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Published June 20, 2010 | Published + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Early Dynamical Evolution of the Solar System: Pinning Down the Initial Conditions of the Nice Model


In the recent years, the "Nice" model of solar system formation has attained an unprecedented level of success in reproducing much of the observed orbital architecture of the solar system by evolving the planets to their current locations from a more compact configuration. Within the context of this model, the formation of the classical Kuiper Belt requires a phase during which the ice giants have a high eccentricity. An outstanding question of this model is the initial configuration from which the solar system started out. Recent work has shown that multi-resonant initial conditions can serve as good candidates, as they naturally prevent vigorous type-II migration. In this paper, we use analytical arguments, as well as self-consistent numerical N-body simulations to identify fully resonant initial conditions, whose dynamical evolution is characterized by an eccentric phase of the ice giants, as well as planetary scattering. We find a total of eight such initial conditions. Four of these primordial states are compatible with the canonical "Nice" model, while the others imply slightly different evolutions. The results presented here should prove useful in further development of a comprehensive model for solar system formation.

Additional Information

© 2010 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2010 March 3; accepted 2010 April 28; published 2010 June 1. We thank Hal Levison, Alessandro Morbidelli, Ramon Brasser, Gregory Laughlin, and Darin Ragozzine for useful discussions.

Attached Files

Published - Batygin2010p10455Astrophys_J.pdf

Accepted Version - 1004.5414.pdf


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