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Rapid Formation of Jupiter by Diffusive Redistribution of Water Vapor in the Solar Nebula

Stevenson, David J. and Lunine, Jonathan I. (1988) Rapid Formation of Jupiter by Diffusive Redistribution of Water Vapor in the Solar Nebula. Icarus, 75 (1). pp. 146-155. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(88)90133-9.

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A model is presented for enhancing the abundance of solid material in the region of the solar nebula in which Jupiter formed, by diffusive redistribution and condensation of water vapor. A turbulent nebula is assumed with temperature decreasing roughly inversely with the radial distance from the center, and time scales set by turbulent viscosities taken from recent nebular models. The diffusion equation in cylindrical coordinates is solved in the limit that the sink of water vapor is condensation within a narrow radial zone approximately 5 AU from the center. Most of the water vapor is extracted from the terrestrial planet-forming zone. This “cold finger” solution is then justified by analytic solution of the diffusion equation in the condensation zone itself and inward and outward of that zone. The length scale over which most of the diffusively transported water vapor condenses is calculated to be ∼0.4 AU, provided the solids are not redistributed, and the surface density of ice in the formation zone of Jupiter is enhanced by as much as 75. The enhancement in surface density of solids is sufficient to trigger rapid accretion of planetesimals into a solid core along the lines of the model of Lissauer (1987, Icarus 69, 249–265), and hence produce Jupiter by nucleated instability on a time scale of approximately 10^5 to 10^6 years.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Lunine, Jonathan I.0000-0003-2279-4131
Additional Information:© 1988 Academic Press, Inc. Received July 6, 1987; revised November 2, 1987. The first author thanks the Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, for their hospitality during the time in which the basic ideas of this paper originated. We thank Tamara Ruzmaikina, Jack Lissauer, and an anonymous reviewer for comments. This work was supported by NASA Grant NAGW-185 and NSF Grant AST-8608475.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences 4485
University of Arizona Theoretical Astrophysics Program 87-23
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131113-153600297
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Official Citation:David J. Stevenson, Jonathan I. Lunine, Rapid formation of Jupiter by diffusive redistribution of water vapor in the solar nebula, Icarus, Volume 75, Issue 1, July 1988, Pages 146-155, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42440
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:14 Nov 2013 00:05
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:23

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