Forming resonant satellites around giant planets

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Forming resonant satellites around giant planets

Post by Lazarus on 3rd May 2012, 1:34 am

N-body Simulations of Satellite Formation around Giant Planets: Origin of Orbital Configuration of the Galilean Moons

Seems it is pretty easy to do if there is an inner cavity in the circumplanetary disc. Also some ways of forming more massive satellites, and also the characteristics of moon systems may depend on the planet's location:
We find that several satellites are formed locked in resonances under the assumption that the host planet opens a gap around its orbit. Sasaki et al. (2010) proposed that if the planet does not create a gap, satellites are unlikely to form in resonances, such as that observed in Saturnian satellites. Because a gap opening indicates that the planet may undergo type II migration, it is expected that satellites systems in mean motion resonances migrate inward to some extent. Therefore, planets that reside in closer orbits probably harbor Jovian-system-like moons, although destabilization by tidal torque (Barnes & O’Brien 2002) or shrinkage of Hill sphere (Namouni 2010) may also be important. In contrast, Saturnian-system-like moons orbit more distant planets.
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