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Energy optimization in extrasolar planetary systems: the transition from peas-in-a-pod to runaway growth

Adams, Fred C. and Batygin, Konstantin and Bloch, Anthony M. and Laughlin, Gregory (2020) Energy optimization in extrasolar planetary systems: the transition from peas-in-a-pod to runaway growth. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 493 (4). pp. 5520-5531. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa624.

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Motivated by the trends found in the observed sample of extrasolar planets, this paper determines tidal equilibrium states for forming planetary systems – subject to conservation of angular momentum, constant total mass, and fixed orbital spacing. In the low mass limit, valid for super-Earth-class planets with masses of order m_p ∼ 10 M⊕, previous work showed that energy optimization leads to nearly equal mass planets, with circular orbits confined to a plane. The present treatment generalizes previous results by including the self-gravity of the planetary bodies. For systems with a sufficiently large total mass m_T in planets, the optimized energy state switches over from the case of nearly equal mass planets to a configuration where one planet contains most of the material. This transition occurs for a critical mass threshold of approximately m_T≳m_C∼40M⊕ (where the value depends on the semimajor axes of the planetary orbits, the stellar mass, and other system properties). These considerations of energy optimization apply over a wide range of mass scales, from binary stars to planetary systems to the collection of moons orbiting the giant planets in our Solar system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Adams, Fred C.0000-0002-8167-1767
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Bloch, Anthony M.0000-0003-0235-9765
Laughlin, Gregory0000-0002-3253-2621
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2020 February 22. Received 2020 February 17; in original form 2019 December 13. Published: 09 March 2020. We would like to thank Juliette Becker, Darryl Seligman, Chris Spalding, and Lauren Weiss for useful discussions. We also thank an anonymous referee for constructive input that improved this paper. This work was supported through the University of Michigan, the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of MichiganUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability – planetary systems
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200420-105126967
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Fred C Adams, Konstantin Batygin, Anthony M Bloch, Gregory Laughlin, Energy optimization in extrasolar planetary systems: the transition from peas-in-a-pod to runaway growth, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 493, Issue 4, April 2020, Pages 5520–5531,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102651
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Apr 2020 19:05
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:14

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