Generation of inclined protoplanetary discs and misaligned planets through mass accretion I: Coplanar secondary discs
Xiang-Gruess et al
We study the three-dimensional evolution of a viscous protoplanetary disc which accretes gas material from a second protoplanetary disc during a close encounter in an embedded star cluster. The aim is to investigate the capability of the mass accretion scenario to generate strongly inclined gaseous discs which could later form misaligned planets. We use smoothed particle hydrodynamics to study mass transfer and disc inclination for passing stars and circumstellar discs with different masses. We explore different orbital configurations to find the parameter space which allows significant disc inclination generation. Thies et al. (2011) suggested that significant disc inclination and disc or planetary system shrinkage can generally be produced by the accretion of external gas material with a different angular momentum. We found that this condition can be fullfilled for a large range of gas mass and angular momentum. For all encounters, mass accretion from the secondary disc increases with decreasing mass of the secondary proto-star. Thus, higher disc inclinations can be attained for lower secondary stellar masses. Variations of the secondary disc’s orientation relative to the orbital plane can alter the disc evolution significantly. The results taken together show that mass accretion can change the three-dimensional disc orientation significantly resulting in strongly inclined discs. In combination with the gravitational interaction between the two star-disc systems, this scenario is relevant for explaining the formation of highly inclined discs which could later form misaligned planets.