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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto

Orbital migration induced by anisotropic evaporation
Can hot Jupiters form hot Neptunes?

G. Boué, P. Figueira, A. C. M. Correia, N. C. Santos

Abstract
Short-period planets are subject to intense energetic irradiations from their stars. It has been shown that this can lead to significant atmospheric mass-loss and create smaller mass planets. Here, we analyse whether the evaporation mechanism can affect the orbit of planets. The orbital evolution of a planet undergoing evaporation is derived analytically in a very general way. Analytical results are then compared with the period distribution of two classes of inner exoplanets: Jupiter-mass planets and Neptune-mass planets. These two populations have a very distinct period distribution, with a probability lower than 10-4 that they were derived from the same parent distribution. We show that mass ejection can generate significant migration with an increase of orbital period that matches very well the difference of distribution of the two populations. This would happen if the evaporation emanates from above the hottest region of planet surface. Thus, migration induced by evaporation is an important mechanism that cannot be neglected.

Keywords
planets and satellites: formation – planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability – planet-star interactions

Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 537, Page L3_1
January 2012

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