Presentation #403.01 in the session Planetary Origins Dynamics 2: Protoplanetary Disks.
I will present a new mechanism of generating large planetary eccentricities. This mechanism applies to planets within the inner cavities of their companion protoplanetary disks. A massive disk with an inner truncation may become eccentric due to non-adiabatic effects associated with gas cooling, and can retain its eccentricity in long-lived coherently-precessing eccentric modes; as the disk disperses, the inner planet will encounter a secular resonance with the eccentric disk when the planet and the disk have the same apsidal precession rates; the eccentricity of the planet is then excited to a large value as the system goes through the resonance. We solve the eccentric modes of a model disk for a wide range of masses. We then adopt an approximate secular dynamics model to calculate the long-term evolution of the “planet + dispersing disk” system. The planet attains a large eccentricity (between 0.1 and 0.6) in our calculations, even though the disk eccentricity is quite small (~0.05). This eccentricity excitation can be understood in terms of the mode conversion (“avoided crossing”) phenomenon associated with the evolution of the “planet + disk” eccentricity eigenstates.