Formation of planetary systems by pebble accretion and migration: How the radial pebble flux determines a terrestrial-planet or super-Earth growth mode

Abstract : Super-Earths are found in tighter orbits than the Earth's around more than one third of main sequence stars. It has been proposed that super-Earths are scaled-up terrestrial planets that formed similarly, through mutual accretion of planetary embryos, but in discs much denser than the solar protoplanetary disc. We argue instead that terrestrial planets and super-Earths have two distinct formation pathways that are regulated by the disc's pebble reservoir. Through numerical integrations, which combine pebble accretion and N-body gravity between embryos, we show that a difference of a factor of two in the pebble mass-flux is enough to change the evolution from the terrestrial to the super-Earth growth mode. If the pebble mass-flux is small, then the initial embryos within the ice line grow slowly and do not migrate substantially, resulting in a widely spaced population of Mars-mass embryos when the gas disc dissipates. Without gas being present, the embryos become unstable and a small number of terrestrial planets are formed by mutual collisions. The final terrestrial planets are at most 5 Earth masses. Instead, if the pebble mass-flux is high, then the initial embryos within the ice line rapidly become sufficiently massive to migrate through the gas disc. Embryos concentrate at the inner edge of the disc and growth accelerates through mutual merging. This leads to the formation of a system of closely spaced super-Earths in the 5 to 20 Earth-mass range, bounded by the pebble isolation mass. Generally, instabilities of these super-Earth systems after the disappearance of the gas disc trigger additional merging events and dislodge the system from resonant chains. The pebble flux - which controls the transition between the two growth modes - may be regulated by the initial reservoir of solids in the disc or the presence of more distant giant planets that can halt the radial flow of pebbles.
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02051784
Contributor : Marie-Paule Pomies <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 9:33:35 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:24:14 PM

Links full text

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Michiel Lambrechts, Alessandro Morbidelli, Seth A. Jacobson, Anders Johansen, Bertram Bitsch, et al.. Formation of planetary systems by pebble accretion and migration: How the radial pebble flux determines a terrestrial-planet or super-Earth growth mode. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2019, accepted for publication by A&A 2019. ⟨hal-02051784⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

29