Evidence for Universality in the Initial Planetesimal Mass Function
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Astron
Univ Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationEvidence for Universality in the Initial Planetesimal Mass Function 2017, 847 (2):L12 The Astrophysical Journal
Rights© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
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AbstractPlanetesimals may form from the gravitational collapse of dense particle clumps initiated by the streaming instability. We use simulations of aerodynamically coupled gas-particle mixtures to investigate whether the properties of planetesimals formed in this way depend upon the sizes of the particles that participate in the instability. Based on three high-resolution simulations that span a range of dimensionless stopping times 6 X 10(-3) <= tau <= 2, no statistically significant differences in the initial planetesimal mass function are found. The mass functions are fit by a power law, dN/dM(p) proportional to M-p(-p), with p = 1.5-1.7 and errors of Delta p approximate to 0.1. Comparing the particle density fields prior to collapse, we find that the high-wavenumber power spectra are similarly indistinguishable, though the large-scale geometry of structures induced via the streaming instability is significantly different between all three cases. We interpret the results as evidence for a near-universal slope to the mass function, arising from the small-scale structure of streaming-induced turbulence.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNASA [NNX13AI58G, NNX16AB42G]; NSF [AST 1313021, AST 1616929]; Texas Advanced Computing Center through XSEDE grant [TG-AST120062]; National Science Foundation [NSF PHY-1125915]