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Gas Giant Planets as Dynamical Barriers to Inward-Migrating Super-Earths

Abstract : Planets of 1–4 times Earth’s size on orbits shorter than 100 days exist around 30–50% of all Sun-like stars. In fact, the Solar System is particularly outstanding in its lack of “hot super-Earths” (or “mini-Neptunes”). These planets —or their building blocks—may have formed on wider orbits and migrated inward due to interactions with the gaseous protoplanetary disk. Here, we use a suite of dynamical simulations to show that gas giant planets act as barriers to the inward migration of super-Earths initially placed on more distant orbits. Jupiter’s early formation may have prevented Uranus and Neptune (and perhaps Saturn’s core) from becoming hot super-Earths. Our model predicts that the populations of hot super-Earth systems and Jupiter-like planets should be anti-correlated: gas giants (especially if they form early) should be rare in systems with many hot super-Earths. Testing this prediction will constitute a crucial assessment of the validity of the migration hypothesis for the origin of close-in super-Earths.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 5:34:12 PM
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Alessandro, Morbidelli, A. Izidoro, Sean N. Raymond. Gas Giant Planets as Dynamical Barriers to Inward-Migrating Super-Earths. 2015IAUGA.2247106M - IAU General Assembly, Meeting #29, #2247106 - held 4-8 January 2015 in Seattle, USA, Jan 2015, Seattle, United States. ⟨hal-01192885⟩



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