Volume 455, Number 2, August IV 2006
|Page(s)||L25 - L28|
|Published online||04 August 2006|
Letter to the Editor
Formation and structure of the three Neptune-mass planets system around HD 69830
Physikalisches Insitut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 CRAL, École Normale Supérieure, 46 allée d'Italie, 69007 Lyon, France
3 Observatoire de Genève, 51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Sauverny, Switzerland
4 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Bd Arago, 75014 Paris, France
Accepted: 6 July 2006
Since the discovery of the first giant planet outside the solar system in 1995 (Mayor & Queloz 1995, Nature, 378, 355), more than 180 extrasolar planets have been discovered. With improving detection capabilities, a new class of planets with masses 5–20 times larger than the Earth, at close distance from their parent star is rapidly emerging. Recently, the first system of three Neptune-mass planets has been discovered around the solar type star HD 69830 (Lovis et al. 2006, Nature, 441, 305). Here, we present and discuss a possible formation scenario for this planetary system based on a consistent coupling between the extended core accretion model and evolutionary models (Alibert et al. 2005a, A&A, 434, 343; Baraffe et al. 2004, A&A, 419, L13; Baraffe et al. 2006, A&A, 450, 1221). We show that the innermost planet formed from an embryo having started inside the iceline is composed essentially of a rocky core surrounded by a tiny gaseous envelope. The two outermost planets started their formation beyond the iceline and, as a consequence, accrete a substantial amount of water ice during their formation. We calculate the present day thermodynamical conditions inside these two latter planets and show that they are made of a rocky core surrounded by a shell of fluid water and a gaseous envelope.
Key words: stars: planetary systems / stars: planetary systems: formation
© ESO, 2006
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