Ice-Coated Pebble Drift as a Possible Explanation for Peculiar Cometary CO/H2O Ratios

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2021

Ellen M. Price, L. Ilsedore Cleeves, Dennis Bodewits, Karin I. Öberg

To date, at least three comets -- 2I/Borisov, C/2016 R2 (PanSTARRS), and C/2009 P1 (Garradd) -- have been observed to have unusually high CO concentrations compared to water. We attempt to explain these observations by modeling the effect of drifting solid (ice and dust) material on the ice compositions in protoplanetary disks. We find that, independent of the exact disk model parameters, we always obtain a region of enhanced ice-phase CO/H2O that spreads out in radius over time. The inner edge of this feature coincides with the CO snowline. Almost every model achieves at least CO/H2O of unity, and one model reaches a CO/H2O ratio > 10. After running our simulations for 1 Myr, an average of 40% of the disk ice mass contains more CO than H2O ice. In light of this, a population of CO ice enhanced planetesimals are likely to generally form in the outer regions of disks, and we speculate that the aforementioned CO-rich comets may be more common, both in our own Solar System and in extrasolar systems, than previously expected.

Comments: 13 pages, 5 figures; accepted for publication in ApJ

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Cite as: arXiv:2103.12751 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2103.12751v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history

From: Ellen Price 

[v1] Tue, 23 Mar 2021 18:00:02 UTC (937 KB)

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.

Kepler Communications - Aether - Unbound Connectivity to your on-orbit assets
Stolen Skies by Tim Powers - Baen Books
Don’t Blow Yourself Up - The Further True Adventures and Travails of the Rocket Boy of October Sky By Homer Hickam