The role of planet accretion in creating the next generation of red giant rapid rotators.
CARLBERG J.K., MAJEWSKI S.R. and ARRAS P.
Abstract (from CDS):
Rapid rotation in field red giant stars is a relatively rare but well-studied phenomenon; here we investigate the potential role of planet accretion in spinning up these stars. Using Zahn's theory of tidal friction and stellar evolution models, we compute the decay of a planet's orbit into its evolving host star and the resulting transfer of angular momentum into the stellar convective envelope. This experiment assesses the frequency of planet ingestion and rapid rotation on the red giant branch (RGB) for a sample of 99 known exoplanet host stars. We find that the known exoplanets are indeed capable of creating rapid rotators; however, the expected fraction due to planet ingestion is only ∼ 10% of the total seen in surveys of present-day red giants. Of the planets ingested, we find that those with smaller initial semimajor axes are more likely to create rapid rotators because these planets are accreted when the stellar moment of inertia is smallest. We also find that many planets may be ingested prior to the RGB phase, contrary to the expectation that accretion would generally occur when the stellar radii expand significantly as giants. Finally, our models suggest that the rapid rotation signal from ingested planets is most likely to be seen on the lower RGB, which is also where alternative mechanisms for spin-up, e.g., angular momentum dredged up from the stellar core, do not operate. Thus, rapid rotators on the lower RGB are the best candidates to search for definitive evidence of systems that have experienced planet accretion.
planetary systems - stars: evolution - stars: rotation
HD 168442 b is a misprint for HD 168443 b.