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Formation of giant planets by fragmentation of protoplanetary disks

By SpaceRef Editor
January 7, 2003
Filed under , ,

Astrophysics, abstract

From: Lucio Mayer <>
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 21:21:32 GMT (272kb)

Formation of giant planets by fragmentation of protoplanetary disks

Lucio Mayer (University of Zurich),
Thomas Quinn (University of Washington),
James Wadsley (McMaster University),
Joachim Stadel (University of Zurich)

Comments: 13 pages, 2 Figures. Text and artwork are slightly different from the
version published on Science. More hi-res picture and movies can be found at
this http URL

Journal-ref: Science, 2002, 298, 1756

The evolution of gravitationally unstable protoplanetary gaseous disks has
been studied with the use of three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics
simulations with unprecedented resolution. We have considered disks with
initial masses and temperature profiles consistent with those inferred for the
protosolar nebula and for other protoplanetary disks. We show that
long-lasting, self-gravitating protoplanets arise after a few disk orbital
periods if cooling is efficient enough to maintain the temperature close to 50
K. The resulting bodies have masses and orbital eccentricities similar to those
of detected extrasolar planets.

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