Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Irregular Satellite Swarms Around Fomalhaut b

Collisional Cascade Caclulations for Irregular Satellite Swarms in Fomalhaut b


Kenyon et al


We describe an extensive suite of numerical calculations for the collisional evolution of irregular satellite swarms around 1--300 M-earth planets orbiting at 120 AU in the Fomalhaut system. For 10--100 M-earth planets, swarms with initial masses of roughly 1% of the planet mass have cross-sectional areas comparable to the observed cross-sectional area of Fomalhaut b. Among 30--300 M-earth planets, our calculations yield optically thick swarms of satellites for ages of 1-10 Myr. Observations with HST and ground-based AO instruments can constrain the frequency of these systems around stars in the beta Pic moving group and possibly other nearby associations of young stars.

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