Thursday, December 4, 2014

Evolution of Angular-momentum-losing Exoplanetary Systems

Evolution of angular-momentum-losing exoplanetary systems: Revisiting Darwin stability


Damiani et al


We aim at assessing the importance of tidal evolution and its interplay with magnetic braking in the population of hot-Jupiter planetary systems. By minimizing the total mechanical energy of a given system under the constraint of stellar angular momentum loss, we rigorously find the conditions for the existence of dynamical equilibrium states. We estimate their duration, in particular when the wind torque spinning down the star is almost compensated by the tidal torque spinning it up. We introduce dimensionless variables to characterize the tidal evolution of observed hot Jupiter systems and discuss their spin and orbital states using generalized Darwin diagrams based on our new approach. We show that their orbital properties are related to the effective temperature of their host stars. The long-term evolution of planets orbiting F- and G-type stars is significantly different owing to the combined effect of magnetic braking and tidal dissipation. The existence of a quasi-stationary state, in the case of short-period planets, can significantly delay their tidal evolution that would otherwise bring the planet to fall into its host star. Most of the planets known to orbit F-type stars are presently found to be near this stationary state, probably in a configuration not too far from that they had when their host star settled on the zero-age main sequence. Estimates of the engulfment timescale based on the conservation of the total angular momentum of a star-planet system must be revised and angular momentum loss has to be taken into account when constraining tidal evolution in close planetary systems. Considering the importance of angular momentum loss in the early stages of stellar evolution, our results indicate that it has to be taken into account also to properly test the migration scenarios of planetary system formation.

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