Modeling Chondrule Dust Rim Growth with Ellipsoidal MonomersOPEN ACCESS 

C. Xiang, A. Carballido, L. S. Matthews, and T. W. Hyde

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 950, Number 1


“Fine-grained dust rims (FGRs) surrounding chondrules in carbonaceous chondrites encode important information about early processes in the solar nebula. Here, we investigate the effect of the nebular environment on FGR porosity, dust size distribution, and grain alignment, comparing the results for rims comprised of ellipsoidal and spherical grains. We conduct numerical simulations in which FGRs grow by collisions between dust particles and chondrules in both neutral and ionized turbulent gas. The resultant rim morphology is related to the ratio epsilon of the electrostatic potential energy at the collision point to the relative kinetic energy between colliding particles. In general, large epsilon leads to a large rim porosity, large rim grain size, and low growth rate. Dust rims comprised of ellipsoidal monomers initially grow faster in thickness than rims comprised of spherical monomers, due to their higher porosity. As the rims grow and obtain a greater electrostatic potential, repulsion becomes dominant, and this effect is reversed. Grain size coarsening toward the outer regions of the rims is observed for low- and high-epsilon regimes, and is more pronounced in the ellipsoidal case, while for the medium-epsilon regime, small monomers tend to be captured in the middle of the rims. In neutral environments, ellipsoidal grains have random orientations within the rim, while in charged environments ellipsoidal grains tend to align with maximum axial alignment for epsilon = 0.15. The characterization of these FGR features provides a means to relate laboratory measurements of chondrite samples to the formation environment of the parent bodies.”