TAP Colloquium - Konstantin Batygin
I Like to Myself Believe That Planet 5 Turns Slowly
Within the general framework of the core-nucleated accretion theory of giant planet formation, the conglomeration of massive gaseous envelopes is facilitated by a transient period of rapid accumulation of nebular material. While the concurrent build-up of angular momentum is expected to leave newly formed planets spinning at near-breakup velocities, Jupiter and Saturn, as well as super-Jovian long-period extrasolar planets, are observed to rotate well below criticality. In this talk, I will argue that the large luminosity of a young giant planet simultaneously leads to the generation of a strong planetary magnetic field, as well as thermal ionization of the circumplanetary disk. The ensuing magnetic coupling between the planetary interior and the quasi-Keplerian motion of the disk results in efficient braking of planetary rotation, with hydrodynamic circulation of gas within the Hill sphere playing the key role of expelling spin angular momentum to the circumstellar nebula. These results place early-stage giant planet and stellar rotation within the same evolutionary framework.