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Gravoturbulent formation of planetesimals

By SpaceRef Editor
May 8, 2005
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Gravoturbulent formation of planetesimals

Astrophysics, abstract

From: Anders Johansen [view email]
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 09:55:18 GMT (53kb)

Gravoturbulent formation of planetesimals

Anders Johansen,
Hubert Klahr,
Thomas Henning (MPIA, Heidelberg)

Comments: 13 pages, 2 figures, submitted to ApJ Letters

We introduce a new model for the formation of planetesimals in a turbulent
protoplanetary disk. We show that the combination of the radial drift of solids
due to a global gas pressure gradient and magnetorotational turbulence can lead
to local concentrations of meter-sized boulders of up to a factor 40 in
solid-to-gas ratio over the background value. For a disc with a moderate
vertical settling of solids, the turbulent density clumping leads to
gravitationally unstable clusters of protoplanetesimals. While it is usually
assumed that global turbulence is an obstacle to a gravitationally aided
formation of planetesimals, we find that in fact it may be a crucial agent to
trigger a gravitational instability in the dust sublayer. Furthermore we find
that the average radial drift speed of the boulders is diminished by about one
third due to the presence of turbulence.

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