Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 541A, 103-103 (2012/5-1)
Rocky super-Earth interiors. Structure and internal dynamics of CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b.
WAGNER F.W., TOSI N., SOHL F., RAUER H. and SPOHN T.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present interior structure models of the recently discovered exoplanets CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b addressing their bulk compositions, present thermal states, and internal dynamics. We investigate how mantle convection patterns are influenced by the depth-dependence of thermodynamic parameters (e.g., thermal expansivity and conductivity) caused by the extended pressure and temperature ranges within rocky super-Earths. To model the interior of rocky exoplanets, we construct a four-layer structural model solving the mass and energy balance equations in conjunction with a generalized Rydberg equation of state providing the radial density distribution within each layer. The present thermal state is calculated according to a modified mixing-length approach for highly viscous fluids. Furthermore, the obtained internal structure is used to carry out two-dimensional convection simulations to visualize the mantle convection pattern within massive exoplanets such as CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b. Both CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b most likely have large iron cores and a bulk composition similar to that of Mercury. For a planetary radius of Rp=(1.58±0.10)R⊕, a revised total mass of Mp=(7.42±1.21)M⊕, and the existence of a third planet in the CoRoT-7 planetary system, calculations suggest that an iron core of 64 wt-% and a silicate mantle of 36 wt-% is produced owing to the relatively high average compressed density of ρavg=(10.4±1.8)g/cm3. Kepler-10b's planetary radius and total mass yield an iron core of 59.5 wt-%, which complements the silicate mantle of 40.5 wt-%. An enhanced radiogenic heating rate owing to CoRoT-7b's young age (1.2-2.3Gyr) raises the radial distribution of temperature by only a few hundred Kelvin, but reduces the viscosity by an order of magnitude. The planform of mantle convection is found to be strongly modified for depth-dependent material properties, with hot plumes rising across the whole mantle and cold slabs, which stagnate in the mid-mantle because of the loss of buoyancy. We use a new model approach to determine the detailed interior structures and present thermal states of CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b. Both planets are found to be enriched in iron. The results imply that modest radiogenic heating does not play a significant role in determining the internal structure of rocky exoplanets. The depth-dependence of thermodynamic properties, however, strongly influences the mantle convection patterns within exoplanets such as CoRoT-7b and Kepler-10b. This may have a significant effect on the thermal evolution and magnetic field generation of close-in super-Earths.
planets and satellites: interiors - planets and satellites: composition - planets and satellites: individual: CoRoT-7b - planets and satellites: individual: Kepler-10b
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