Rocklines as Cradles for Refractory Solids in the Protosolar Nebula

Artyom Aguichine, Olivier Mousis, Bertrand Devouard, Thomas Ronnet

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 901, Number 2
Published 2020 September 25


“In our solar system, terrestrial planets and meteoritical matter exhibit various bulk compositions. To understand this variety of compositions, formation mechanisms of meteorites are usually investigated via a thermodynamic approach that neglects the processes of transport throughout the protosolar nebula. Here, we investigate the role played by rocklines (condensation/sublimation lines of refractory materials) in the innermost regions of the protosolar nebula to compute the composition of particles migrating inward toward the disk as a function of time. To do so, we utilize a one-dimensional accretion disk model with a prescription for dust and vapor transport, sublimation, and recondensation of refractory materials (ferrosilite, enstatite, fayalite, forsterite, iron sulfide, metal iron, and nickel). We find that the diversity of the bulk composition of cosmic spherules, chondrules, and chondrites can be explained by their formation close to rocklines, suggesting that solid matter is concentrated in the vicinity of these sublimation/condensation fronts. Although our model relies a lot on the number of considered species and the availability of thermodynamic data governing state changes, it suggests that rocklines played a major role in the formation of small and large bodies in the innermost regions of the protosolar nebula. Our model gives insights on the mechanisms that might have contributed to the formation of Mercury’s large core.”