Analysis of terrestrial planet formation by the grand tack model: system architecture and tack location

R. Brasser, S. Matsumura, S. Ida, S. J. Mojzsis, S. C. Werner

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47 Citations (Scopus)
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The Grand Tack model of terrestrial planet formation has emerged in recent years as the premier scenario used to account for several observed features of the inner solar system. It relies on the early migration of the giant planets to gravitationally sculpt and mix the planetesimal disk down to ∼1 au, after which the terrestrial planets accrete from material remaining in a narrow circumsolar annulus. Here, we investigate how the model fares under a range of initial conditions and migration course-change ("tack") locations. We run a large number of N-body simulations with tack locations of 1.5 and 2 au and test initial conditions using equal-mass planetary embryos and a semi-analytical approach to oligarchic growth. We make use of a recent model of the protosolar disk that takes into account viscous heating, includes the full effect of type 1 migration, and employs a realistic mass-radius relation for the growing terrestrial planets. Our results show that the canonical tack location of Jupiter at 1.5 au is inconsistent with the most massive planet residing at 1 au at greater than 95% confidence. This favors a tack farther out at 2 au for the disk model and parameters employed. Of the different initial conditions, we find that the oligarchic case is capable of statistically reproducing the orbital architecture and mass distribution of the terrestrial planets, while the equal-mass embryo case is not.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number75
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2016


  • planets and satellites: formation
  • planets and satellites: terrestrial planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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