Radially resolved simulations of collapsing pebble clouds in protoplanetary discs
Jansson et al
We study the collapse of pebble clouds with a statistical model to find the internal structure of comet-sized planetesimals. Pebble-pebble collisions occur during the collapse and the outcome of these collisions affect the resulting structure of the planetesimal. We expand our previous models by allowing the individual pebble sub-clouds to contract at different rates and by including the effect of gas drag on the contraction speed and in energy dissipation. Our results yield comets that are porous pebble-piles with particle sizes varying with depth. In the surface layers there is a mixture of primordial pebbles and pebble fragments. The interior, on the other hand, consists only of primordial pebbles with a narrower size distribution, yielding higher porosity there. Our results imply that the gas in the protoplanetary disc plays an important role in determining the radial distribution of pebble sizes and porosity inside planetesimals.