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Pebble-driven planet formation for TRAPPIST-1 and other compact systems


Schoonenberg, Djoeke; Liu, Beibei; Ormel, Chris W; Dorn, Caroline (2019). Pebble-driven planet formation for TRAPPIST-1 and other compact systems. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 627:A149.

Abstract

Recently, seven Earth-sized planets were discovered around the M-dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Thanks to transit-timing variations, the masses and therefore the bulk densities of the planets have been constrained, suggesting that all TRAPPIST-1 planets are consistent with water mass fractions on the order of 10%. These water fractions, as well as the similar planet masses within the system, constitute strong constraints on the origins of the TRAPPIST-1 system. In a previous work, we outlined a pebble-driven formation scenario. In this paper we investigate this formation scenario in more detail. We used a Lagrangian smooth-particle method to model the growth and drift of pebbles and the conversion of pebbles to planetesimals through the streaming instability. We used the N-body code <jats:monospace>MERCURY</jats:monospace> to follow the composition of planetesimals as they grow into protoplanets by merging and accreting pebbles. This code is adapted to account for pebble accretion, type-I migration, and gas drag. In this way, we modelled the entire planet formation process (pertaining to planet masses and compositions, not dynamical configuration). We find that planetesimals form in a single, early phase of streaming instability. The initially narrow annulus of planetesimals outside the snowline quickly broadens due to scattering. Our simulation results confirm that this formation pathway indeed leads to similarly-sized planets and is highly efficient in turning pebbles into planets. Our results suggest that the innermost planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system grew mostly by planetesimal accretion at an early time, whereas the outermost planets were initially scattered outwards and grew mostly by pebble accretion. The water content of planets resulting from our simulations is on the order of 10%, and our results predict a “V-shaped” trend in the planet water fraction with orbital distance: from relatively high (innermost planets) to relatively low (intermediate planets) to relatively high (outermost planets).

Abstract

Recently, seven Earth-sized planets were discovered around the M-dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Thanks to transit-timing variations, the masses and therefore the bulk densities of the planets have been constrained, suggesting that all TRAPPIST-1 planets are consistent with water mass fractions on the order of 10%. These water fractions, as well as the similar planet masses within the system, constitute strong constraints on the origins of the TRAPPIST-1 system. In a previous work, we outlined a pebble-driven formation scenario. In this paper we investigate this formation scenario in more detail. We used a Lagrangian smooth-particle method to model the growth and drift of pebbles and the conversion of pebbles to planetesimals through the streaming instability. We used the N-body code <jats:monospace>MERCURY</jats:monospace> to follow the composition of planetesimals as they grow into protoplanets by merging and accreting pebbles. This code is adapted to account for pebble accretion, type-I migration, and gas drag. In this way, we modelled the entire planet formation process (pertaining to planet masses and compositions, not dynamical configuration). We find that planetesimals form in a single, early phase of streaming instability. The initially narrow annulus of planetesimals outside the snowline quickly broadens due to scattering. Our simulation results confirm that this formation pathway indeed leads to similarly-sized planets and is highly efficient in turning pebbles into planets. Our results suggest that the innermost planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system grew mostly by planetesimal accretion at an early time, whereas the outermost planets were initially scattered outwards and grew mostly by pebble accretion. The water content of planets resulting from our simulations is on the order of 10%, and our results predict a “V-shaped” trend in the planet water fraction with orbital distance: from relatively high (innermost planets) to relatively low (intermediate planets) to relatively high (outermost planets).

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Astronomy and Astrophysics
Physical Sciences > Space and Planetary Science
Language:English
Date:1 July 2019
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 16:08
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 13:45
Publisher:EDP Sciences
ISSN:0004-6361
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201935607

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