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Migration of Jupiter-mass planets in low-viscosity discs

Abstract : Context. Type-II migration of giant planets has a speed proportional to the disc’s viscosity for values of the α viscosity parameter larger than 10−4. Previous studies based on two-dimensional simulations, have shown that, at even lower viscosities, migration can be very chaotic and is often characterised by phases of fast migration. The reason is that vortices appear in low-viscosity discs due to the Rossby-wave instability at the edges of the gap opened by the planet. Migration is then determined by vortex-planet interactions.Aims. Our goal is to study giant planet migration in low-viscosity discs with 3D simulations. In 3D, vortices are more complex than the simple vertical extension of their 2D counterparts; their impact on planet migration is therefore not obvious.Methods. We performed numerical simulations using two grid-based codes: FARGOCA for three-dimensional simulations and FARGO-ADSG for the two dimensional case. Two-dimensional simulations were used mainly for preliminary tests to check the impact of self-gravity on vortex formation and on vortex-disc dynamics. After selecting disc masses for which self-gravity is not important at the planet location, three-dimensional simulations without self-gravity can be safely used. We have considered an adiabatic equation of state with exponential damping of temperature perturbations in order to avoid the development of the vertical shear instability. In our nominal simulation, we set α = 0 so that only numerical viscosity is present. We then performed simulations with non-zero α values to assess the threshold of prescribed viscosity below which the new migration processes appear.Results. We show that for α ≲ 10−5 two migration modes are possible, which differ from classical Type-II migration in the sense that they are not proportional to the disc’s viscosity. The first occurs when the gap opened by the planet is not very deep. This occurs in 3D simulations and/or when a big vortex forms at the outer edge of the planetary gap, diffusing material into the gap. The de-saturation of co-orbital and co-rotation resonances keeps the planet’s eccentricity low. Inward planet migration then occurs as long as the disc can refill the gap left behind by the migrating planet, either due to diffusion caused by the presence of the vortex or to the inward migration of the vortex itself due to its interaction with the disc. We call this type of migration ‘vortex-driven migration’, which differs from ‘vortex-induced’ migration described in Lin & Papaloizou (2010, MNRAS, 405, 1473, and 2011a, MNRAS, 415, 1445). This migration is very slow and cannot continue indefinitely because eventually the vortex dissolves. The second migration mode occurs when the gap is deep so that the planet’s eccentricity grows to a value e ~ 0.2 due to inefficient eccentricity damping by co-rotation resonances. Once the planet is on an eccentric orbit, gas can pass through the gap and planet migration unlocks from the disc’s viscous evolution. This second, faster migration mode appears to be typical of two-dimensional models in discs with slower damping of temperature perturbations.Conclusions. Vortex-driven migration in low-viscosity discs can be very slow and eventually reverses and stops, offering an interesting mechanism to explain the existence of the cold-Jupiter population, even if these planets originally started growing at the disc’s snowline.
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Submitted on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 10:51:27 PM
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E. Lega, R. P. Nelson, A. Morbidelli, W. Kley, W. Béthune, et al.. Migration of Jupiter-mass planets in low-viscosity discs. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2021, 646, pp.A166. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202039520⟩. ⟨hal-03154032⟩



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