Thursday, December 11, 2014

Coreless Giant Planets?

Positive metallicity correlation for coreless giant planets




Frequency of detected giant planets is observed to increase rapidly with metallicity of the host star. This is usually interpreted as evidence in support of the Core Accretion (CA) theory, which assembles giant planets as a result of formation of a massive solid core. A strong positive planet-metallicity correlation for giant planets formed in the framework of Gravitational disc Instability (GI) model is found here. The key novelty of this work is "pebble accretion" onto GI fragments which has been recently demonstrated to accelerate contraction of GI fragments. Driven closer to the star by the inward migration, only the fragments that accrete metals rapidly enough collapse and survive the otherwise imminent tidal disruption. The survival fraction of simulated planets correlates strongly with the metallicity of the host star, as observed.

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