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Blue straggler planets?

28 Feb 2011, 02:24 UTC
Blue straggler planets?
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Image Source. In the midst of all that excitement surrounding the Kepler data release, it was easy to overlook the article by Martin & Spruit, Inflated hot Jupiters from merger events, that showed up on astro-ph earlier this month. This paper proposes a sure-to-ruffle-feathers explanation for the radius anomalies of the hot Jupiters. The idea [...]

Image Source.
In the midst of all that excitement surrounding the Kepler data release, it was easy to overlook the article by Martin & Spruit, Inflated hot Jupiters from merger events, that showed up on astro-ph earlier this month. This paper proposes a sure-to-ruffle-feathers explanation for the radius anomalies of the hot Jupiters. The idea is that stellar mergers (arising from orbital decay in very close binaries) shed angular momentum via an “excretion” disk, from which one or more short-period giant planets manages to form. In this picture, short-period, anomalously inflated planets are large because they are young — their formation dates to the binary star merger that created their parent star, and they are headed inward for destruction on timescales significantly shorter than the typical several-billion year age of planet-bearing main-sequence stars.

Image Source: Tylenda et al. 2010.
It’s believed that the anomalous ...

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