Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Disk-fed gas Giant Formation

Disk-fed giant planet formation


Owen et al


Massive giant planets, such as the ones being discovered by direct imaging surveys, likely experience the majority of their growth through a circumplanetary disc. We argue that the entropy of accreted material is determined by boundary layer processes, unlike the "cold-" or "hot-start" hypotheses usually invoked in the core accretion and direct collapse scenarios. A simple planetary evolution model illustrates how a wide range of radius and luminosity tracks become possible, depending on details of the accretion process. Specifically, the proto-planet evolves towards "hot-start" tracks if the scale-height of the boundary layer is ≳0.24, a value not much larger than the scale-height of the circumplanetary disc. Understanding the luminosity and radii of young giant planets will thus require detailed models of circumplanetary accretion.

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