Contributed Talk - Splinter Exoplanets

Tuesday, 13 September 2022, 16:15   (SFG 1010 / virtual Exo)

Constraining the Origin of Giant Exoplanets via Elemental Abundance Measurements

Henrik Knierim, Sho Shibata, Ravit Helled
Center for Theoretical Astrophysics & Cosmology, Institute for Computational Science, University of Zurich

The origin of giant exoplanets on short-period orbits is a key open question in planetary science. Measurements of the atmospheric composition of these planets can reveal crucial information on the planetary origin. In this talk, I will show that the two leading formation scenarios for hot/warm Jupiters: formation in the outer disk followed by migration and in-situ formation, lead to significant differences in the predicted atmospheric composition. We use N-body simulations of planetesimal accretion for various planetary formation locations, planetary masses, as well as planetesimal sizes, and estimate the accreted heavy-element mass and final planetary composition for these two formation models. We show that migrating giant planets are much more metal-rich than giant planets that form in-situ. The refractory-to-volatile ratio is above one for migrating planets but below 0.4 for planets that form in-situ. We also identify very different trends between heavy-element enrichment and planetary mass for these two formation mechanisms. Our study highlights the importance of measuring the atmospheric composition of warm Jupiters and its potential to reveal the planetary origin.