Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, July 15-20, 2013

Poster 2K014

Constraining the initial entropy of directly-detected exoplanets

Marleau, Gabriel-Dominique (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany; McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada)
Cumming, Andrew (McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada)

The post-mass-assembly, initial entropy Si of a gas giant planet is a key witness to its formation history and a crucial quantity for its early evolution. However, formation models are not yet able to predict reliably Si, making unjustified the use of traditional cooling tracks (\"hot starts\") to interpret direct imaging results and calling for an observational determination of initial entropies to guide formation scenarios. Using a grid of models in mass and entropy, we show how to place joint constraints on the mass and initial entropy of an object from its observed luminosity and age, highlighting that hot-start tracks only provide a lower limit on the real mass. Moreover, we demonstrate that with mass information, e.g. from dynamical stability analyses or radial velocity, tighter bounds can be set on the initial entropy. We apply this procedure to 2M1207 b and find that its initial entropy is at least 9.2 kB/baryon, assuming that it does not burn deuterium. For the planets of the HR 8799 system, we infer that they must have formed with Si > 9.2 kB/baryon, independent of uncertainties about the age of the star. Finally, a similar analysis for beta Pic b reveals that it must have formed with Si > 10.5 kB/baryon, using the radial-velocity mass upper limit. These initial entropy values are respectively ca. 0.7, 0.5, and 1.5 kB/baryon higher than the ones obtained from core accretion models by Marley et al. (2007), thereby quantitatively ruling out the coldest starts for these objects and constraining warm starts, especially for beta Pic b (Marleau & Cumming 2013, arXiv:1302.1517).

Click here to view poster PDF