EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 394, Number 1, October IV 2002
Page(s) 241 - 251
Section Formation and evolution of planetary systems
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021108
Published online 04 October 2002

A&A 394, 241-251 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021108

Orbital migration and the frequency of giant planet formation

D. E. Trilling1, J. I. Lunine2 and W. Benz3

1  University of Pennsylvania, Department of Physics and Astronomy, David Rittenhouse Laboratory, 209 S. 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
2  Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3  Physikalisches Institut, Universitaet Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

(Received 30 January 2001 / Accepted 31 July 2002 )

We present a statistical study of the post-formation migration of giant planets in a range of initial disk conditions. For given initial conditions we model the evolution of giant planet orbits under the influence of disk, stellar, and mass loss torques. We determine the mass and semi-major axis distribution of surviving planets after disk dissipation, for various disk masses, lifetimes, viscosities, and initial planet masses. The majority of planets migrate too fast and are destroyed via mass transfer onto the central star. Most surviving planets have relatively large orbital semi-major axes of several AU or larger. We conclude that the extrasolar planets observed to date, particularly those with small semi-major axes, represent only a small fraction (~25% to 33%) of a larger cohort of giant planets around solar-type stars, and many undetected giant planets must exist at large ( >1-2 AU) distances from their parent stars. As sensitivity and completion of the observed sample increase with time, this distant majority population of giant planets should be revealed. We find that the current distribution of extrasolar giant planet masses implies that high mass (more than 1-2 Jupiter masses) giant planet formation must be relatively rare. Finally, our simulations imply that the efficiency of giant planet formation must be high: at least 10% and perhaps as many as 80% of solar-type stars possess giant planets during their pre-main sequence phase. These predictions, including those for pre-main sequence stars, are testable with the next generation of ground- and space-based planet detection techniques.

Key words: solar system: formation -- stars: circumstellar matter -- stars: planetary systems -- stars: statistics

Offprint request: D. E. Trilling, trilling@hep.upenn.edu

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