Giant planet effects on terrestrial planet formation and system architecture
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AbstractThe giant planets of the solar system likely played a large role in shaping the architecture of the terrestrial planets. Using an updated collision model, we conduct a suite of high resolution N-body integrations to probe the relationship between giant planet mass, and terrestrial planet formation and system architecture. We vary the mass of the planets that reside at Jupiter's and Saturn's orbit and examine the effects on the interior terrestrial system. We find a correlation between the mass of the exterior giant planets and the collision history of the resulting planets, which holds implications for the planet's properties. More massive giants also produce terrestrial planets that are on smaller, more circular orbits. We do not find a strong correlation between exterior giant planet mass and the number of Earth-analogs (analogous in mass and semi-major axis) produced in the system. These results allow us to make predictions on the nature of terrestrial planets orbiting distant Sun-like star systems that harbor giant planet companions on long orbits---systems which will be a priority for NASA's upcoming Wide-Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST) mission.