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The Mass of Large ImpactorsBy means of a simplified dynamical model, we have computed the eccentricity change in the orbit of each giant planet, caused by a single, large impact at the end of the accretion process. In order to set an upper bound on this eccentricity change, we have considered the giant planets' present eccentricities as primordial ones. By means of this procedure, we were able to obtain an implicit relation for the impactor masses and maximum velocities. We have estimated by this method the maximum allowed mass to impact Jupiter to be approx. 1.136 x 10(exp -1), being in the case of Neptune approx. 3.99 x 10(exp -2) (expressed in units of each planet final mass). Due to the similar present eccentricities of Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter, the constraint masses and velocities of the bodies to impact them (in units of each planet final mass and velocity respectively) are almost the same for the three planets. These results are in good agreement with those obtained by Lissauer and Safronov. These bounds might be used to derive the mass distribution of planetesimals in the early solar system.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Parisi, M. G.
(La Plata Univ. Argentina)
Brunini, A.
(La Plata Univ. Argentina)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1996
Publication Information
Publication: From Stardust to Planetesimals: Contributed Papers
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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