Journal Article

Outward migration of a super-Earth in a disc with outward propagating density waves excited by a giant planet

E. Podlewska-Gaca, J. C. B. Papaloizou and E. Szuszkiewicz

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 2, pages 1736-1756
Published in print April 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Outward migration of a super-Earth in a disc with outward propagating density waves excited by a giant planet

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In this paper, we consider a new mechanism for stopping the inward migration of a low-mass planet embedded in a gaseous protoplanetary disc. It operates when a low-mass planet (for example a super-Earth) encounters outgoing density waves excited by another source in the disc. This source could be a gas giant in an orbit interior to that of the low-mass planet. As the super-Earth passes through the wave field, angular momentum is transferred to the disc material and then communicated to the planet through co-orbital dynamics, with the consequence that its inward migration can be halted or even reversed.

We illustrate how the mechanism we consider works in a variety of different physical conditions employing global two-dimensional hydrodynamical calculations. We confirm our results by performing local shearing box simulations in which the super-Earth interacts with density waves excited by an independent harmonically varying potential. Finally, we discuss the constraints arising from the process considered here, on formation scenarios for systems containing a giant planet and lower mass planet in an outer orbit with a 2:1 commensurability such as GJ 876.

Keywords: methods: numerical; planets and satellites: formation; planet–disc interactions

Journal Article.  13081 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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