Did Jupiter’s core form in the innermost parts of the Sun’s protoplanetary disk?

Sean N. Raymond, Andre Izidoro, Bertram Bitsch, Seth A. Jacobson

Accepted to MNRAS
last revised: 7 Mar 2016

PDF (open access)

“Jupiter’s core is generally assumed to have formed beyond the snow line. Here we consider an alternative scenario, that Jupiter’s core may have accumulated in the innermost parts of the protoplanetary disk. A growing body of research suggests that small particles (“pebbles”) continually drift inward through the disk. If a fraction of drifting pebbles is trapped at the inner edge of the disk a several Earth-mass core can quickly grow. Subsequently, the core may migrate outward beyond the snow line via planet-disk interactions. Of course, to reach the outer Solar System Jupiter’s core must traverse the terrestrial planet-forming region. We use N-body simulations including synthetic forces from an underlying gaseous disk to study how the outward migration of Jupiter’s core sculpts the terrestrial zone. If the outward migration is fast (Tmig~10^4 years), the core simply migrates past resident planetesimals and planetary embryos. However, if its migration is slower (Tmig~10^5 years) the core removes solids from the inner disk by shepherding objects in mean motion resonances. In many cases the disk interior to 0.5-1 AU is cleared of embryos and most planetesimals. By generating a mass deficit close to the Sun, the outward migration of Jupiter’s core may thus explain the absence of terrestrial planets closer than Mercury. Jupiter’s migrating core often stimulates the growth of another large (~Earth-mass) core — that may provide a seed for Saturn’s core — trapped in exterior resonance. The migrating core also may transport a fraction of terrestrial planetesimals, such as the putative parent bodies of iron meteorites, to the asteroid belt.”

Did the Solar System form inside-out? (blog post)