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Tidal Downsizing model - III. Planets from sub-Earths to brown dwarfs: structure and metallicity preferences

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posted on 2015-10-14, 09:45 authored by Sergei Nayakshin, Mark Fletcher
We present population synthesis calculations of the Tidal Downsizing (TD) hypothesis for planet formation. Our models address the following observations: (i) most abundant planets being super-Earths; (ii) cores more massive than ∼5–15 M⊕ are enveloped by massive atmospheres; (iii) the frequency of occurrence of close-in gas-giant planets correlates strongly with metallicity of the host star; (iv) no such correlation is found for sub-Neptune planets; (v) presence of massive cores in giant planets; (vi) gas-giant planets are overabundant in metals compared to their host stars; (vii) this overabundance decreases with planet's mass; (viii) a deep valley in the planet mass function between masses of ∼10–20 M⊕ and ∼100 M⊕. A number of observational predictions distinguish the model from Core Accretion: (a) composition of the massive cores is always dominated by rocks not ices; (b) the core mass function is smooth with no minimum at ∼3 M⊕ and has no ice-dominated cores; (c) gas giants beyond 10 au are insensitive to the host-star metallicity; (d) objects more massive than ∼10 M[subscript: J] do not correlate or even anticorrelate with metallicity. The latter prediction is consistent with observations of low-mass stellar companions. TD can also explain formation of planets in close binary systems. TD model is a viable alternative to the Core Accretion scenario in explaining many features of the observed population of exoplanets.



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2015, 452 (2), pp. 1654-1676 (23)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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Oxford University Press (OUP)





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