Monday, March 9, 2015

Terrestrial Exoplanets Which Form in the Habitable Zone Will Have a Chemical Composition Like Earth

Chemical composition of Earth-like planets


Ronco et al


Models of planet formation are mainly focused on the accretion and dynamical processes of the planets, neglecting their chemical composition. In this work, we calculate the condensation sequence of the different chemical elements for a low-mass protoplanetary disk around a solar-type star. We incorporate this sequence of chemical elements (refractory and volatile elements) in our semi-analytical model of planet formation which calculates the formation of a planetary system during its gaseous phase. The results of the semi-analytical model (final distributions of embryos and planetesimals) are used as initial conditions to develope N-body simulations that compute the post-oligarchic formation of terrestrial-type planets. The results of our simulations show that the chemical composition of the planets that remain in the habitable zone has similar characteristics to the chemical composition of the Earth. However, exist differences that can be associated to the dynamical environment in which they were formed.

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