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Warping a protoplanetary disc with a planet on an inclined orbit

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journal contribution
posted on 12.07.2019, 15:58 by R Nealon, G Dipierro, R Alexander, RG Martin, C Nixon
Recent observations of several protoplanetary discs have found evidence of departures from flat, circular motion in the inner regions of the disc. One possible explanation for these observations is a disc warp, which could be induced by a planet on a misaligned orbit. We present three-dimensional numerical simulations of the tidal interaction between a protoplanetary disc and a misaligned planet. For low planet masses, we show that our simulations accurately model the evolution of inclined planet orbit (up to moderate inclinations). For a planet massive enough to carve a gap, the disc is separated into two components and the gas interior and exterior to the planet orbit evolve separately, forming an inner and outer disc. Due to the inclination of the planet, a warp develops across the planet orbit such that there is a relative tilt and twist between these discs. We show that when other parameters are held constant, the relative inclination that develops between the inner and outer disc depends on the outer radius of the total disc modelled. For a given disc mass, our results suggest that the observational relevance of the warp depends more strongly on the mass of the planet rather than the inclination of the orbit.


This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 681601). RGM acknowledges support from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through grant NNX17AB96G. CN is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (grant no. ST/M005917/1).



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2018, 481 (1), pp. 20-35 (16)

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


Oxford University Press





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