971 research outputs found

    Formation of Giant Planets by Concurrent Accretion of Solids and Gas inside an Anti-Cyclonic Vortex

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    We study the formation of a giant gas planet by the core--accretion gas--capture process, with numerical simulations, under the assumption that the planetary core forms in the center of an anti-cyclonic vortex. The presence of the vortex concentrates particles of centimeter to meter size from the surrounding disk, and speeds up the core formation process. Assuming that a planet of Jupiter mass is forming at 5 AU from the star, the vortex enhancement results in considerably shorter formation times than are found in standard core--accretion gas--capture simulations. Also, formation of a gas giant is possible in a disk with mass comparable to that of the minimum mass solar nebula.Comment: 27 pages, 4 figures, ApJ in pres

    Theory of planet formation and comparison with observation: Formation of the planetary mass-radius relationship

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    The planetary mass-radius diagram is an observational result of central importance to understand planet formation. We present an updated version of our planet formation model based on the core accretion paradigm which allows to calculate planetary radii and luminosities during the entire formation and evolution of the planets. We first study with it the formation of Jupiter, and compare with previous works. Then we conduct planetary population synthesis calculations to obtain a synthetic mass-radius diagram which we compare with the observed one. Except for bloated Hot Jupiters which can be explained only with additional mechanisms related to their proximity to the star, we find a good agreement of the general shape of the observed and the synthetic mass-radius diagram. This shape can be understood with basic concepts of the core accretion model.Comment: Proceedings Haute Provence Observatory Colloquium: Detection and Dynamics of Transiting Exoplanets (23-27 August 2010). Edited by F. Bouchy, R. F. Diaz & C. Moutou. Extended version: 17 pages, 8 figure

    Global magnetohydrodynamical models of turbulence in protoplanetary disks I. A cylindrical potential on a Cartesian grid and transport of solids

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    We present global 3D MHD simulations of disks of gas and solids, aiming at developing models that can be used to study various scenarios of planet formation and planet-disk interaction in turbulent accretion disks. A second goal is to show that Cartesian codes are comparable to cylindrical and spherical ones in handling the magnetohydrodynamics of the disk simulations, as the disk-in-a-box models presented here develop and sustain MHD turbulence. We investigate the dependence of the magnetorotational instability on disk scale height, finding evidence that the turbulence generated by the magnetorotational instability grows with thermal pressure. The turbulent stresses depend on the thermal pressure obeying a power law of 0.24+/-0.03, compatible with the value of 0.25 found in shearing box calculations. The ratio of stresses decreased with increasing temperature. We also study the dynamics of boulders in the hydromagnetic turbulence. The vertical turbulent diffusion of the embedded boulders is comparable to the turbulent viscosity of the flow. Significant overdensities arise in the solid component as boulders concentrate in high pressure regions.Comment: Changes after peer review proces

    Two-dimensional models of layered protoplanetary discs - II. The effect of a residual viscosity in the dead zone

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    We study axisymmetric models of layered protoplanetary discs taking radiative transfer effects into account, and allowing for a residual viscosity in the dead zone. We also explore the effect of different viscosity prescriptions. In addition to the ring instability reported in the first paper of the series we find an oscillatory instability of the dead zone, accompanied by variations of the accretion rate onto the central star. We provide a simplified analytical description explaining the mechanism of the oscillations. Finally, we find that the residual viscosity enables stationary accretion in large regions of layered discs. Based on results obtained with the help of a simple 1-D hydrocode we identify these regions, and discuss conditions in which layered discs can give rise to FU~Orionis phenomena.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Tracing planet-induced structures in circumstellar disks using molecular lines

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    Circumstellar disks are considered to be the birthplace of planets. Specific structures like spiral arms, gaps, and cavities are characteristic indicators of planet-disk interaction. Investigating these structures can provide insights into the growth of protoplanets and the physical properties of the disk. We investigate the feasibility of using molecular lines to trace planet-induced structures in circumstellar disks. Based on 3D hydrodynamic simulations of planet-disk interactions, we perform self-consistent temperature calculations and produce N-LTE molecular line velocity-channel maps and spectra of these disks using our new N-LTE line radiative transfer code Mol3D. Subsequently, we simulate ALMA observations using the CASA simulator. We consider two nearly face-on inclinations, 5 disk masses, 7 disk radii, and 2 different typical pre-main-sequence host stars (T Tauri, Herbig Ae). We calculate up to 141 individual velocity-channel maps for five molecules/isotopoloques in a total of 32 rotational transitions to investigate the frequency dependence of the structures indicated above. We find that the majority of protoplanetary disks in our parameter space could be detected in the molecular lines considered. However, unlike the continuum case, gap detection is not straightforward in lines. For example, gaps are not seen in symmetric rings but are masked by the pattern caused by the global (Keplerian) velocity field. We identify specific regions in the velocity-channel maps that are characteristic of planet-induced structures. Simulations of high angular resolution molecular line observations demonstrate the potential of ALMA to provide complementary information about the planet-disk interaction as compared to continuum observations. In particular, the detection of planet-induced gaps is possible under certain conditions.(abridged)Comment: 19 pages, 19 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Large-scale Vortices in Protoplanetary Disks: On the observability of possible early stages of planet formation

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    We investigate the possibility of mapping large-scale anti-cyclonic vortices, resulting from a global baroclinic instability, as pre-cursors of planet formation in proto-planetary disks with the planned Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). On the basis of three-dimensional radiative transfer simulations, images of a hydrodynamically calculated disk are derived which provide the basis for the simulation of ALMA. We find that ALMA will be able to trace the theoretically predicted large-scale anti-cyclonic vortex and will therefore allow testing of existing models of this very early stage of planet formation in circumstellar disks.Comment: Accepted by ApJ (Letters section). A preprint version with high-quality figures can be downloaded from http://spider.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/swolf/homepage/public/preprints/ vortex.ps.g

    The baroclinic instability in the context of layered accretion. Self-sustained vortices and their magnetic stability in local compressible unstratified models of protoplanetary disks

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    Turbulence and angular momentum transport in accretion disks remains a topic of debate. With the realization that dead zones are robust features of protoplanetary disks, the search for hydrodynamical sources of turbulence continues. A possible source is the baroclinic instability (BI), which has been shown to exist in unmagnetized non-barotropic disks. We present shearing box simulations of baroclinicly unstable, magnetized, 3D disks, in order to assess the interplay between the BI and other instabilities, namely the magneto-rotational instability (MRI) and the magneto-elliptical instability. We find that the vortices generated and sustained by the baroclinic instability in the purely hydrodynamical regime do not survive when magnetic fields are included. The MRI by far supersedes the BI in growth rate and strength at saturation. The resulting turbulence is virtually identical to an MRI-only scenario. We measured the intrinsic vorticity profile of the vortex, finding little radial variation in the vortex core. Nevertheless, the core is disrupted by an MHD instability, which we identify with the magneto-elliptic instability. This instability has nearly the same range of unstable wavelengths as the MRI, but has higher growth rates. In fact, we identify the MRI as a limiting case of the magneto-elliptic instability, when the vortex aspect ratio tends to infinity (pure shear flow). We conclude that vortex excitation and self-sustenance by the baroclinic instability in protoplanetary disks is viable only in low ionization, i.e., the dead zone. Our results are thus in accordance with the layered accretion paradigm. A baroclinicly unstable dead zone should be characterized by the presence of large-scale vortices whose cores are elliptically unstable, yet sustained by the baroclinic feedback. As magnetic fields destroy the vortices and the MRI outweighs the BI, the active layers are unmodified.Comment: 19+3 pages, 20+1 figures. Accepted by A&A, final versio

    Grain opacity and the bulk composition of extrasolar planets. I. Results from scaling the ISM opacity

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    The opacity due to grains in the envelope of a protoplanet regulates the accretion rate of gas during formation, thus the final bulk composition of planets with primordial H/He is a function of it. Observationally, for exoplanets with known mass and radius it is possible to estimate the bulk composition via internal structure models. We first determine the reduction factor of the ISM grain opacity f_opa that leads to gas accretion rates consistent with grain evolution models. We then compare the bulk composition of synthetic low-mass and giant planets at different f_opa with observations. For f_opa=1 (full ISM opacity) the synthetic low-mass planets have too small radii, i.e., too low envelope masses compared to observations. At f_opa=0.003, the value calibrated with the grain evolution models, synthetic and actual planets occupy similar mass-radius loci. The mean enrichment of giant planets relative to the host star as a function of planet mass M can be approximated as Z_p/Z_star = beta*(M/M_Jup)^alpha. We find alpha=-0.7 independent of f_opa in synthetic populations in agreement with the observational result (-0.71+-0.10). The absolute enrichment level decreases from beta=8.5 at f_opa=1 to 3.5 at f_opa=0. At f_opa=0.003 one finds beta=7.2 which is similar to the observational result (6.3+-1.0). We thus find observational hints that the opacity in protoplanetary atmospheres is much smaller than in the ISM even if the specific value of the grain opacity cannot be constrained here. The result for the enrichment of giant planets helps to distinguish core accretion and gravitational instability. In the simplest picture of core accretion where first a critical core forms and afterwards only gas is added, alpha=-1. If a core accretes all planetesimals inside the feeding zone, alpha=-2/3. The observational result lies between these values, pointing to core accretion as the formation mechanism.Comment: 21 pages, 15 figures. Accepted for A&
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