Super stellar abundances of alkali metals suggest significant migration for hot Jupiters

Tom O. Hands, R. Helled

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate the origin of the measured overabundance of alkali metals in the atmospheres of hot gas giants, relative to both their host stars and their atmospheric water abundances. We show that foation exterior to the water snow line followed by inward disc-driven migration results in excess accretion of oxygen-poor, refractory-rich material from within the snow-line. This naturally leads to enrichment of alkali metals in the planetary atmosphere relative to the bulk composition of its host star but relative abundances of water that are similar to the stellar host. These relative abundances cannot be explained by in situ foation which places the refractory elements in the planetary deep interior rather than the atmosphere. We therefore suggest that the measured compositions of the atmospheres of hot Jupiters are consistent with significant migration for at least a subset of hot gas giants. Our model makes robust predictions about atmospheric composition that can be confied with future data from JWST and Ariel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-902
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume509
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • atmospheres
  • composition
  • foation
  • planets and satellites
  • planets and satellites
  • planets and satellites

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