Volume 537, January 2012
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||04 January 2012|
Orbital migration induced by anisotropic evaporation
Can hot Jupiters form hot Neptunes?
1 Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto, Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto, Portugal
2 ASD, IMCCE-CNRS UMR8028, Observatoire de Paris, UPMC, 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France
3 Department of Physics, I3N, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
4 Departamento de Física e Astronomia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Portugal
Received: 13 September 2011
Accepted: 2 December 2011
Short-period planets are subject to intense energetic irradiations from their stars. It has been shown that this can lead to significant atmospheric mass loss and can create lower mass planets. Here, we analyse whether the evaporation mechanism can affect the orbit of planets. The orbital evolution of a planet undergoing evaporation is derived analytically in a very general way. Analytical results are then compared with the period distribution of two classes of inner exoplanets: Jupiter-mass planets and Neptune-mass planets. These two populations have very distinct period distributions, with a probability lower than 10-4 that they were derived from the same parent distribution. We show that mass ejection can generate significant migration with an increase in orbital period that matches the difference in distribution of the two populations very well. This would happen if the evaporation emanates from above the hottest region of planet surface. Thus, migration induced by evaporation is an important mechanism that cannot be neglected.
Key words: planets and satellites: formation / planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / planet-star interactions
© ESO, 2012
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