Formation of Giant Planets by Fragmentation of Protoplanetary Disks

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5599, pp. 1756-1759
DOI: 10.1126/science.1077635

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


The evolution of gravitationally unstable protoplanetary gaseous disks has been studied with the use of three-dimensional smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations with unprecedented resolution. We have considered disks with initial masses and temperature profiles consistent with those inferred for the protosolar nebula and for other protoplanetary disks. We show that long-lasting, self-gravitating protoplanets arise after a few disk orbital periods if cooling is efficient enough to maintain the temperature close to 50 K. The resulting bodies have masses and orbital eccentricities similar to those of detected extrasolar planets.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lucio{at}, trq{at}

  • Present address: Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science