Presolar grain dynamics: creating nucleosynthetic variations through a combination of drag and viscous evolutionOPEN ACCESS 

Mark A. Hutchison, Jean-David Bodénan, Lucio Mayer, Maria Schönbächler

accepted for publication in MNRAS


Update (21 March 2022): LINK

“Meteoritic studies of solar system objects show evidence of nucleosynthetic heterogeneities that are inherited from small presolar grains (< 10 𝜇m) formed in stellar environments external to our own. The initial distribution and subsequent evolution of these grains are currently unconstrained. Using 3D, gas-dust simulations, we find that isotopic variations on the order of those observed in the solar system can be generated and maintained by drag and viscosity. Small grains are dragged radially outwards without size/density sorting by viscous expansion and backreaction, enriching the outer disc with presolar grains. Meanwhile large aggregates composed primarily of silicates drift radially inwards due to drag, further enriching the relative portion of presolar grains in the outer disc and diluting the inner disc. The late accumulation of enriched aggregates outside Jupiter could explain some of the isotopic variations observed in solar system bodies, such as the enrichment of supernovae derived material in carbonaceous chondrites. We also see evidence for isotopic variations in the inner disc that may hold implications for enstatite and ordinary chondrites that formed closer to the Sun. Initial heterogeneities in the presolar grain distribution that are not continuously reinforced are dispersed by diffusion, radial surface flows, and/or planetary interactions over the entire lifetime of the disc. For younger, more massive discs we expect turbulent diffusion to be even more homogenising, suggesting that dust evolution played a more central role in forming the isotopic anomalies in the solar system than originally thought.”