Journal Article

Migration of protoplanets with surfaces through discs with steep temperature gradients

Ben A. Ayliffe and Matthew R. Bate

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 415, issue 1, pages 576-586
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Migration of protoplanets with surfaces through discs with steep temperature gradients

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We perform three-dimensional self-gravitating radiative transfer simulations of protoplanet migration in circumstellar discs to explore the impact upon migration of the radial temperature profiles in these discs. We model protoplanets with masses ranging between 10–100 M, in discs with surface density profiles of Σ∝r−1/2, and temperature profiles of the form Tr−β, where β ranges 0–2. We find that steep (β > 1) temperature profiles lead to outward migration of low-mass protoplanets in interstellar grain opacity discs, but in more optically thin discs the migration is always inwards. The trend in migration rates with changing β obtained from our models shows good agreement with those obtained using recent analytic descriptions which include consideration of the coorbital torques and their saturation. We find that switching between two models of the protoplanet, one in which accretion acts by evacuating gas and one in which gas piles up on a surface to form an atmosphere, leads to a small shift in the migration rates. If comparing these models in discs with conditions which lead to a marginally inward migration, the small shift can lead to outward migration. However, the direction and speed of migration is dominated by disc conditions rather than by the specific prescription used to model the flow near the protoplanet.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; planets and satellites: formation

Journal Article.  8291 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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