The effect of evaporation on the evolution of close-in giant planets

I. Baraffe, F. Selsis, G. Chabrier, T. S. Barman, F. Allard, P. H. Hauschildt, H. Lammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


We include the effect of evaporation in our evolutionary calculations of close-in giant planets, based on a recent model for thermal evaporation taking into account the XUV flux of the parent star (Lammer et al. 2003). Our analysis leads to the existence of a critical mass for a given orbital distance m crit(a) below which the evaporation timescale becomes shorter than the thermal timescale of the planet. For planets with initial masses below mcrit, evaporation leads to a rapid expansion of the outer layers and of the total planetary radius, speeding up the evaporation process. Consequently, the planet does not survive as long as estimated by a simple application of mass loss rates without following consistently its evolution. We find out that the transit planet HD 209458b might be in such a dramatic phase, although with an extremely small probability. As a consequence, we predict that, after a certain time, only planets above a value mcrit(a) should be present at an orbital distance a of a star. For planets with initial masses above mcrit, evaporation does not affect the evolution of the radius with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L13-L16
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: individual: HD 209458, OGLE-TR-56

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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