Report

Gas Disks to Gas Giants: Simulating the Birth of Planetary Systems

Science  08 Aug 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5890, pp. 814-817
DOI: 10.1126/science.1159723

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Abstract

The ensemble of now more than 250 discovered planetary systems displays a wide range of masses, orbits and, in multiple systems, dynamical interactions. These represent the end point of a complex sequence of events, wherein an entire protostellar disk converts itself into a small number of planetary bodies. Here, we present self-consistent numerical simulations of this process, which produce results in agreement with some of the key trends observed in the properties of the exoplanets. Analogs to our own solar system do not appear to be common, originating from disks near the boundary between barren and (giant) planet-forming.

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