Planetesimals to terrestrial planets: Collisional evolution amidst a dissipating gas disk

1Kevin J.Walsh,1Harold F.Levison
Icarus (in Press) Link to Article [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2019.03.031]
1Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St. Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302, USA
Copyright Elsevier

We present numerical simulations of terrestrial planet formation that examine the growth continuously from planetesimals to planets in the inner Solar System. Previous studies show that the growth will be inside-out, but it is still common practice to assume that the entire inner disk will eventually reach a bi-modal distribution of embryos and planetesimals. For the combinations of disk mass, initial planetesimal radius and gas disk lifetime explored in this work the entire disk never reaches a simple bi-modal mass distribution.
We find that the inside-out growth is amplified by the combined effects of collisional evolution of solid bodies and interactions with a dissipating gas disk. This leads to oligarchic growth never being achieved in different places of the disk at the same time, where in some cases the disk can simultaneously support chaotic growth and giant impacts inside 1 au and runaway growth beyond 2 au. The planetesimal population is efficiently depleted in the inner disk where embryo growth primarily advances in the presence of a significant gas disk. Further out in the disk growth is slower relative to the gas disk dissipation, resulting in more excited planetesimals at the same stage of growth and less efficient accretion. This same effect drives mass loss due to collisional grinding strongly altering the surface density of the accreted planets relative to the initial mass distribution. This effect decreases the Mars-to-Earth mass ratios compared to previous works with no collisional grinding. Similar to some previous findings utilizing vastly different growth scenarios these simulations produce a first generation of planetary embryos that are stable for 10–20 Myr, or 5–10 e-folding times of the gas dissipation timescale, before having an instability and entering the chaotic growth stage.

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