Alan Boss new planetary models propose that there might be a whole lot of undiscovered gas giants around Sun-like stars at the same distance as Saturn and Jupiter.
The amount of exoplanets that are discovered by current planet hunting teams are increasing. These new models may give us some light on where to look for them.
This study can end the long-held dispute about how our Solar system’s gas giants formed out of the material of the young disk.
The theory says that they form just like the inner planets- slowly accretion material of the disk until it has a big enough mass to attract a large envelope of gas. The other one says that they are creating from the gas from the spiral arms of the disk.
The problem with the first is called core accretion.It can not explain how gas giants form far away from the star.
The models of the second theory, called disk instability, can explain how massive planets form at distances over 20 times the Earth-Sun.
“Given the existence of gas giant planets on such wide orbits, disk instability or something similar must be involved in the creation of at least some exoplanets,” Boss said. “However, whether or not this method could create closer-orbiting gas giant planets remains unanswered.”
The scientist took his modeling tools and tried to find out if gas giants can form closer to their star. The results indicate that there might be a large unknown population of gas giants between 6 and 16 times further than Earth.
In comparison, Jupiter is just over 5 times away, while Saturn is at 9 times.
“NASA’s upcoming Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope may be ideally suited to test my predictions here,” Boss said.