Debris disks as signposts of terrestrial planet formation. II Dependence of exoplanet architectures on giant planet and disk properties

Research paper by Sean N. Raymond, Philip J. Armitage, Amaya Moro-Martin, Mark Booth, Mark C. Wyatt, John C. Armstrong, Avi M. Mandell, Franck Selsis, Andrew A. West

Indexed on: 16 Feb '12Published on: 16 Feb '12Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics


We present models for the formation of terrestrial planets, and the collisional evolution of debris disks, in planetary systems that contain multiple unstable gas giants. We previously showed that the dynamics of the giant planets introduces a correlation between the presence of terrestrial planets and debris disks. Here we present new simulations that show that this connection is qualitatively robust to changes in: the mass distribution of the giant planets, the width and mass distribution of the outer planetesimal disk, and the presence of gas in the disk. We discuss how variations in these parameters affect the evolution. Systems with equal-mass giant planets undergo the most violent instabilities, and these destroy both terrestrial planets and the outer planetesimal disks that produce debris disks. In contrast, systems with low-mass giant planets efficiently produce both terrestrial planets and debris disks. A large fraction of systems with low-mass outermost giant planets have stable gaps between these planets that are frequently populated by planetesimals. Planetesimal belts between outer giant planets may affect debris disk SEDs. If Earth-mass seeds are present in outer planetesimal disks, the disks radially spread to colder temperatures. We argue that this may explain the very low frequency of > 1 Gyr-old solar-type stars with observed 24 micron excesses. Among the (limited) set of configurations explored, the best candidates for hosting terrestrial planets at ~1 AU are stars older than 0.1-1 Gyr with bright debris disks at 70 micron but with no currently-known giant planets. These systems combine evidence for rocky building blocks, with giant planet properties least likely to undergo destructive dynamical evolution. We predict an anti-correlation between debris disks and eccentric giant planets, and a positive correlation between debris disks and terrestrial planets.