Suppose that we have a forming protostar and an accompanying protoplanetary disk. Does the mass of the protostar have any direct relation to the masses of resulting planets or amount of resulting planets?

https://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/2011/06/aa16528-11.pdf seems to suggest that it has an impact on mass as it describes the situation of one singular system, but does not detail anything on the amount of planets. It is also does not give a general answer.

Likewise, what about the planets themselves? Assume we ignore any captured satellites after formation. Say we have a protoplanet with a certain mass. How would this affect the masses of the resulting moons and amount of moons?

Looking at the solar system, it seems to have a directly proportional relationship as we go from say Neptune to Jupiter, but what if we have a 10 Jupiter mass planet somewhere... would this have more massive moons, more moons, or both?


1 Answer 1


You might be asking for something that does not yet exist.

No exomoons have been detected, so correlations with planetary mass are limited to the Solar System.

Planetary formation takes millions of years, so we cannot measure the disk properties and the exoplanetary properties of the same stars.

At the moment, what you can say observationally is that lower mass protostars have lower mass disks (but with a large spread) and that lower mass stars tend not to have close-in, high-mass exoplanets.

There are almost certainly theoretical models that will make predictions of the answers to your questions.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for answering! Are you able to provide any links to the theoretical models so I could take a read or smth? :) $\endgroup$
    – Max0815
    Aug 12, 2022 at 7:26

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