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Accumulation processes in the primitive solar nebula

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0019-1035(73)90153-x
  • Astronomy
  • Physics


Abstract Particle accumulation processes are discussed for a variety of physical environments, ranging from the collapse phase of an interstellar cloud to the different parts of the models of the primitive solar nebula constructed by Cameron and Pine. Because of turbulence in the collapsing interstellar gas, it is concluded that interstellar grains accumulate into bodies with radii of a few tens of centimeters before the outer parts of the solar nebula are formed. These bodies can descend quite rapidly through the gas toward midplane of the nebula, and accumulation to planetary size can occur in a few thousand years. Substantial modifications of these processes take place in the outer convection zone of the solar nebula, but again it is concluded that bodies in that zone can grow to planetary size in a few thousand years. From the discussion of the interstellar collapse phase it is concluded that the angular momentum of the primitive solar nebula was predominantly of random turbulent origin, and that it is plausible that the primitive solar nebula should have possessed satellite nebulae in highly elliptical orbits. It is proposed that the comets were formed in these satellite nebulae. A number of other detailed conclusions are drawn from the analysis. It is shown to be plausible that an iron-rich planet should be formed in the inner part of the outer nebular convection zone. Discussions are given of the processes of planetary gas accretion, the formation of satellites, the T Tauri solar wind, and the dissipation of excess condensed material after the nebular gases have been removed by the T Tauri solar wind. It is shown that the present radial distances of the planets (but not Bode's Law) should be predicted reasonably well by a solar nebula model intermediate between the uniform and linear cases of Cameron and Pine.

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