We present here observational evidence that the snowline plays a significant role in the formation and evolution of gas giant planets. When considering the population of observed exoplanets, we find a boundary in mass-semimajor axis space that suggests that planets are preferentially found beyond the snowline prior to undergoing gap-opening inward migration and associated gas accretion. This is consistent with theoretical models suggesting that sudden changes in opacity - as would occur at the snowline - can influence core migration. Furthermore, population synthesis modelling suggests that this boundary implies that gas giant planets accrete ~70 per cent of the inward flowing gas, allowing ~30 per cent through to the inner disc. This is qualitatively consistent with observations of transition discs suggesting the presence of inner holes, despite there being ongoing gas accretion.© 2012 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Rice, K., Penny, M., & Horne, K. (2013). How fast do jupiters grow? Signatures of the snowline and growth rate in the distribution of gas giant planets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 428 (1), 756-762. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/sts079