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Why convective heat transport in the solar nebula was inefficientThe radial distributions of the effective temperatures of circumstellar disks associated with pre-main sequence (T Tauri) stars are relatively well-constrained by ground-based and spacecraft infrared photometry and radio continuum observations. If the mechanisms by which energy is transported vertically in the disks are understood, these data can be used to constrain models of the thermal structure and evolution of solar nebula. Several studies of the evolution of the solar nebula have included the calculation of the vertical transport of heat by convection. Such calculations rely on a mixing length theory of transport and some assumption regarding the vertical distribution of internal dissipation. In all cases, the results of these calculations indicate that transport by radiation dominates that by convection, even when the nebula is convectively unstable. A simple argument that demonstrates the generality (and limits) of this result, regardless of the details of mixing length theory or the precise distribution of internal heating is presented. It is based on the idea that the radiative gradient in an optically thick nebula generally does not greatly exceed the adiabatic gradient.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Cassen, P.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Solar Physics
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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