On the survivability of planets in young massive clusters and its implication of planet orbital architectures in globular clusters


Cai, Maxwell X.; Portegies Zwart, S.; Kouwenhoven, M. B. N.; Spurzem, Rainer

Publication date: 
November, 2020
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS)

As of 2019 August, among the more than 4000 confirmed exoplanets, only one has been detected in a globular cluster (GC) M4. The scarce of exoplanet detections motivates us to employ direct N-body simulations to investigate the dynamical stability of planets in young massive clusters (YMC), which are potentially the progenitors of GCs. In an N = 128 k cluster of virial radius 1.7 pc (comparable to Westerlund-1), our simulations show that most wide-orbit planets (a ≥ 20 au) will be ejected within a time-scale of 10 Myr. Interestingly, more than 70 per cent of planets with a < 5 au survive in the 100 Myr simulations. Ignoring planet-planet scattering and tidal damping, the survivability at t Myr as a function of initial semimajor axis a0 in au in such a YMC can be described as fsurv(a0, t) = -0.33log10(a0)(1 - e-0.0482t) + 1. Upon ejection, about 28.8 per cent of free-floating planets (FFPs) have sufficient speeds to escape from the host cluster at a crossing time-scale. The other FFPs will remain bound to the cluster potential, but the subsequent dynamical evolution of the stellar system can result in the delayed ejection of FFPs from the host cluster. Although a full investigation of planet population in GCs requires extending the simulations to multiGyr, our results suggest that wide-orbit planets and free-floating planets are unlikely to be found in GCs.