Volume 631, November 2019
|Number of page(s)||24|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||14 October 2019|
Pebbles versus planetesimals: the case of Trappist-1
Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bern,
Accepted: 11 August 2019
We present a study into the formation of planetary systems around low mass stars similar to Trappist-1, through the accretion of either planetesimals or pebbles. The aim is to determine if the currently observed systems around low mass stars could favour one scenario over the other. To determine these differences, we ran numerous N-body simulations, coupled to a thermally evolving viscous 1D disc model, and including prescriptions for planet migration, photoevaporation, and pebble and planetesimal dynamics. We mainly examine the differences between the pebble and planetesimal accretion scenarios, but we also look at the influences of disc mass, size of planetesimals, and the percentage of solids locked up within pebbles. When comparing the resulting planetary systems to Trappist-1, we find that a wide range of initial conditions for both the pebble and planetesimal accretion scenarios can form planetary systems similar to Trappist-1, in terms of planet mass, periods, and resonant configurations. Typically these planets formed exterior to the water iceline and migrated in resonant convoys into the inner region close to the central star. When comparing the planetary systems formed through pebble accretion to those formed through planetesimal accretion, we find a large number of similarities, including average planet masses, eccentricities, inclinations, and period ratios. One major difference between the two scenarios was that of the water content of the planets. When including the effects of ablation and full recycling of the planets’ envelope with the disc, the planets formed through pebble accretion were extremely dry, whilst those formed through planetesimal accretion were extremely wet. If the water content is not fully recycled and instead falls to the planets’ core, or if ablation of the water is neglected, then the planets formed through pebble accretion are extremely wet, similar to those formed through planetesimal accretion. Should the water content of the Trappist-1 planets be determined accurately, this could point to a preferred formation pathway for planetary systems, or to specific physics that may be at play.
Key words: planetary systems / planets and satellites: formation / planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / planet-disk interactions
© ESO 2019
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