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Chaotic Tidal Heating and Hot Jupiter Formation

Presentation #404.01 in the session Stars and Planets 2.

Published onJun 20, 2022
Chaotic Tidal Heating and Hot Jupiter Formation

High-eccentricity migration is an important channel for hot Jupiter formation. In this scenario, a giant planet is excited onto a very eccentric orbit that decays and circularizes on Gyr timescales due to tidal dissipation in the planet. Recent work has explored the role of chaotic dynamical tides in shaping the orbital evolution of migrating gas giants. When the planet’s orbit is highly eccentric and has a small pericenter distance, tidally excited oscillations in the planet can grow chaotically in amplitude over many orbits. Eventually, these oscillations become so large that they dissipate non-linearly, draining energy from the orbit and rapidly shrinking the semimajor axis. This migration mechanism can reproduce several features of the observed hot Jupiter population. However, it requires that a large amount of energy is quickly funneled through the planet. If the planet’s radius increases significantly due to this extreme tidal heating, it is in greater danger of tidal disruption. We investigate whether a planet can truly survive chaotic tidal migration using the stellar evolution code MESA to study the effect of heating in the outer envelope of a gas giant. By coupling the numerical planet model with orbital evolution due to chaotic tides, we find that while tidal heating consigns some planets to disruption, many can still survive to form hot Jupiters.

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