Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Terrestrial Planet Formation from an Annulus


Walsh et al


It has been shown that some aspects of the terrestrial planets can be explained, particularly the Earth/Mars mass ratio, when they form from a truncated disk with an outer edge near 1.0 au (Hansen 2009). This has been previously modeled starting from an intermediate stage of growth utilizing pre-formed planetary embryos. We present simulations that were designed to test this idea by following the growth process from km-sized objects located between 0.7 to 1.0 au up to terrestrial planets. The simulations explore initial conditions where the solids in the disk are planetesimals with radii initially between 3 and 300 km, alternately including effects from a dissipating gaseous solar nebula and collisional fragmentation. We use a new Lagrangian code known as LIPAD (Levison et al. 2012), which is a particle-based code that models the fragmentation, accretion and dynamical evolution of a large number of planetesimals, and can model the entire growth process from km-sizes up to planets. A suite of large (Mars mass) planetary embryos is complete in only 1 Myr, containing most of the system mass. A quiescent period then persists for 10-20 Myr characterized by slow diffusion of the orbits and continued accretion of the remaining planetesimals. This is interupted by an instability that leads to embryos crossing orbits and embyro-embryo impacts that eventually produce the final set of planets. While this evolution is different than that found in other works exploring an annulus, the final planetary systems are similar, with roughly the correct number of planets and good Mars-analogs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.