Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hot Jupiter Spin-Orbit Misalignment due to Tidal Dissipation in Protoplanetary Disk

The Turbulent Origin of Spin-Orbit Misalignment in Planetary Systems


Fielding et al


The turbulent environment from which stars form leads to misalignment between the stellar spin and the remnant protoplanetary disk. By using hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic simulations, we demonstrate that a wide range of stellar obliquities are produced as a by-product of forming a star within a turbulent environment. We present a simple semi-analytic model that reveals this connection between the turbulent motions and the orientation of a star and its disk. Our results are consistent with the observed obliquity distribution of hot Jupiters. Migration of misaligned hot Jupiters may, therefore, be due to tidal dissipation in the disk, rather than tidal dissipation of the star-planet interaction.

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