DYNAMICS OF TIDALLY CAPTURED PLANETS IN THE GALACTIC CENTER

Alessandro A. Trani, Michela Mapelli, Mario Spera, Alessandro Bressan
2016 Astrophysical Journal  
Recent observations suggest ongoing planet formation in the innermost parsec of the Galactic center. The supermassive black hole (SMBH) might strip planets or planetary embryos from their parent star, bringing them close enough to be tidally disrupted. Photoevaporation by the ultraviolet field of young stars, combined with ongoing tidal disruption, could enhance the near-infrared luminosity of such starless planets, making their detection possible even with current facilities. In this paper, we
more » ... . In this paper, we investigate the chance of planet tidal captures by means of high-accuracy N-body simulations exploiting Mikkola's algorithmic regularization. We consider both planets lying in the clockwise (CW) disk and planets initially bound to the S-stars. We show that tidally captured planets remain on orbits close to those of their parent star. Moreover, the semimajor axis of the planetary orbit can be predicted by simple analytic assumptions in the case of prograde orbits. We find that starless planets that were initially bound to CW disk stars have mild eccentricities and tend to remain in the CW disk. However, we speculate that angular momentum diffusion and scattering by other young stars in the CW disk might bring starless planets into orbits with low angular momentum. In contrast, planets initially bound to S-stars are captured by the SMBH on highly eccentric orbits, matching the orbital properties of the clouds G1 and G2. Our predictions apply not only to planets but also to low-mass stars initially bound to the S-stars and tidally captured by the SMBH.
doi:10.3847/0004-637x/831/1/61 fatcat:nu7k745jkrb7reeiqqi74vlf4q