Giant planet formation: episodic impacts vs. gradual core growth

Дата и время публикации : 2011-12-02T16:28:10Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Christopher Broeg
Willy Benz

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Первичная категория: astro-ph.EP

Все категории : astro-ph.EP

Краткий обзор статьи: We describe the growth of gas giant planets in the core accretion scenario. The core growth is not modeled as a gradual accretion of planetesimals but as episodic impacts of large mass ratios, i.e. we study impacts of 0.02 – 1 Earth masses onto cores of 1-15 Earth masses. Such impacts could deliver the majority of solid matter in the giant impact regime. We focus on the thermal response of the envelope to the energy delivery. Previous studies have shown that sudden shut off of core accretion can dramatically speed up gas accretion. We therefore expect that giant impacts followed by periods of very low core accretion will result in a net increase in gas accretion rate. This study aims at modelling such a sequence of events and to understand the reaction of the envelope to giant impacts in more detail. To model this scenario, we spread the impact energy deposition over a time that is long compared to the sound crossing time, but very short compared to the Kelvin-Helmholtz time. The simulations are done in spherical symmetry and assume quasi-hydrostatic equilibrium. Results confirm what could be inferred from previous studies: gas can be accreted faster onto the core for the same net core growth speed while at the same time rapid gas accretion can occur for smaller cores — significantly smaller than the usual critical core mass. Furthermore our simulations show, that significant mass fractions of the envelope can be ejected by such an impact.

Category: Physics