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Simulations of the Solar System's Early Dynamical Evolution with a Self-gravitating Planetesimal Disk

Fan, Siteng and Batygin, Konstantin (2017) Simulations of the Solar System's Early Dynamical Evolution with a Self-gravitating Planetesimal Disk. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 851 (2). Art. No. L37. ISSN 2041-8213. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa9f0b.

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Over the course of the last decade, the Nice model has dramatically changed our view of the solar system's formation and early evolution. Within the context of this model, a transient period of planet–planet scattering is triggered by gravitational interactions between the giant planets and a massive primordial planetesimal disk, leading to a successful reproduction of the solar system's present-day architecture. In typical realizations of the Nice model, self-gravity of the planetesimal disk is routinely neglected, as it poses a computational bottleneck to the calculations. Recent analyses have shown, however, that a self-gravitating disk can exhibit behavior that is dynamically distinct, and this disparity may have significant implications for the solar system's evolutionary path. In this work, we explore this discrepancy utilizing a large suite of Nice model simulations with and without a self-gravitating planetesimal disk, taking advantage of the inherently parallel nature of graphic processing units. Our simulations demonstrate that self-consistent modeling of particle interactions does not lead to significantly different final planetary orbits from those obtained within conventional simulations. Moreover, self-gravitating calculations show similar planetesimal evolution to non-self-gravitating numerical experiments after dynamical instability is triggered, suggesting that the orbital clustering observed in the distant Kuiper Belt is unlikely to have a self-gravitational origin.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fan, Siteng0000-0002-3041-4680
Batygin, Konstantin0000-0002-7094-7908
Additional Information:© 2017 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2017 November 4; revised 2017 November 30; accepted 2017 December 2; published 2017 December 18. We thank Christopher Spalding, Michael E. Brown, and Ann-Marie Madigan for useful discussions. Additionally, we would like to thank the anonymous referee for providing a thorough and insightful report that has led to a considerable improvement of the manuscript, as well as the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for their generous support.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171219-102555072
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Siteng Fan and Konstantin Batygin 2017 ApJL 851 L37
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83962
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Dec 2017 19:15
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:15

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