Signatures of a Planet-planet Impacts Phase in Exoplanetary Systems Hosting Giant Planets

©NASA

Planetary collision

Exoplanetary systems host giant planets on substantially non-circular, close-in orbits.

We propose that these eccentricities arise in a phase of giant impacts, analogous to the final stage of Solar System assembly that formed Earth's Moon.

In this scenario, the planets scatter each other and collide, with corresponding mass growth as they merge. We numerically integrate an ensemble of systems with varying total planet mass, allowing for collisional growth, to show that (1) the high-eccentricity giants observed today may have formed preferentially in systems of higher initial total planet mass, and (2) the upper bound on the observed giant planet eccentricity distribution is consistent with planet-planet scattering. We predict that mergers will produce a population of high-mass giant planets between 1 and 5 au from their stars.

Renata Frelikh, Hyerin Jang, Ruth A. Murray-Clay, Cristobal Petrovich
(Submitted on 7 Jun 2019)
Comments: 8 pages, 5 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1906.03266 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1906.03266v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Renata Frelikh
[v1] Fri, 7 Jun 2019 18:00:00 UTC (1,252 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.03266
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