On the formation timescale and core masses of gas giant planets

W K M Rice, P J Armitage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Numerical simulations show that the migration of growing planetary cores may be dominated by turbulent fluctuations in the protoplanetary disk, rather than by any mean property of the flow. We quantify the impact of this stochastic core migration on the formation timescale and core mass of giant planets at the onset of runaway gas accretion. For standard solar nebula conditions, the formation of Jupiter can be accelerated by almost an order of magnitude if the growing core executes a random walk with an amplitude of a few tenths of an AU. A modestly reduced surface density of planetesimals allows Jupiter to form within 10 Myr, with an initial core mass below 10 M+, in better agreement with observational constraints. For extrasolar planetary systems, the results suggest that core accretion could form massive planets in disks with lower metallicities, and shorter lifetimes, than the solar nebula.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume598
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2003

Keywords

  • accretion, accretion disks
  • planetary systems : formation
  • planets and satellites : formation
  • planets and satellites : individual (Jupiter)
  • solar system : formation
  • PROTOPLANETARY DISKS
  • ACCRETION
  • MIGRATION
  • JUPITER
  • SATURN
  • VELOCITIES
  • FREQUENCY
  • STARS

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