We show that interaction with a gas disk may produce young planetary systems with closely-spaced orbits, stabilized by mean-motion resonances between neighbors. On longer timescales, after the gas is gone, interaction with a remnant planetesimal disk tends to pull these configurations apart, eventually inducing dynamical instability. We find that this can lead to a variety of outcomes; some cases resemble the Solar System, while others end up with high-eccentricity orbits reminiscent of the observed exoplanets. A similar mechanism has been previously suggested as the cause of the lunar Late Heavy Bombardment. Thus, it may be that a large-scale dynamical instability, with more or less cataclysmic results, is an evolutionary step common to many planetary systems, including our own.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Extreme Solar Systems|
|Publisher||Astronomical Society of the Pacific|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - 2008|
|Name||Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series|