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Formation of Rocky Super-Earths From A Narrow Ring of Planetesimals

Batygin, Konstantin and Morbidelli, Alessandro (2023) Formation of Rocky Super-Earths From A Narrow Ring of Planetesimals. . (Unpublished)

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The formation of super-Earths, the most abundant planets in the Galaxy, remains elusive. These planets have masses that typically exceed that of the Earth by a factor of a few; appear to be predominantly rocky, although often surrounded by H/He atmospheres; and frequently occur in multiples. Moreover, planets that encircle the same star tend to have similar masses and radii, whereas those belonging to different systems exhibit remarkable overall diversity. Here, we advance a theoretical picture for rocky planet formation that satisfies the aforementioned constraints: building upon recent work - which demonstrates that planetesimals can form rapidly at discrete locations in the disk - we propose that super-Earths originate inside rings of silicate-rich planetesimals at approximately ~1 AU. Within the context of this picture, we show that planets grow primarily through pairwise collisions among rocky planetesimals, until they achieve terminal masses that are regulated by isolation and orbital migration. We quantify our model with numerical simulations and demonstrate that our synthetic planetary systems bear a close resemblance to compact, multi-resonant progenitors of the observed population of short-period extrasolar planets. Our results thus indicate that the absence of short-period super-Earths within the solar system can simply be attributed to the comparatively low mass of the primordial planetesimal ring within the protosolar nebula.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemJournal Article
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Morbidelli, Alessandro0000-0001-8476-7687
Additional Information:Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).
Group:Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20221025-184630278
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:117568
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Feb 2023 17:42
Last Modified:02 Jun 2023 01:30

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