Using deep neural networks to compute the mass of forming planets

Alibert, Yann; Venturini Corbellini, Julia Elisa (2019). Using deep neural networks to compute the mass of forming planets. Astronomy and astrophysics, 626, A21. EDP Sciences 10.1051/0004-6361/201834942

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Computing the mass of planetary envelopes and the critical mass beyond which planets accrete gas in a runaway fashion is important when studying planet formation, in particular for planets up to the Neptune mass range. This computation requires in principle solving a set of differential equations, the internal structure equations, for some boundary conditions (pressure, temperature in the protoplanetary disk where a planet forms, core mass and accretion rate of solids by the planet). Solving these equations in turn proves being time consuming and sometimes numerically unstable. We developed a method to approximate the result of integrating the internal structure equations for a variety of boundary conditions. We compute a set of planet internal structures for a very large number (millions) of boundary conditions, considering two opacities,(ISM and reduced). This database is then used to train Deep Neural Networks in order to predict the critical core mass as well as the mass of planetary envelopes as a function of the boundary conditions. We show that our neural networks provide a very good approximation (at the level of percents) of the result obtained by solving interior structure equations, but with a much smaller required computer time. The difference with the real solution is much smaller than the one obtained using some analytical formulas available in the literature which at best only provide the correct order of magnitude. We compare the results of the DNN with other popular machine learning methods (Random Forest, Gradient Boost, Support Vector Regression) and show that the DNN outperforms these methods by a factor of at least two. We show that some analytical formulas that can be found in various papers can severely overestimate the mass of planets, therefore predicting the formation of planets in the Jupiter-mass regime instead of the Neptune-mass regime.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Alibert, Yann Daniel Pierre, Venturini Corbellini, Julia Elisa


500 Science
500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




EDP Sciences




Janine Jungo

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 12:06

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:38

Publisher DOI:





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