High Temperatures in the Early Solar Nebula

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4865, pp. 565-567
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4865.565


One fundamental controversy about terrestrial planet and asteroid formation is the discrepancy between meteoritical evidence for high temperatures (1500 K to 2000 K) in the inner solar nebula, and much lower theoretical temperature predictions on the basis of models of viscous accretion disks that neglect compressional heating of infalling gas. It is shown here that rigorous numerical calculations of the collapse of a rotating, three-dimensional presolar nebula are capable of producing temperatures on the order of 1500 K in the asteroid region (2.5 astronomical units), in either nearly axisymmetric or strongly nonaxisymmetric nebula models. The latter models may permit significant thermal cycling of solid components in the early inner solar nebula.