AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS
CitationSlowly-growing gap-opening planets trigger weaker vortices 2017, 466 (3):3533 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Rights© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
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AbstractThe presence of a giant planet in a low-viscosity disc can create a gap edge in the disc's radial density profile sharp enough to excite the Rossby wave instability. This instability may evolve into dust-trapping vortices that might explain the `banana-shaped' features in recently observed asymmetric transition discs with inner cavities. Previous hydrodynamical simulations of planet-induced vortices have neglected the time-scale of hundreds to thousands of orbits to grow a massive planet to Jupiter size. In this work, we study the effect of a giant planet's runaway growth time-scale on the lifetime and characteristics of the resulting vortex. For two different planet masses (1 and 5 Jupiter masses) and two different disc viscosities (alpha= 3 x 10-4 and 3 x 10-5), we compare the vortices induced by planets with several different growth time-scales between 10 and 4000 planet orbits. In general, we find that slowly-growing planets create significantly weaker vortices with lifetimes and surface densities reduced by more than 50 per cent. For the higher disc viscosity, the longest growth time-scales in our study inhibit vortex formation altogether. Additionally, slowly-growing planets produce vortices that are up to twice as elongated, with azimuthal extents well above 180. in some cases. These unique, elongated vortices likely create a distinct signature in the dust observations that differentiates them from the more concentrated vortices that correspond to planets with faster growth time-scales. Lastly, we find that the low viscosities necessary for vortex formation likely prevent planets from growing quickly enough to trigger the instability in self-consistent models.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNSF Graduate Research Fellowship [DGE 1143953]; National Science Foundation [AST-1410174, 1228509]; Steward Theory Fellowship