How fast do Jupiters grow? Signatures of the snowline and growth rate in the distribution of gas giant planets

Ken Rice, Matthew T. Penny, Keith Horne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present here observational evidence that the snowline plays a significant role in the formation and evolution of gas giant planets. When considering the population of observed exoplanets, we find a boundary in mass-semimajor axis space that suggests that planets are preferentially found beyond the snowline prior to undergoing gap-opening inward migration and associated gas accretion. This is consistent with theoretical models suggesting that sudden changes in opacity – as would occur at the snowline – can influence core migration. Furthermore, population synthesis modelling suggests that this boundary implies that gas giant planets accrete ∼70 per cent of the inward flowing gas, allowing ∼30 per cent through to the inner disc. This is qualitatively consistent with observations of transition discs suggesting the presence of inner holes, despite there being ongoing gas accretion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-762
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume428
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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