Mean motion resonances from planet-planet scattering.
RAYMOND S.N., BARNES R., ARMITAGE P.J. and GORELICK N.
Abstract (from CDS):
Planet-planet scattering is the leading mechanism to explain the large eccentricities of the observed exoplanet population. However, scattering has not been considered important to the production of pairs of planets in mean motion resonances (MMRs). We present results from a large number of numerical simulations of dynamical instabilities in three-planet systems. We show that MMRs arise naturally in about 5% of cases. The most common resonances we populate are the 2:1 and 3:1 MMRs, although a wide variety of MMRs can occur, including high-order MMRs (up to 11th order). MMRs are generated preferentially in systems with uneven mass distributions: the smallest planet is typically ejected after a series of close encounters, leaving the remaining, more massive planets in resonance. The distribution of resonant planets is consistent with the phase-space density of resonant orbits, meaning that planets are randomly thrown into MMRs rather than being slowly pulled into them. It may be possible to distinguish between MMRs created by scattering versus convergent migration in a gaseous disk by considering planetary mass ratios: resonant pairs of planets beyond ∼1 AU with more massive outer planets are likely to have formed by scattering. In addition, scattering may be responsible for pairs of planets in high-order MMRs (3:1 and higher) that are not easily populated by migration. The frequency of MMRs from scattering is comparable to the expected survival rate of MMRs in turbulent disks. Thus, planet-planet scattering is likely to be a major contributor to the population of resonant planets.