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The Global Perspective on the Evolution of Solids in a Protoplanetary DiskIt is currently thought that planets around solar-type stars form by the accumulation of solid matter entrained in a gaseous, turbulent protoplanetary disk. We have developed a model designed to simulate the part of this process that starts from small particles suspended in the gaseous disk at the end of the formation stage, and ends up with most of the solid material aggregated into 1-10-km planetesimals. The major novelty of our approach is its emphasis on the global, comprehensive treatment of the problem, as our model simultaneously keeps track of the evolution of gas and solid particles due to gas-solid coupling, coagulation, sedimentation, and evaporation/condensation. The result of our calculations is the radial distribution of solid material circumnavigating a star in the form of a planetesimal swarm. Such a distribution should well approximate the radial apportionment of condensed components of the planets spread over the radial extent of the mature planetary system. Therefore we view our calculations as an attempt to predict the large-scale architecture of planetary systems and to assess their potential diversity. In particular, we have found that some initial conditions lead to all solids being lost to the star, but we can also identify initial conditions leading to a radial distribution of solid material quite reminiscent of what is found in our solar system.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Stepinski, T. F.
(Lunar and Planetary Inst. Houston, TX United States)
Valageas, P.
(Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: From Stardust to Planetesimals: Contributed Papers
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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