New insights into the nature of transition disks from a complete disk survey of the Lupus star forming region [EPA]

Transition disks with large dust cavities around young stars are promising targets for studying planet formation. Previous studies have revealed the presence of gas cavities inside the dust cavities hinting at recently formed, giant planets. However, many of these studies are biased towards the brightest disks in the nearby star forming regions, and it is not possible to derive reliable statistics that can be compared with exoplanet populations. We present the analysis of 11 transition disks with large cavities (>20 AU radius) from a complete disk survey of the Lupus star forming region, using ALMA Band 7 observations at 0.3″ (22-30 AU radius) resolution of the 345 GHz continuum, 13CO and C18O 3-2 observations and the Spectral Energy Distribution of each source. Gas and dust surface density profiles are derived using the physical-chemical modeling code DALI. This is the first study of transition disks of large cavities within a complete disk survey within a star forming region. The dust cavity sizes range from 20-90 AU radius and in three cases, a gas cavity is resolved as well. The deep drops in gas density and large dust cavity sizes are consistent with clearing by giant planets. The fraction of transition disks with large cavities in Lupus is ~11%, which is inconsistent with exoplanet population studies of giant planets at wide orbits. Furthermore, we present a hypothesis of an evolutionary path for large massive disks evolving into transition disks with large cavities.

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N. Marel, J. Williams, M. Ansdell, et. al.
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 29 pages, 15 figures, Accepted by ApJ

Satellites Form Fast & Late: a Population Synthesis for the Galilean Moons [EPA]

The satellites of Jupiter are thought to form in a circumplanetary disc. Here we address their formation and orbital evolution with a population synthesis approach, by varying the dust-to-gas ratio, the disc dispersal timescale and the dust refilling timescale. The circumplanetary disc initial conditions (density and temperature) are directly drawn from the results of 3D radiative hydrodynamical simulations. The disc evolution is taken into account within the population synthesis. The satellitesimals were assumed to grow via streaming instability. We find that the moons form fast, often within $10^4$ years, due to the short orbital timescales in the circumplanetary disc. They form in sequence, and many are lost into the planet due to fast type I migration, polluting Jupiter’s envelope with typically $0.3$ Earth-masses of metals, and up to $10$ Earth-masses in some cases. The last generation of moons can form very late in the evolution of the giant planet, when the disc has already lost more than the $99\%$ of its mass. The late circumplanetary disc is cold enough to sustain water ice, hence not surprisingly the $85\%$ of the moon population has icy composition. The distribution of the satellite-masses is peaking slightly above Galilean masses, up until a few Earth-masses, in a regime which is observable with the current instrumentation around Jupiter-analog exoplanets orbiting $1$ AU away from their host stars. We also find that systems with Galilean-like masses occur in $20\%$ of the cases and they are more likely when discs have long dispersion timescales and high dust-to-gas ratios.

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M. Cilibrasi, J. Szulagyi, L. Mayer, et. al.
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 14 pages, 17 figures. Submitted to MNRAS, comments are welcome

Where can a Trappist-1 planetary system be produced? [EPA]

We study the evolution of protoplanetary discs that would have been precursors of a Trappist-1 like system under the action of accretion and external photoevaporation in different radiation environments. Dust grains swiftly grow above the critical size below which they are entrained in the photoevaporative wind, so although gas is continually depleted, dust is resilient to photoevaporation after only a short time. This means that the ratio of the mass in solids (dust plus planetary) to the mass in gas rises steadily over time. Dust is still stripped early on, and the initial disc mass required to produce the observed $4\,M_{\oplus}$ of Trappist-1 planets is high. For example, assuming a Fatuzzo & Adams (2008) distribution of UV fields, typical initial disc masses have to be $>30\,$per cent the stellar (which are still Toomre $Q$ stable) for the majority of similar mass M dwarfs to be viable hosts of the Trappist-1 planets. Even in the case of the lowest UV environments observed, there is a strong loss of dust due to photoevaporation at early times from the weakly bound outer regions of the disc. This minimum level of dust loss is a factor two higher than that which would be lost by accretion onto the star during 10 Myr of evolution. Consequently even in these least irradiated environments, discs that are viable Trappist-1 precursors need to be initially massive ($>10\,$per cent of the stellar mass).

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T. Haworth, S. Facchini, C. Clarke, et. al.
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 15 pages. Accepted for publication in MNRAS

Luminous efficiency estimates of meteors -II. Application to Canadian Automated Meteor Observatory meteor events [EPA]

Luminous efficiency is a necessary parameter for determining meteoroid mass from optical emission. Despite this importance, it is very poorly known, with previous results varying by up to two orders of magnitude for a given speed. We present the most recent study of luminous efficiency values determined with modern high-resolution instruments, by directly comparing dynamic and photometric meteoroid masses. Fifteen non-fragmenting meteoroids were used, with a further five clearly fragmenting events for comparison. Twelve of the fifteen non-fragmenting meteoroids had luminous efficiencies less than 1%, while the fragmenting meteoroids had upper limits of a few tens of percent. No clear trend with speed was seen, but there was a weak negative trend of luminous efficiency on meteoroid mass, implying that smaller meteoroids radiate more efficiently.

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D. Subasinghe and M. Campbell-Brown
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: Accepted December 19, 2017 to The Astronomical Journal

Long-Term Stability of Planets in the $α$ Centauri System, II: Forced Eccentricities [EPA]

We extend our study of the extent of the regions within the $\alpha$ Centauri AB star system where small planets are able to orbit for billion-year timescales (Quarles & Lissauer 2016, AJ 151, 111) to investigate the effects of minimizing the forced eccentricity of initial trajectories. We find that initially prograde, circumstellar orbits require a piecewise quadratic function to accurately approximate forced eccentricity as a function of semimajor axis, but retrograde orbits can be modeled using a linear function. Circumbinary orbits in the $\alpha$ Centauri AB system are less affected by the forced eccentricity. {Planets on circumstellar orbits that begin with eccentricity vectors near their forced values are generally stable, up to $\sim$$10^9$ yr, out to a larger semimajor axis than are planets beginning on circular orbits. The amount by which the region of stability expands is much larger for retrograde orbits than it is for prograde orbits. The location of the stability boundary for two planet systems on prograde, circular orbits is much more sensitive to the initial eccentricity state than it is for analogous single planet systems.

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B. Quarles, J. Lissauer and N. Kaib
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 11 pages, 10 figures, 3 tables; Accepted in Astronomical Journal

Long-Term Stability of Tightly Packed Multi-Planet Systems in Prograde, Coplanar, Circumstellar Orbits within the $α$ Centauri AB System [EPA]

We perform long-term simulations, up to ten billion years, of closely-spaced configurations of 2 — 6 planets, each as massive as the Earth, traveling on nested orbits about either stellar component in $\alpha$ Centauri AB. The innermost planet initially orbits at either the inner edge of its star’s empirical habitable zone (HZ) or the inner edge of its star’s conservative HZ. Although individual planets on low inclination, low eccentricity, orbits can survive throughout the habitable zones of both stars, perturbations from the companion star require that the minimum spacing of planets in multi-planet systems within the habitable zones of each star must be significantly larger than the spacing of similar multi-planet systems orbiting single stars in order to be long-lived. The binary companion induces a forced eccentricity upon the orbits of planets in orbit around either star. Planets on appropriately-phased circumstellar orbits with initial eccentricities equal to their forced eccentricities can survive on more closely spaced orbits than those with initially circular orbits, although the required spacing remains higher than for planets orbiting single stars. A total of up to nine planets on nested prograde orbits can survive for the current age of the system within the empirical HZs of the two stars, with five of these orbiting $\alpha$ Centauri B and four orbiting $\alpha$ Centauri A.

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B. Quarles and J. Lissauer
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 24 pages, 15 figures, 6 tables; accepted for publication in Astronomical Journal

Origins of Hot Jupiters [EPA]

Hot Jupiters were the first exoplanets to be discovered around main sequence stars and astonished us with their close-in orbits. They are a prime example of how exoplanets have challenged our textbook, solar-system inspired story of how planetary systems form and evolve. More than twenty years after the discovery of the first hot Jupiter, there is no consensus on their predominant origin channel. Three classes of hot Jupiter creation hypotheses have been proposed: in situ formation, disk migration, and high eccentricity tidal migration. Although no origin channel alone satisfactorily explains all the evidence, two major origins channels together plausibly account for properties of hot Jupiters themselves and their connections to other exoplanet populations.

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R. Dawson and J. Johnson
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: Submitted to ARAA. Comments/suggestions welcome