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From gas disks to gas giants

Thommes, E (Guelph)
Tuesday 18 August 2009, 14:20-14:40

Meeting Room 2, CMS


The ensemble of now well over 300 discovered planetary systems displays a wide range of masses, orbits and in multiple systems, dynamical interactions. These represent the endpoint of a complex sequence of events, wherein an entire protostellar disk converts itself into a small number of planetary bodies. Here we present self-consistent numerical simulations of this process, which produce results in agreement with some of the key trends observed in the properties of the exoplanets. Though the typical formation history of a planetary system is highly stochastic, there are nevertheless clear correlations between a system's birth disk and the characteristics of the mature planetary system which ultimately grows from it. Analogues to our own Solar System are naturally accounted for in this picture, as the products of disks just slightly above the giant-planet-forming threshold. However, such outcomes are in the minority, and a "typical" planetary system tends to have significant eccentricities and shorter-period orbits, akin to the discovered exoplanets.

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