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Planetary system architecture from planet-planet and planetesimal scattering

Armitage, P (Colorado)
Thursday 20 August 2009, 09:40-10:00

Meeting Room 2, CMS


Observational evidence points to a dominant role of small-body scattering in early outer Solar System dynamics, while planet-planet scattering is a plausible explanation for extrasolar planet eccentricity. Both processes are likely to operate during the early evolution of systems of low-mass giant planets at moderate orbital radii (of the order of 10 AU), potentially leading to architectures distinct from either the Solar System or currently known extrasolar planetary systems. I will present results from a very large set of N-body simulations of marginally stable multiple planet systems surrounded by planetesimal disks. The simulations suggest that a surprisingly sharp transition from typically eccentric to typically circular orbits ought to be observed as surveys detect lower mass planets at larger orbital radii, and that resonant configurations may dominate among more massive planets whose dynamics was affected by planetesimal disks.

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