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Formation and accretion history of terrestrial planets from runaway growth through to late time: implications for orbital eccentricity


Morishima, R; Schmidt, M W; Stadel, J; Moore, B (2008). Formation and accretion history of terrestrial planets from runaway growth through to late time: implications for orbital eccentricity. Astrophysical Journal, 685(2):1247-1261.

Abstract

Remnant planetesimals might have played an important role in reducing the orbital eccentricities of the terrestrial planets after their formation via giant impacts. However, the population and the size distribution of remnant planetesimals during and after the giant impact stage are unknown, because simulations of planetary accretion in the runaway growth and giant impact stages have been conducted independently. Here we report results of direct N-body simulations of the formation of terrestrial planets beginning with a compact planetesimal disk. The initial planetesimal disk has a total mass and angular momentum as observed for the terrestrial planets, and we vary the width (0.3 and 0.5 AU) and the number of planetesimals (1000-5000). This initial configuration generally gives rise to three final planets of similar size, and sometimes a fourth small planet forms near the location of Mars. Since a sufficient number of planetesimals remains, even after the giant impact phase, the final orbital eccentricities are as small as those of the Earth and Venus.

Abstract

Remnant planetesimals might have played an important role in reducing the orbital eccentricities of the terrestrial planets after their formation via giant impacts. However, the population and the size distribution of remnant planetesimals during and after the giant impact stage are unknown, because simulations of planetary accretion in the runaway growth and giant impact stages have been conducted independently. Here we report results of direct N-body simulations of the formation of terrestrial planets beginning with a compact planetesimal disk. The initial planetesimal disk has a total mass and angular momentum as observed for the terrestrial planets, and we vary the width (0.3 and 0.5 AU) and the number of planetesimals (1000-5000). This initial configuration generally gives rise to three final planets of similar size, and sometimes a fourth small planet forms near the location of Mars. Since a sufficient number of planetesimals remains, even after the giant impact phase, the final orbital eccentricities are as small as those of the Earth and Venus.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:October 2008
Deposited On:06 Mar 2009 10:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:06
Publisher:Institute of Physics Publishing
ISSN:0004-637X
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1086/590948
Related URLs:http://arxiv.org/abs/0806.1689

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