On the origin of the spiral morphology in the Elias 2-27 circumstellar disc [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.05338


The young star Elias 2-27 has recently been observed to posses a massive circumstellar disc with two prominent large-scale spiral arms. In this Letter we perform three-dimensional Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations, radiative transfer modelling, synthetic ALMA imaging and an unsharped masking technique to explore three possibilities for the origin of the observed structures — an undetected companion either internal or external to the spirals, and a self-gravitating disc. We find that a gravitationally unstable disc and a disc with an external companion can produce morphology that is consistent with the observations. In addition, for the latter, we find that the companion could be a relatively massive planetary mass companion (less than approximately 10 – 13 MJup) and located at large radial distances (between approximately 300 – 700 au). We therefore suggest that Elias 2-27 may be one of the first detections of a disc undergoing gravitational instabilities, or a disc that has recently undergone fragmentation to produce a massive companion.

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F. Meru, A. Juhasz, J. Ilee, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17
15/50

Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Letters

The VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. IV. Gravitational instability rarely forms wide, giant planets [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.05322


Understanding the formation and evolution of giant planets ($\ge$1 $M_{Jup}$) at wide orbital separation ($\ge$5 AU) is one of the goals of direct imaging. Over the past 15 years, many surveys have placed strong constraints on the occurrence rate of wide-orbit giants, mostly based on non-detections, but very few have tried to make a direct link with planet formation theories. In the present work, we combine the results of our previously published VLT/NaCo large program with the results of 12 past imaging surveys to constitute a statistical sample of 199 FGK stars within 100 pc, including 3 stars with sub-stellar companions. Using Monte Carlo simulations and assuming linear flat distributions for the mass and semi-major axis of planets, we estimate the sub-stellar companion frequency to be within 0.75-5.7% at the 68% confidence level (CL) within 20-300 AU and 0.5-75 $M_{Jup}$, which is compatible with previously published results. We also compare our results with the predictions of state-of-the-art population synthesis models based on the gravitational instability (GI) formation scenario by Forgan & Rice (2013), with and without scattering. We estimate that in both the scattered and non-scattered populations, we would be able to detect more than 30% of companions in the 1-75 $M_{Jup}$ range (95% CL). With the 3 sub-stellar detections in our sample, we estimate the fraction of stars that host a planetary system formed by GI to be within 1.0-8.6% (95% CL). We also conclude that even though GI is not common, it predicts a mass distribution of wide-orbit massive companions that is much closer to what is observed than what the core accretion scenario predicts. Finally, we associate the present paper with the release of the Direct Imaging Virtual Archive (DIVA, this http URL), a public database that aims at gathering the results of past, present, and future direct imaging surveys.

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A. Vigan, M. Bonavita, B. Biller, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17
21/50

Comments: 20 pages, 11 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A

The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets XLI. A dozen planets around the M dwarfs GJ 3138, GJ 3323, GJ 273, GJ 628, and GJ 3293 [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.05386


Context. Low mass stars are currently the best targets for searches for rocky planets in the habitable zone of their host star. Over the last 13 years, precise radial velocities measured with the HARPS spectrograph have identified over a dozen super-Earths and Earth-mass planets (msin i<10Mearth ) around M dwarfs, with a well understood selection function. This well defined sample informs on their frequency of occurrence and on the distribution of their orbital parameters, and therefore already constrains our understanding of planetary formation. The subset of these low-mass planets that were found within the habitable zone of their host star also provide prized targets for future atmospheric biomarkers searches. Aims. We are working to extend this planetary sample to lower masses and longer periods through dense and long-term monitoring of the radial velocity of a small M dwarf sample. Methods. We obtained large numbers of HARPS spectra for the M dwarfs GJ 3138, GJ 3323, GJ 273, GJ 628 and GJ 3293, from which we derived radial velocities (RVs) and spectroscopic activity indicators. We searched them for variabilities, periodicities, Keplerian modulations and correlations, and attribute the radial-velocity variations to combinations of planetary companions and stellar activity. Results. We detect 12 planets, of which 9 are new with masses ranging from 1.17 to 10.5 Mearth . Those planets have relatively short orbital periods (P<40 d), except two of them with periods of 217.6 and 257.8 days. Among these systems, GJ 273 harbor two planets with masses close to the one of the Earth. With a distance of 3.8 parsec only, GJ 273 is the second nearest known planetary system – after Proxima Centauri – with a planet orbiting the circumstellar habitable zone.

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N. Astudillo-Defru, T. Forveille, X. Bonfils, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17
23/50

Comments: 19 pages, 24 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Searching for planetary signals in Doppler time series: a performance evaluation of tools for periodograms analysis [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.05033


We carry out a comparative analysis of the performance of three algorithms widely used to identify significant periodicities in radial-velocity (RV) datasets: the Generalised Lomb-Scargle Periodogram (GLS), its modified version based on Bayesian statistics (BGLS), and the multi-frequency periodogram scheme called FREquency DEComposer (FREDEC). We apply the algorithms to a suite of numerical simulations of (single and multiple) low-amplitude Keplerian RV signals induced by low-mass companions around M-dwarf primaries. The global performance of the three period search approaches is quite similar in the limit of an idealized, best-case scenario (single planets, circular orbits, white noise). However, GLS, BGLS and FREDEC are not equivalent when it comes to the correct identification of more complex signals (including correlated noise of stellar origin, eccentric orbits, multiple planets), with variable degrees of efficiency loss as a function of system parameters and degradation in completeness and reliability levels. The largest discrepancy is recorded in the number of false detections: the standard approach of residual analyses adopted for GLS and BGLS translates in large fractions of false alarms ($\sim30\%$) in the case of multiple systems, as opposed to $\sim10\%$ for the FREDEC approach of simultaneous multi-frequency search. Our results reinforce the need for the strengthening and further development of the most aggressive and effective {\it ab initio} strategies for the robust identification of low-amplitude planetary signals in RV datasets, particularly now that RV surveys are beginning to achieve sensitivity to potentially habitable Earth-mass planets around late-type stars.

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M. Pinamonti, A. Sozzetti, A. Bonomo, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17
6/92

Comments: 11 pages, 10 figures

A new insight into the Galactic potential: A simple secular model for the evolution of binary systems in the solar neighbourhood [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.04694


Context. Among the main effects that the Milky Way exerts in binary systems, the Galactic tide is the only one that is not probabilistic and can be deduced from a potential. Therefore, it is possible to perform an analysis of the global structure of the phase space of binary systems in the solar neighbourhood using the Galactic potential. Aims. The aim of this work is to obtain a simple model to study the collisionless dynamical evolution of generic wide binaries systems in the solar neighbourhood. Methods. Through an averaging process, we reduced the three-dimensional potential of the Galaxy to a secular one-degree of freedom model. The accuracy of this model was tested by comparing its predictions with numerical simulations of the exact equations of motion of a two-body problem disturbed by the Galaxy. Results. Using the one-degree of freedom model, we developed a detailed dynamical study, finding that the secular Galactic tide period changes as a function of the separation of the pair, which also gives a dynamical explanation for the arbitrary classification between “wide” and “tight” binaries. Moreover, the secular phase space for a generic gravitationally bound pair is similar to the dynamical structure of a Lidov-Kozai resonance, but surprisingly this structure is independent of the masses and semimajor axis of the binary system. Thus, the Galactic potential is able to excite the initially circular orbit of binary systems to high values of eccentricity, which has important implications for studies of binary star systems (with and without exoplanets), comets, and Oort cloud objects.

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J. Correa-Otto, M. Calandra and R. Gil-Hutton
Thu, 16 Mar 17
16/92

Comments: 16 pages, 17 figures, acepted to published in A&A

CO$_2$ condensation is a serious limit to the deglaciation of Earth-like planets [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.04624


It is widely believed that the carbonate-silicate cycle is the main agent to trigger deglaciations by CO$_2$ greenhouse warming on Earth and on Earth-like planets when they get in frozen state. Here we use a 3D Global Climate Model to simulate the ability of frozen planets to escape from glaciation by accumulating enough gaseous CO$_2$.
We find that Earth-like planets orbiting a Sun-like star may never be able to escape from glaciation if their orbital distance is greater than $\sim$ 1.27 AU (Flux $<$ 847 W m$^{-2}$), because CO$_2$ would condense at the poles forming permanent CO$_2$ ice caps. This limits the amount of CO$_2$ in the atmosphere and thus its greenhouse effect.
The amount of CO$_2$ that can be trapped in the polar caps depends on the efficiency of CO$_2$ ice to flow laterally as well as its graviational stability relative to subsurface water ice.
The flow of CO$_2$ ice from poles to equator is mostly controlled by the bottom temperature, and hence by the internal heat flux. We find that a frozen Earth-like planet located at 1.30 AU of a Sun-like star could store as much as 1.5/4.5/15 bars of dry ice at the poles, for internal heat fluxes of 100/30/10 mW m$^{-2}$.
But these amounts are lower limits. For planets with a significant water ice cover, we show that CO$_2$ ice deposits should be gravitationnally unstable. They get burried beneath the water ice cover in short timescales of 10$^2$-10$^3$ yrs, mainly controlled by the viscosity of water ice. For water ice cover exceeding about 300 m, we show that the CO$_2$ would be permanently sequestred underneath the water ice cover, in the form of CO$_2$ liquids, CO$_2$ clathrate hydrates and/or dissolved in subglacial water reservoirs (if any). This would considerably increase the amount of CO$_2$ trapped and further reduce the probability of deglaciation.

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M. Turbet, F. Forget, J. Leconte, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17
92/92

Comments: Submitted – Comments are welcome

Petrographic and geochemical evidence for multiphase formation of carbonates in the Martian orthopyroxenite Allan Hills 84001 [EPA]

http://arxiv.org/abs/1703.04432


Martian meteorites can provide valuable information about past environmental conditions on Mars. Allan Hills 84001 formed more than 4 Gyr ago, and owing to its age and long exposure to the Martian environment, this meteorite has features that may record early processes. These features include a highly fractured texture, gases trapped during one or more impact events or during formation of the rock, and spherical Fe-Mg-Ca carbonates. Here we have concentrated on providing new insights into the context of these carbonates using a range of techniques to explore whether they record multiple precipitation and shock events. The petrographic features and compositional properties of these carbonates indicate that at least two pulses of Mg- and Fe-rich solutions saturated the rock. Those two generations of carbonates can be distinguished by a very sharp change in compositions, from being rich in Mg and poor in Fe and Mn, to being poor in Mg and rich in Fe and Mn. Between these two generations of carbonate is evidence for fracturing and local corrosion.

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C. Moyano-Cambero, J. Trigo-Rodriguez, M. Benito, et. al.
Tue, 14 Mar 17
13/74

Comments: 30 pages, 11 figures, and 3 tables, Meteoritics & Planetary Science (2017)