32 research outputs found

    Fate of the runner in hit-and-run collisions

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    In similar-sized planetary collisions, a significant part of the impactor often misses the target and continues downrange. We follow the dynamical evolution of "runners" from giant impacts to determine their ultimate fate. Surprisingly, runners re-impact their target planets only about half of the time, for realistic collisional and dynamical scenarios. Otherwise they remain in orbit for tens of millions of years (the limit of our N-body calculations) and longer, or sometimes collide with a different planet than the first one. When the runner does return to collide again with the same arget planet, its impact velocity is mainly constrained by the outcome of the prior collision. Impact angle and orientation, however, are unconstrained by the prior collision.Comment: 24 pages, 14 figures, 4 tables, accepted for publication in Ap

    SPH calculations of Mars-scale collisions: the role of the Equation of State, material rheologies, and numerical effects

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    We model large-scale (≈\approx2000km) impacts on a Mars-like planet using a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code. The effects of material strength and of using different Equations of State on the post-impact material and temperature distributions are investigated. The properties of the ejected material in terms of escaping and disc mass are analysed as well. We also study potential numerical effects in the context of density discontinuities and rigid body rotation. We find that in the large-scale collision regime considered here (with impact velocities of 4km/s), the effect of material strength is substantial for the post-impact distribution of the temperature and the impactor material, while the influence of the Equation of State is more subtle and present only at very high temperatures.Comment: 24 pages, 11 figures; accepted for publication in Icaru

    Graze-and-Merge Collisions under External Perturbers

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    Graze-and-merge collisions (GMCs) are common multi-step mergers occurring in low-velocity off-axis impacts between similar sized planetary bodies. The first impact happens at somewhat faster than the mutual escape velocity; for typical impact angles this does not result in immediate accretion, but the smaller body is slowed down so that it loops back around and collides again, ultimately accreting. The scenario changes in the presence of a third major body, i.e. planets accreting around a star, or satellites around a planet. We find that when the loop-back orbit remains inside roughly 1/3 of the Hill radius from the target, then the overall process is not strongly affected. As the loop-back orbit increases in radius, the return velocity and angle of the second collision become increasingly random, with no record of the first collision's orientation. When the loop-back orbit gets to about 3/4 of the Hill radius, the path of smaller body is disturbed up to the point that it will usually escape the target.Comment: 19 pages, 16 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in Ap

    Coupling SPH and thermochemical models of planets: Methodology and example of a Mars-sized body

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    Giant impacts have been suggested to explain various characteristics of terrestrial planets and their moons. However, so far in most models only the immediate effects of the collisions have been considered, while the long-term interior evolution of the impacted planets was not studied. Here we present a new approach, combining 3-D shock physics collision calculations with 3-D thermochemical interior evolution models. We apply the combined methods to a demonstration example of a giant impact on a Mars-sized body, using typical collisional parameters from previous studies. While the material parameters (equation of state, rheology model) used in the impact simulations can have some effect on the long-term evolution, we find that the impact angle is the most crucial parameter for the resulting spatial distribution of the newly formed crust. The results indicate that a dichotomous crustal pattern can form after a head-on collision, while this is not the case when considering a more likely grazing collision. Our results underline that end-to-end 3-D calculations of the entire process are required to study in the future the effects of large-scale impacts on the evolution of planetary interiors.Comment: 29 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in Icaru

    The Exoplanet Population Observation Simulator. II -- Population Synthesis in the Era of Kepler

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    The collection of planetary system properties derived from large surveys such as Kepler provides critical constraints on planet formation and evolution. These constraints can only be applied to planet formation models, however, if the observational biases and selection effects are properly accounted for. Here we show how epos, the Exoplanet Population Observation Simulator, can be used to constrain planet formation models by comparing the Bern planet population synthesis models to the Kepler exoplanetary systems. We compile a series of diagnostics, based on occurrence rates of different classes of planets and the architectures of multi-planet systems, that can be used as benchmarks for future and current modeling efforts. Overall, we find that a model with 100 seed planetary cores per protoplanetary disk provides a reasonable match to most diagnostics. Based on these diagnostics we identify physical properties and processes that would result in the Bern model more closely matching the known planetary systems. These are: moving the planet trap at the inner disk edge outward; increasing the formation efficiency of mini-Neptunes; and reducing the fraction of stars that form observable planets. We conclude with an outlook on the composition of planets in the habitable zone, and highlight that the majority of simulated planets smaller than 1.7 Earth radii have substantial hydrogen atmospheres. The software used in this paper is available online for public scrutiny at https://github.com/GijsMulders/eposComment: Accepted in Ap

    The impact of pebble flux regulated planetesimal formation on giant planet formation

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    Forming gas giant planets by the accretion of 100 km diameter planetesimals, a typical size that results from self-gravity assisted planetesimal formation, is often thought to be inefficient. Many models therefore use small km-sized planetesimals, or invoke the accretion of pebbles. Furthermore, models based on planetesimal accretion often use the ad hoc assumption of planetesimals distributed radially in a minimum mass solar nebula fashion. We wish to investigate the impact of various initial radial density distributions in planetesimals with a dynamical model for the formation of planetesimals on the resulting population of planets. In doing so, we highlight the directive role of the early stages of dust evolution into pebbles and planetesimals in the circumstellar disk on the following planetary formation. We have implemented a two population model for solid evolution and a pebble flux regulated model for planetesimal formation into our global model for planet population synthesis. This framework is used to study the global effect of planetesimal formation on planet formation. As reference, we compare our dynamically formed planetesimal surface densities with ad-hoc set distributions of different radial density slopes of planetesimals. Even though required, it is not solely the total planetesimal disk mass, but the planetesimal surface density slope and subsequently the formation mechanism of planetesimals, that enables planetary growth via planetesimal accretion. Highly condensed regions of only 100 km sized planetesimals in the inner regions of circumstellar disks can lead to gas giant growth. Pebble flux regulated planetesimal formation strongly boosts planet formation, because it is a highly effective mechanism to create a steep planetesimal density profile. We find this to lead to the formation of giant planets inside 1 au by 100 km already by pure planetesimal accretion

    Hints for a Turnover at the Snow Line in the Giant Planet Occurrence Rate

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    The orbital distribution of giant planets is crucial for understanding how terrestrial planets form and predicting yields of exoplanet surveys. Here, we derive giant planets occurrence rates as a function of orbital period by taking into account the detection efficiency of the Kepler and radial velocity (RV) surveys. The giant planet occurrence rates for Kepler and RV show the same rising trend with increasing distance from the star. We identify a break in the RV giant planet distribution between ~2-3 au -- close to the location of the snow line in the Solar System -- after which the occurrence rate decreases with distance from the star. Extrapolating a broken power-law distribution to larger semi-major axes, we find good agreement with the ~ 1% planet occurrence rates from direct imaging surveys. Assuming a symmetric power law, we also estimate that the occurrence of giant planets between 0.1-100 au is 26.6 +7.5 -5.4% for planets with masses 0.1-20MJ and decreases to 6.2 +1.5 -1.2% for planets more massive than Jupiter. This implies that only a fraction of the structures detected in disks around young stars can be attributed to giant planets. Various planet population synthesis models show good agreement with the observed distribution, and we show how a quantitative comparison between model and data can be used to constrain planet formation and migration mechanisms.Comment: 16 pages, 10 figure
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