Monday, February 16, 2015

Giant ExoPlanets may Only Exist if the Protoplanetary Disks Last Long Enough

Protoplanetary disk lifetimes vs stellar mass and possible implications for giant planet populations


Ribas et al


We study the dependence of protoplanetary disk evolution on stellar mass using a large sample of young stellar objects in nearby young star-forming regions. We update the protoplanetary disk fractions presented in our recent work (paper I of this series) derived for 22 nearby (less than 500 pc) associations between 1 and 100 Myr. We use a subsample of 1 428 spectroscopically confirmed members to study the impact of stellar mass on protoplanetary disk evolution. We divide this sample into two stellar mass bins (2 M boundary) and two age bins (3 Myr boundary), and use infrared excesses over the photospheric emission to classify objects in three groups: protoplanetary disks, evolved disks, and diskless. The homogeneous analysis and bias corrections allow for a statistically significant inter-comparison of the obtained results. We find robust statistical evidence of disk evolution dependence with stellar mass. Our results, combined with previous studies on disk evolution, confirm that protoplanetary disks evolve faster and/or earlier around high-mass (greater than 2 M) stars. We also find a roughly constant level of evolved disks throughout the whole age and stellar mass spectra. We conclude that protoplanetary disk evolution depends on stellar mass. Such a dependence could have important implications for gas giant planet formation and migration, and could contribute to explaining the apparent paucity of hot Jupiters around high-mass stars.

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