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On the Terminal Rotation Rates of Giant Planets

Batygin, Konstantin (2018) On the Terminal Rotation Rates of Giant Planets. Astronomical Journal, 155 (4). Art. No. 178. ISSN 1538-3881. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aab54e.

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Within the general framework of the core-nucleated accretion theory of giant planet formation, the conglomeration of massive gaseous envelopes is facilitated by a transient period of rapid accumulation of nebular material. While the concurrent build-up of angular momentum is expected to leave newly formed planets spinning at near-breakup velocities, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as super-Jovian long-period extrasolar planets, are observed to rotate well below criticality. In this work, we demonstrate that the large luminosity of a young giant planet simultaneously leads to the generation of a strong planetary magnetic field, as well as thermal ionization of the circumplanetary disk. The ensuing magnetic coupling between the planetary interior and the quasi-Keplerian motion of the disk results in efficient braking of planetary rotation, with hydrodynamic circulation of gas within the Hill sphere playing the key role of expelling spin angular momentum to the circumstellar nebula. Our results place early-stage giant planet and stellar rotation within the same evolutionary framework, and motivate further exploration of magnetohydrodynamic phenomena in the context of the final stages of giant planet formation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 January 22; revised 2018 February 28; accepted 2018 March 6; published 2018 April 2. I am thankful to Fred Adams, Greg Laughlin, Mike Brown, and Alessandro Morbidelli for illuminating discussions, as well as to Dan Tamayo for providing a thorough and insightful referee report. Figure 2 was drawn by James Tuttle Keane under contract from California Institute of Technology. I am further grateful to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their generous support.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:planet–disk interactions – planetary systems – planets and satellites: formation
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180402-101608867
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Konstantin Batygin 2018 AJ 155 178
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85560
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Apr 2018 17:28
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:30

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