Can the giant planets of the Solar System form via pebble accretion in a smooth protoplanetary disc?

Tommy Chi Ho Lau (Lead / Corresponding author), Man Hoi Lee, Ramon Brasser, Soko Matsumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context. Prevailing N-body planet formation models typically start with lunar-mass embryos and show a general trend of rapid migration of massive planetary cores to the inner Solar System in the absence of a migration trap. This setup cannot capture the evolution from a planetesimal to embryo, which is crucial to the final architecture of the system.
Aims. We aim to model planet formation with planet migration starting with planetesimals of ~10−6−10−4 M⊕ and reproduce the giant planets of the Solar System.
Methods. We simulated a population of 1000–5000 planetesimals in a smooth protoplanetary disc, which was evolved under the effects of their mutual gravity, pebble accretion, gas accretion, and planet migration, employing the parallelized N-body code SyMBAp.
Results. We find that the dynamical interactions among growing planetesimals are vigorous and can halt pebble accretion for excited bodies. While a set of results without planet migration produces one to two gas giants and one to two ice giants beyond 6 au, massive planetary cores readily move to the inner Solar System once planet migration is in effect. Conclusions. Dynamical heating is important in a planetesimal disc and the reduced pebble encounter time should be considered in similar models. Planet migration remains a challenge to form cold giant planets in a smooth protoplanetary disc, which suggests an alternative mechanism is required to stop them at wide orbits.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA204
Number of pages17
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume683
Early online date22 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • numerical– planets and satellites
  • formation– planet-disk interactions
  • planets and satellites
  • planet-disk interactions

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