Journal Article

Circumplanetary disc properties obtained from radiation hydrodynamical simulations of gas accretion by protoplanets

Ben A. Ayliffe and Matthew R. Bate

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 397, issue 2, pages 657-665
Published in print August 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15002.x
Circumplanetary disc properties obtained from radiation hydrodynamical simulations of gas accretion by protoplanets

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We investigate the properties of circumplanetary discs formed in three-dimensional, self-gravitating radiation hydrodynamical models of gas accretion by protoplanets. We determine disc sizes, scaleheights, and density and temperature profiles for different protoplanet masses, in solar nebulae of differing grain opacities.

We find that the analytical prediction of circumplanetary disc radii in an evacuated gap (RHill/3) from Quillen & Trilling yields a good estimate for discs formed by high-mass protoplanets. The radial density profiles of the circumplanetary discs may be described by power laws between r−2 and r−3/2. We find no evidence for the ring-like density enhancements that have been found in some previous models of circumplanetary discs. Temperature profiles follow a ∼r−7/10 power law regardless of protoplanet mass or nebula grain opacity. The discs invariably have large scaleheights (H/r > 0.2), making them thick in comparison with their encompassing circumstellar discs, and they show no flaring.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; hydrodynamics; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; planets and satellites: formation; planetary systems: formation

Journal Article.  5389 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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