Letter to the Editor
Disc-planet interactions in subkeplerian discs
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA, UK e-mail: S.Paardekooper@damtp.cam.ac.uk
Accepted: 8 September 2009
Context. One class of protoplanetary disc models, the X-wind model, predicts strongly subkeplerian orbital gas velocities, a configuration that can be sustained by magnetic tension.
Aims. We investigate disc-planet interactions in these subkeplerian discs, focusing on orbital migration for low-mass planets and gap formation for high-mass planets.
Methods. We use linear calculations and nonlinear hydrodynamical simulations to measure the torque and look at gap formation. In both cases, the subkeplerian nature of the disc is treated as a fixed external constraint.
Results. We show that, depending on the degree to which the disc is subkeplerian, the torque on low-mass planets varies between the usual type I torque and the one-sided outer Lindblad torque, which is also negative but an order of magnitude stronger. In strongly subkeplerian discs, corotation effects can be ignored, making migration fast and inward. Gap formation near the planet's orbit is more difficult in such discs, since there are no resonances close to the planet accommodating angular momentum transport. The location of the gap is shifted inwards with respect to the planet, leaving the planet on the outside of a surface density depression.
Conclusions. Depending on the degree to which a protoplanetary disc is subkeplerian, disc-planet interactions can be very different from the usual Keplerian picture, making these discs in general more hazardous for young planets.
Key words: planetary systems: protoplanetary discs / planets and satellites: formation
© ESO, 2009