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Collisional Growth within the Solar System’s Primordial Planetesimal Disk and the Timing of the Giant Planet Instability

Morgan, Marvin and Seligman, Darryl and Batygin, Konstantin (2021) Collisional Growth within the Solar System’s Primordial Planetesimal Disk and the Timing of the Giant Planet Instability. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 917 (1). Art. No. L8. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ac1681.

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The large-scale structure of the solar system has been shaped by a transient dynamical instability that may have been triggered by the interaction of the giants planets with a massive primordial disk of icy debris. In this work, we investigate the conditions under which this primordial disk could have coalesced into planets using analytic and numerical calculations. In particular, we perform numerical simulations of the solar system's early dynamical evolution that account for the viscous stirring and collisional damping within the disk. We demonstrate that if collisional damping would have been sufficient to maintain a temperate velocity dispersion, Earth-mass trans-Neptunian planets could have emerged within a timescale of 10 Myr. Therefore, our results favor a scenario wherein the dynamical instability of the outer solar system began immediately upon the dissipation of the gaseous nebula to avoid the overproduction of Earth-mass planets in the outer solar system.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Morgan, Marvin0000-0003-4022-6234
Seligman, Darryl0000-0002-0726-6480
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2021 June 18; revised 2021 July 10; accepted 2021 July 20; published 2021 August 12. We thank the reviewer for insightful comments and constructive suggestions that helped the content of this manuscript. We thank Robyn Sanderson, Andrew Youdin, Adina Feinstein, Kaitlin Kratter, and Alessandro Morbidelli for useful conversations. K.B. is grateful to Caltech, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their generous support. M.M. was funded by the Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Challenge Award. This research used the numpy (Harris et al. 2020) and matplotlib (Hunter 2007) packages in python.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Roy and Diana Vagelos Science ChallengeUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Solar system formation; Astrodynamics; Trans-Neptunian objects
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unifed Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Solar system formation (1530); Astrodynamics (76); Trans-Neptunian objects (1705)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210813-181204486
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Marvin Morgan et al 2021 ApJL 917 L8
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110267
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:13 Aug 2021 21:16
Last Modified:13 Aug 2021 21:16

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