Thursday, January 10, 2013

1301.1727 (Kazuhiro D. Kanagawa et al.)

The structure of gas-accreting protoplanets and the condition of the critical core mass    [PDF]

Kazuhiro D. Kanagawa, M. Y. Fujimoto
In the core accretion model for the formation of gas giant planets, runaway gas accretion onto a core is the primary requisite, triggered when the core mass reaches a critical value. The recently revealed wide diversity of the extrasolar giant planets suggests the necessity to further the understanding of the conditions resulting in the critical core mass that initiates runaway accretion. We study the internal structure of protoplanets under hydrostatic and thermal equilibria represented in terms of a polytropic equation of state to investigate what factors determine and affect the critical core mass. We find that the protoplanets, embedded in protoplanetary disks, have the same configuration as red giants, characterized by the envelope of the centrally-condensed type solution. Applying the theory of stellar structure with homology invariants, we demonstrate that there are three types of criteria for the critical core mass depending on the stiffness of polytrope and the nature of outer boundary condition. For the stiff polytropes of index $N \le 3$ with the Bondi radius as the outer boundary, the criterion governing the critical core mass occurs at the surface. For stiff polytropes with the Hill outer boundary and for soft polytropes of $N>3$, this criterion acts at the bottom of gaseous envelope. Further, we elucidate the roles and effects of coexistent radiative and convective zones in the envelope of critical core mass. Based on the results, we discuss the relevance of Bondi and Hill surface conditions and explore the parameter dependences of critical core mass.
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