Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"Winds" in the Protoplanetary Disk can Suppress Exoplanet Migration

Suppression of type I migration by disk winds


Ogihara et al


Planets less massive than Saturn tend to rapidly migrate inward in protoplanetary disks. This is the so-called type I migration. Simulations attempting to reproduce the observed properties of exoplanets show that type I migration needs to be significantly reduced over a wide region of the disk for a long time. However, the mechanism capable of suppressing type I migration over a wide region has remained elusive. The recently found turbulence-driven disk winds offer new possibilities. We investigate the effects of disk winds on the disk profile and type I migration for a range of parameters that describe the strength of disk winds. We also examine the in situ formation of close-in super-Earths in disks that evolve through disk winds. The disk profile, which is regulated by viscous diffusion and disk winds, was derived by solving the diffusion equation. We carried out a number of simulations and plot here migration maps that indicate the type I migration rate. We also performed N-body simulations of the formation of close-in super-Earths from a population of planetesimals and planetary embryos. We define a key parameter, Kw, which determines the ratio of strengths between the viscous diffusion and disk winds. For a wide range of Kw, the type I migration rate is presented in migration maps. These maps show that type I migration is suppressed over the whole close-in region when the effects of disk winds are relatively strong (Kw < 100). From the results of N-body simulations, we see that type I migration is significantly slowed down assuming Kw = 40. We also show that the results of N-body simulations match statistical orbital distributions of close-in super-Earths.

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