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Stellar clustering shapes the architectures of planetary systems

Winter, AJ, Kruijssen, JMD, Longmore, SN and Chevance, M (2020) Stellar clustering shapes the architectures of planetary systems. Nature, 586. pp. 528-532. ISSN 0028-0836

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Planet formation is generally described in terms of a system containing the host star and a protoplanetary disc, of which the internal properties (e.g. mass and metallicity) determine the properties of the resulting planetary system. However, (proto)planetary systems are predicted and observed to be affected by the spatially-clustered stellar formation environment, either through dynamical star-star interactions or external photoevaporation by nearby massive stars. It is challenging to quantify how the architecture of planetary systems is affected by these environmental processes, because stellar groups spatially disperse within <1 billion years, well below the ages of most known exoplanets. Here we identify old, co-moving stellar groups around exoplanet host stars in the astrometric data from the Gaia satellite and demonstrate that the architecture of planetary systems exhibits a strong dependence on local stellar clustering in position-velocity phase space, implying a dependence on their formation or evolution environment. After controlling for host stellar age, mass, metallicity, and distance from the Sun, we obtain highly significant differences (with $p$-values of $10^{-5}{-}10^{-2}$) in planetary (system) properties between phase space overdensities and the field. The median semi-major axis and orbital period of planets in overdensities are 0.087 au and 9.6 days, respectively, compared to 0.81 au and 154 days for planets around field stars. 'Hot Jupiters' (massive, close-in planets) predominantly exist in stellar phase space overdensities, strongly suggesting that their extreme orbits originate from environmental perturbations rather than internal migration or planet-planet scattering. Our findings reveal that stellar clustering is a key factor setting the architectures of planetary systems.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.EP; astro-ph.EP; astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.SR
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 12:02
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 06:28
DOI or ID number: 10.1038/s41586-020-2800-0
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13911
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