Atmosphere loss in planet–planet collisions

Denman, Thomas R; Leinhardt, Zoe M; Carter, Philip J; Mordasini, Christoph (2020). Atmosphere loss in planet–planet collisions. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 496(2), pp. 1166-1181. Oxford University Press 10.1093/mnras/staa1623

[img]
Preview
Text
2006.01881.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (5MB) | Preview
[img]
Preview
Text
staa1623.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (4MB) | Preview

Many of the planets discovered by the Kepler satellite are close orbiting Super-Earths or Mini-Neptunes. Such objects exhibit a wide spread of densities for similar masses. One possible explanation for this density spread is giant collisions stripping planets of their atmospheres. In this paper we present the results from a series of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of head-on collisions of planets with significant atmospheres and bare projectiles without atmospheres. Collisions between planets can have sufficient energy to remove substantial fractions of the mass from the target planet. We find the fraction of mass lost splits into two regimes -- at low impact energies only the outer layers are ejected corresponding to atmosphere dominated loss, at higher energies material deeper in the potential is excavated resulting in significant core and mantle loss. Mass removal is less efficient in the atmosphere loss dominated regime compared to the core and mantle loss regime, due to the higher compressibility of atmosphere relative to core and mantle. We find roughly twenty per cent atmosphere remains at the transition between the two regimes. We find that the specific energy of this transition scales linearly with the ratio of projectile to target mass for all projectile-target mass ratios measured. The fraction of atmosphere lost is well approximated by a quadratic in terms of the ratio of specific energy and transition energy. We provide algorithms for the incorporation of our scaling law into future numerical studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences > Theoretical Astrophysics and Planetary Science (TAPS)
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:

Mordasini, Christoph

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

0035-8711

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Janine Jungo

Date Deposited:

01 Mar 2021 17:02

Last Modified:

01 Mar 2021 17:09

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/mnras/staa1623

ArXiv ID:

2006.01881

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/152757

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/152757

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback