The effect of close-in giant planets’ evolution on tidal-induced migration of exomoons

J. A. Alvarado Montes, Jorge I. Zuluaga, Mario Sucerquia

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothetical exomoons around close-in giant planets may migrate inwards and/or outwards in virtue of the interplay of the star, planet and moon tidal interactions. These processes could be responsible for the disruption of lunar systems, the collision of moons with planets or could provide a mechanism for the formation of exorings. Several models have been developed to determine the fate of exomoons when subjected to the tidal effects of their host planets. None of them has taken into account the key role that planetary evolution could play in this process. In this paper, we put together numerical models of exomoon's tidal-induced orbital evolution, results of planetary evolution and interior structure models to study the final fate of exomoons around evolving close-in gas giants. We have found that planetary evolution significantly affects not only the time-scale of exomoon migration but also its final fate. Thus, if any change in planetary radius, internal mass distribution and rotation occurs in time-scales lower or comparable to orbital evolution, exomoon may only migrate outwards and prevent tidal disruption or a collision with the planet. If exomoons are discovered in the future around close-in giant planets, our results may contribute to constrain planetary evolution and internal structure models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3019-3027
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
  • planets and satellites: physical evolution


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