Volume 626, June 2019
|Number of page(s)||19|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||20 June 2019|
Oscillatory migration of accreting protoplanets driven by a 3D distortion of the gas flow★
Institute of Astronomy, Charles University in Prague,
V Holešovičkách 2,
2 Lund Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Lund University, Box 43, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Accepted: 27 April 2019
Context. The dynamics of a low-mass protoplanet accreting solids is influenced by the heating torque, which was found to suppress inward migration in protoplanetary disks with constant opacities.
Aims. We investigate the differences in the heating torque between disks with constant and temperature-dependent opacities.
Methods. Interactions of a super-Earth-sized protoplanet with the gas disk are explored using 3D radiation hydrodynamic simulations.
Results. Accretion heating of the protoplanet creates a hot underdense region in the surrounding gas, leading to misalignment of the local density and pressure gradients. As a result, the 3D gas flow is perturbed and some of the streamlines form a retrograde spiral rising above the protoplanet. In the constant-opacity disk, the perturbed flow reaches a steady state and the underdense gas responsible for the heating torque remains distributed in accordance with previous studies. If the opacity is non-uniform, however, the differences in the disk structure can lead to more vigorous streamline distortion and eventually to a flow instability. The underdense gas develops a one-sided asymmetry which circulates around the protoplanet in a retrograde fashion. The heating torque thus strongly oscillates in time and does not on average counteract inward migration.
Conclusions. The torque variations make the radial drift of the protoplanet oscillatory, consisting of short intervals of alternating rapid inward and outward migration. We speculate that transitions between the positive and oscillatory heating torque may occur in specific disk regions susceptible to vertical convection, resulting in the convergent migration of multiple planetary embryos.
Key words: hydrodynamics / planets and satellites: formation / planet-disk interactions / protoplanetary disks
Movie attached to Fig. 6 is available at https://www.aanda.org
© ESO 2019
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