From Planetesimal to Planet in Turbulent Disks. II. Formation of Gas Giant Planets

Hiroshi Kobayashi, Hidekazu Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In the core accretion scenario, gas giant planets are formed form solid cores with several Earth masses via gas accretion. We investigate the formation of such cores via collisional growth from kilometer-sized planetesimals in turbulent disks. The stirring by forming cores induces collisional fragmentation, and surrounding planetesimals are ground down until radial drift. The core growth is therefore stalled by the depletion of surrounding planetesimals due to collisional fragmentation and radial drift. The collisional strength of planetesimals determines the planetesimal-depletion timescale, which is prolonged for large planetesimals. The size of planetesimals around growing cores is determined by the planetesimal size distribution at the onset of runaway growth. Strong turbulence delays the onset of runaway growth, resulting in large planetesimals. Therefore, the core mass evolution depends on the turbulent parameter μ; the formation of cores massive enough without significant depletion of surrounding planetesimals needs a strong turbulence of μ ≳ 10-3. However, strong turbulence with μ ≳ 10-3 leads to a significant delay of the onset of runaway growth and prevents the formation of massive cores within the disk lifetime. The formation of cores massive enough within several million years therefore requires that solid surface densities are several times higher, which is achieved in the inner disk ≲10 au due to pile-up of drifting dust aggregates. In addition, the collisional strength even for kilometer-sized or smaller bodies affects the growth of cores; for bodies ≲1 km is likely for this gas giant formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 1


  • planets and satellites: formation
  • planets and satellites: gaseous planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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