Evidence that the Hot Jupiter WASP-77 A b Formed Beyond Its Parent Protoplanetary Disk's H2O Ice Line
Reggiani, Henrique et al., 2022, The Astronomical Journal, 163, 159 | View on ADS (2022AJ....163..159R)
Idealized protoplanetary disk and giant planet formation models have been interpreted to suggest that a giant planet's atmospheric abundances can be used to infer its formation location in its parent protoplanetary disk. It has recently been reported that the hot Jupiter WASP-77 A b has subsolar atmospheric carbon and oxygen abundances with a solar C/O abundance ratio. Assuming solar carbon and oxygen abundances for its host star WASP-77 A, WASP-77 A b's atmospheric carbon and oxygen abundances possibly indicate that it accreted its envelope interior to its parent protoplanetary disk's H2O ice line from carbon-depleted gas with little subsequent planetesimal accretion or core erosion. We show that the photospheric abundances of carbon and oxygen in WASP-77 A are supersolar with a subsolar C/O abundance ratio, implying that WASP-77 A b's atmosphere has significantly substellar carbon and oxygen abundances with a superstellar C/O ratio. Our result possibly indicates that WASP-77 A b's envelope was accreted by the planet beyond its parent protoplanetary disk's H2O ice line. While numerous theoretical complications to these idealized models have now been identified, the possibility of nonsolar protoplanetary disk abundance ratios confound even the most sophisticated protoplanetary disk and giant planet formation models. We therefore argue that giant planet atmospheric abundance ratios can only be meaningfully interpreted relative to the possibly nonsolar mean compositions of their parent protoplanetary disks as recorded in the photospheric abundances of their dwarf host stars.
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