The effect of composition on the evolution of giant and intermediate-mass planets

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Abstract

We model the evolution of planets with various masses and compositions. We investigate the effects of the composition and its depth dependence on the long-term evolution of the planets. The effects of opacity and stellar irradiation are also considered. It is shown that the change in radius due to various compositions can be significantly smaller than the change in radius caused by the opacity. Irradiation also affects the planetary contraction but is found to be less important than the opacity effects. We suggest that the mass-radius relationship used for characterization of observed extrasolar planets should be taken with great caution since different physical conditions can result in very different mass-radius relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3283-3292
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume434
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Equation of state
  • Opacity
  • Planetary systems
  • Planets and satellites: composition

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