A Caltech Library Service

Saturn forms by core accretion in 3.4 Myr

Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E. and Bodenheimer, Peter and Laughlin, Gregory and Willacy, Karen and Turner, Neal J. and Beichman, C. A. (2008) Saturn forms by core accretion in 3.4 Myr. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 688 (2). L99-L102. ISSN 2041-8205.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present two new in situ core accretion simulations of Saturn with planet formation timescales of 3.37 Myr (model S0) and 3.48 Myr (model S1), consistent with observed protostellar disk lifetimes. In model S0, we assume rapid grain settling reduces opacity due to grains from full interstellar values. In model S1, we do not invoke grain settling, instead assigning full interstellar opacities to grains in the envelope. Surprisingly, the two models produce nearly identical formation timescales and core/atmosphere mass ratios. We therefore observe a new manifestation of core accretion theory: at large heliocentric distances, the solid core growth rate (limited by Keplerian orbital velocity) controls the planet formation timescale. We argue that this paradigm should apply to Uranus and Neptune as well.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Dodson-Robinson, Sarah E.0000-0002-8796-4974
Bodenheimer, Peter0000-0001-6093-3097
Laughlin, Gregory0000-0002-3253-2621
Willacy, Karen0000-0001-6124-5974
Turner, Neal J.0000-0001-8292-1943
Beichman, C. A.0000-0002-5627-5471
Additional Information:© 2008. The American Astronomical Society Received 2008 July 15; accepted 2008 October 9; published 2008 December 1. We thank Geoff Bryden and Jonathan Fortney for helpful conversations and the anonymous referee for suggesting model S1. This research was supported by a scholarship award from the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation to S. D. R.; by NSF Career Grant AST-0449986 and NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Program Grant NNG04GK19G to G. L.; and by NSF Grant AST-0507424 and NASA Origins Grant NNX08AH82G to P. B. The work of K. W. and N. T. was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, with funding provided by the JPL Research and Technology Development Program.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Research and Technology Development ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:planets and satellites; formation; planets and satellites; individual (Saturn)
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090527-073358217
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14308
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:27 May 2009 22:36
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page