas giant planets at disk radii r>100 AU are likely to form in situ by disk instability, while core accretion plus gas capture remains the dominant formation mechanism for r < 100 AU. During the mass accretion phase, mass loading can push disks toward fragmentation conditions at large r. Massive, extended disks can fragment into clumps of a few to tens of Jupiter masses. This is confirmed by radiation hydrodynamics simulations. The two modes of gas giant formation should lead to a bimodal distribution of gas giant semimajor axes. Because core accretion is expected to be less efficient in low-metallicity systems, the ratio of gas giants at large r to planets at small r should increase with decreasing metallicity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:25 Feb 2010 16:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:00
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing
ISSN:2041-8205
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/695/1/L53
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/0902.3999

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