Super-Earths in orbits close to Jovian planets

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Super-Earths in orbits close to Jovian planets

Post by Sirius_Alpha on 17th November 2009, 11:58 pm

Seems that a super-Earth can migrate toward a gas giant's orbit and be caught into a 3:2 or greater-integer resonance. This would let a terrestrial planet to orbit a star fairly close to a gas giant. Moreover, this means that the presence of a gas giant planet in or near the habitable zone does not rule out the possibility of a habitable world in the same system.

Do we expect to find the Super-Earths close to the gas giants?
http://arxiv.org/abs/0911.3390

Abstract wrote:We have investigated the evolution of a pair of interacting planets embedded in a gaseous disc, considering the possibility of the resonant capture of a Super-Earth by a Jupiter mass gas giant. First, we have examined the situation where the Super-Earth is on the internal orbit and the gas giant on the external one. It has been found that the terrestrial planet is scattered from the disc or the gas giant captures the Super-Earth into an interior 3:2 or 4:3 mean-motion resonance. The stability of the latter configurations depends on the initial planet positions and on eccentricity evolution. The behaviour of the system is different if the Super-Earth is the external planet. We have found that instead of being captured in the mean-motion resonance, the terrestrial planet is trapped at the outer edge of the gap opened by the gas giant. This effect prevents the occurrence of the first order mean-motion commensurability. These results are particularly interesting in light of recent exoplanet discoveries and provide predictions of what will become observationally testable in the near future.

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Re: Super-Earths in orbits close to Jovian planets

Post by Lazarus on 19th November 2009, 6:50 pm

Well what's really needed is observational confirmation. Transit timing variations have been disappointingly elusive so far... what's the latest on OGLE-TR-111?

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